December 2016 – Last week I attended a charity concert at Lincoln Center, NY to benefit Catholic School education. What a wonderful night for a wonderful cause!
2,800 people filled David Geffen Hall for “The Magic of Christmas” concert. It featured the fantastic “New York Tenors”: Andy Cooney, Daniel Rodriguez and Christopher Macchio, as well as the winner of Italy’s “The Voice”, Sister Cristina Scuccia. The Hibernian Festival Singers performed backup, as well as a Children’s Choir from Sacred Heart-Saint Stephen parish in Brooklyn.
The concert raised $1 million for Futures in Education, a scholarship foundation for Catholic school students in the Brooklyn Diocese, which also includes Queens. As a product of Catholic schools in Queens, I’m proud to be a member of the Brooklyn Diocese Hall of Fame, which honors people who attended Catholic schools in the diocese.
Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, the Vicar for Development, presented the check to Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who heads the diocese. Among those in attendance were Congressman Peter King and his wife Rosemary, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. George Mitchell, nationally known Msgr. Jim Lisante and fellow Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly.
The concert was wonderful! I’ve known Irish singer Andy Cooney since my days hosting an Irish music program at Fordham University (“Ceol Na Gael” on WFUV 90.7 FM). Andy was just starting out as a singer back then. My co-host Kathleen Biggins and I played his songs on our show. We’ve been friends ever since. Andy has become a huge success, dubbed by the NY Times as “Irish America’s Favorite Son”.
Many remember Daniel Rodriguez as “The Singing Cop”, a now-retired NYPD officer who inspired the nation after 9/11 with his stirring renditions of “God Bless America” and the National Anthem performed around the country. He now sings opera and inspirational songs around the world and is very involved in philanthropy.
Christopher Macchio is an absolutely phenomenal young tenor, who sent chills through the audience with his unforgettable version of “O Holy Night”. This guy has an unbelievable voice. He’s also involved in many charities and is currently Long Island’s Vice Chair of US Marines Toys for Tots.
My husband and I both agree this magical night gave us, and everyone else at Geffen Hall, the Christmas spirit.