Bravo! P.S. 105 students celebrate Italian heritage

“Today, everyone is Italian!” Lee Anne Infantino declared on Friday, October 31, capping off P.S. 105’s first annual Italian-American Cultural Celebration.

Infantino, P.S. 105’s program director, greeted a packed auditorium before an afternoon of traditional Italian songs, booming operatic pieces and melodic show tunes. The students and faculty of 105 pulled out all stops, coordinating performances ranging from Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” to the works of Giuseppe Verdi.

According to teacher Joseph Devito, whose class performed the folk song “Tarantella Napoletana,” P.S. 105’s success can be attributed to the community’s commitment to diversity. “What makes P.S. 105 the place to be is that we celebrate diversity and all lifestyles,” Devito said following his class’s performance.

In addition, the students of P.S. 105 played music accompanied by piano, violin and coordinated dance pieces (including both a traditional and techno version of the Italian National Anthem). The school’s Cultural Celebration was well-timed, coming at the very end of October- recognized as Italian Culture Month.

P.S. 105’s celebration of Italian-American heritage didn’t begin and end with Friday’s performance, according to school Principal Johanna Castronovo. Earlier in October, fourth grade students had embarked on a field trip to Little Italy for New York’s sixth annual Marco Polo Festival. Just as New York has celebrated the relationship between Chinatown and Little Italy, the P.S. 105 faculty has worked to integrate the two cultures with one another.

“The (Little Italy) field trip and cultural celebration have helped merge the Chinese and Italian communities together,” Castronovo said following the afternoon show.

While the school’s arts program received praise from Castronovo in her closing remarks, teacher Anita Berger (who played piano throughout the show) delivered praise where it was due in her assessment of the event.

“I’d like to salute all of the parents for having such wonderful and talented children,” Berger said.

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