As concert season comes into full swing all across Long Island, the scenery of North Shore communities intertwines with the artistry of resident-musicians, giving concertgoers a slice of the local music scene. Sea Cliff has two concert series that have become staples during the summer months: Sunset Serenades and Music by the Beach.
“Part of the allure of Sea Cliff is its arts and music community,” said Sea Cliff Mayor Edward Lieberman. “Add [local] talent with family gatherings for a quiet evening of musical enjoyment.”
A 20-year-long village tradition, Sunset Serenades is the result of an influx of new members joining the Sea Cliff Civic Association, whose aim is to enrich the community and create opportunities for other Long Islanders to enjoy. “Lots of events were proposed that continue to enrich the community, but none more wonderful than Sunset Serenades,” said Ann DiPietro, president of the association.
The concert series is held at Veterans Memorial Park (130 Prospect Ave.) every Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. The annual lineup is decided by resident Patrice Kaider, and each year the list of acts grows more diverse, with music ranging from jazz to classical.
DiPietro said it was Kaider who decided where the weekly concerts would take place. “Memorial Park is probably the most beautiful spot in Sea Cliff,” she said, “with its singular view of the harbor and magnificent sunsets.”
This year’s series kicked off with Larry Martone and Friends, a folk rock group, and on July 11, residents were treated to a performance by the Rusty String Band, a psychedelic/bluegrass group.
“These events are great for the community, as it is so nice to be able to be together in a beautiful setting listening to great, homegrown music,” said Amy Peters, who plays mandolin and sings for the Rusty String Band. “The musicians like to do it for much [of] the same reason.”
Later in the season, organizers allow young, aspiring musicians to showcase their talent and offer a folk music festival and a soul music revue. The series lasts for ten weeks, from the end of June through the end of August.
In its second major concert series, Music at the Beach, students from the local high schools who are interested in theatre technology are encouraged to participate by organizing the evening’s production. The series, which is celebrating its twelfth year of entertainment, is held every Friday night at Sea Cliff Beach (96 The Blvd.) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The beach-centered series also capitalizes on the talent the community has to offer; its lineup this summer includes a Rolling Stones cover band and other rock and experimental groups. Where visitors to Sunset Serenades put out picnic blankets and lawn chairs to sit in the grass, guests of Music at the Beach enjoy the sounds of local acts while squishing their toes in the sand.
“[Sea Cliff] has always been good at gathering around music and arts,” said Trustee Henriette Rohl, the village’s liaison to the beach. “Everyone comes down on a volunteer basis, and [they] fill that park up with kids and adults.”