Music from all Weehawken’s schools First-ever district-wide concert to be held Friday night

When Weehawken Superintendent of Schools Kevin McLellan was a music teacher in Union City several years ago, he organized a musical concert that incorporated the students of all Union City schools, from elementary school through the high school.

“It was something I always wanted to do when I took over here,” said McLellan, who is a product of the Weehawken school system. “It’s a worthwhile experience for the students and getting them all together just contributes to arts education.”

So McLellan got his music teachers together, namely Piero Romano (Webster School), Suzanne Levine (Roosevelt) and Steve Spinosa (Weehawken High), and bounced the idea of having a district-wide concert in Weehawken.

“It was something we wanted to do for the last several years,” McLellan said. “We wanted to have a way for the parents to see all the performing groups in our schools in one show. It’s a way to view all the good things going on in all of the schools.”

All age groups

Friday night (April 20), the first-ever all-district Weehawken music concert will take place at Weehawken High School’s auditorium, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the concert are free and are available at the respective schools. Transportation to Weehawken High School will be provided from both Webster and Roosevelt schools if needed.

Spinosa, who will receive the national Mr. Holland’s Opus Award in New York this weekend for his long-time dedication to the music program at Weehawken, liked the idea of having all the schools and age groups together for one shining performance.

“It’s a way for all the groups to collaborate, which never would have happened otherwise,” Spinosa said. “The children have all been working on their performance pieces for a few weeks now in preparation for the concert.”

New experience for ensemble, band

For Spinosa’s two musical groups, the Jazz Ensemble and the Marching Band, it will mark the first time that they will perform with a vocal accompaniment, meaning the choirs of Webster and Roosevelt schools.

“That’s something a little different,” Spinosa said. “I know that they’re excited, because they’ve never done anything like this before. But they’re also a little apprehensive, because they’re accompanying more than 100 singers and that’s much different than just playing the music.”

Spinosa said that the senior members of the high school band are especially excited.

“Because this will be the last time they will get a chance to perform in the high school before graduation,” Spinosa said. “So I know that they’re working hard to make this as good of a performance as they can give.”

“Getting the marching band on the stage together has been a challenge,” Spinosa said.

The concert will culminate with a performance of all of the groups together.

“Some of the younger kids have never performed in front of an audience like this,” McLellan said. “It’s giving them a chance of a lifetime. It’s giving them a wealth of experience. It should be a great, enjoyable evening.”

Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either or


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