Gravesend students put on a concert to remember

Applause echoed throughout the auditorium of I.S. 228 David A. Boody Junior High School in Gravesend as proud parents and friends cheered on students as they played their Annual Winter Concert on Thursday, January 22.

As the chorus opened the show with Pharrell’s hit single “Happy,” Linda Vallely spotted her sixth grade daughter in the sea of red vested singers.

“My eyes were tearing up, I can never keep a straight face when I watch her,” Vallely said as 12-year-old Ginamarie sang and danced along with her fellow students.

“These kids have really great voices,” she said while filming her daughter’s performance on her phone.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s kids singing,” said parent Danielle Labate. “They make you just wanna get up and dance!”

The packed auditorium was also filled with students who came to watch their friends perform.

Sixth grader Sophia Fusari said that I.S. 228 has a reputation for producing great musicians. “We have prodigies in this school. I know people from Staten Island who come here to play in the orchestra,” she said.

“The teachers just care so much. I’m really proud of where everyone has gone,” Fusari said.

“I loved it,” said 12-year-old student Gabriella Sturiale.

The school’s principal, Dominick D’Angelo, cheered on the musicians while parents danced to the symphony orchestra’s rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

“This is one of the hottest shows of the year,” D’Angelo told the crowd. “This is better than Carnegie Hall. We have the best students.”

Jessica Englehart, one of the new Brooklyn borough arts directors, was on hand to watch the product of the students’ hard work.

“The performance was breathtaking. The kids are so animated,” Englehart said. They just shine. They put their whole heart into the music. I look forward to coming back and seeing them again.”

When the show was winding down, ecstatic sixth grade chorus member Ginamarie Pettignano joined her mother in the crowd.

“My favorite thing is performing,” she said as her mom smiled from ear to ear.

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