Inaugural Great Neck Plaza Music Challenge debuts June 18

Inaugural Great Neck Plaza Music Challenge debuts June 18
The site of Great Neck Plaza’s summer concert events. The Gazebo at Firefighters Park, Great Neck (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia commons)

As the summer approaches so is Great Neck Plaza’s music challenge, open to high school students from around the county.

The event will be held on June 18 in Firefighters Park located off of Grace Avenue in downtown Great Neck Plaza.

The music challenge will be a competition with monetary prizes in each category. The four musical categories are a cappella, Rock Band, Chamber Music Ensemble, and Musical Theatre (solo performance).

Selected high school students from each of the categories will have up to 12 minutes to show off their musical talents. The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with the grand winner in each category taking home $350 per group or individual performer and all other entrants in each category taking home $200 per group or individual performer.

“We are very excited. We haven’t done this before [the music challenge]. We’re hopeful that it will become increasingly popular… that it will build up to be a prestigious and entertaining event,” said Great Neck Plaza Mayor Ted Rosen.

In addition to the village’s music challenge, Great Neck Plaza’s Summer Concert Series, located at the gazebo in Firefighters Park, will begin June 25 and be held every Tuesday thereafter through Aug. 27, for a total of 10 concerts.

The summer series concerts traditionally start at 8 p.m. and follow a rain date for the following Thursday if need be. The exception is the week of July 4th, in which the mentioned week’s rain date would be Wednesday.

“It’s very nice and enjoyable..we’ve tried to bring in people of different musical genres”, said Rosen.

Performing in the concert series season opener on June 25 is The Allmost Brothers Band- a tribute to the Allman Brothers. The Allmost Brothers Band are Sean McGrath and Dave Filloramo on lead guitars, Joe Wasserman on Vocals & Keys, Dave Losee and Dan Roth on Drum, and Tom Hooker on the Bass.

Attendees can expect a mix of American Blues, R&B, and Jazz.

The following weeks include a variety of musical bands including The Liverpool Shuffle- a Beatles tribute band, Pat Farrel and the Cold Spring Harbor band- a Billy Joel tribute band, and The Street Fighter Band- a Rolling Stones tribute band.

“We are always happy to provide these experiences. We believe that these programs provide a sense of community to Great Neck Plaza and the Great Neck Area,” said Rosen. We want people to come into our downtown, and we encourage that. Everyone’s welcome.”

The full summer concert series schedule has yet to be finalized. Rosen is hopeful that the schedule will be finished by early June. Once finalized it will be published online for viewing. Residents on the village’s email list will receive emails.

Additionally, the Summer Promenade series organized by Great Neck Plaza’s Business Improvement District will feature many of the same bands as the regular concert series, including The Liverpool Shuffle and Street Fighter.

The series encourages local restaurants to offer outdoor dining in which patrons can enjoy live entertainment simultaneously.

The promenade series will be held every Thursday from June 27 through Aug. 1, with the exception of July 4. The concerts will be located on either Bond Street or the north side of Middle Neck Road in downtown Great Neck Plaza.

The full schedule as listed on the Business Improvement District’s website is as follows:

Thursday, June 27:  North Side of Middle Neck Road
Entertainment: Street Fighter/Liverpool Shuffle

Thursday, July 11:  North Side of Middle Neck Road
Entertainment: Just Sixties

Thursday, July 18:  Bond Street
Entertainment: Gotcha Covered featuring David Lamm

Thursday, July 25: Bond Street
Entertainment: Gathering Time

Thursday, August 1: Location: TBD

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