St. Patrick’s Church in Bay Ridge once again hosted its annual Yuletide concert in the school’s Aldo Brushi Auditorium featuring the ISO Symphonic Band conducted by maestro and founder Brian Worsdale.
Joining Worsdale this year was the St. Aloysius High School Band, Choir and Strings, from Sidney, Australia. The musical contingent — which included over 100 performing members — is part of a Jesuit Catholic day school for boys affiliated with St. Aloysius’ College.
Bay Ridge was one of the stops on the group’s USA tour which also includes performances in major city like Chicago and Los Angeles. The top-flight entertainment provided by both bands and their outstanding ensembles was a special treat and was offered admission free.
The ISO Symphonic Band which has performed at Carnegie Hall is made up of local high students and graduates, and I believe, this was its seventh annual gig at St. Patrick’s.
While the Australian band was performing here, there was tragic news coming from its home city, Sidney, where a crazed Islamic extremist seized several hostages, killing two and wounding four. The Australian newspapers referred to it as the “Sidney Siege.”
‘Tis the season with several groups holding festive holiday parties. Among them, the Guild for Exceptional Children, State Senator Marty and Colleen Golden, the Brooklyn Cathedral Club, the Bay Ridge and Ovington Chapters of AARP, the Bay Ridge Democrat Club, the Merchants of Third Avenue, the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, the Catholic War Veterans, and, of course, this newspaper, to name a few.
Brooklyn Beep Eric Adams popped into Bay Ridge to stop by and glad hand celebrants at Justin Brannan‘s party at the Longbow Tavern.
A big Christmas gift to the Purpura family from Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. Peter’s son Father Peter Purpura becomes the new rector of the Brooklyn Basilica Cathedral of St. James effective January 31, 2015.
The elder Purpura is a past president of the Bay Ridge Community Council and for many years owned and operated the former Bay Ridge Travel Agency which was then located on the northwest corner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue.