CSI Post-Master’s Grads Impact Education Citywide

Marquitta Speller, Principal of Promise Academy Charter High School in the Harlem Children’s Zone

“The training that I received in the leadership program at CSI has helped prepare me for success in a demanding educational environment. After completing the program, I became a more reflective educator and leader.”

Those are the words of Marquitta Speller, Principal of Promise Academy Charter High School in the Harlem Children’s Zone, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty for all 10,000 children in a 97-block zone of Harlem.

“CSI teaches you how to lead with purpose and with vision. When your mission in life is to change the lives of children, these are the tools that you need to experience success.”

Speller, Promise Academy Principal since January 2010, completed her certification requirements at CSI in 2003. The skills that uniquely qualified her for her important position in a groundbreaking charter school environment can also be found in every high school on Staten Island.

That’s right; every high school on Staten Island currently employs at least one administrator who has honed his or her skills with a Leadership in Education Certificate from CSI. However, graduates from CSI’s Leadership in Education program aren’t a well-kept secret.

“These high-quality candidates go on to careers as administrators throughout New York City and the region as Assistant Principals, Principals, and Superintendents,” noted Ruth Powers Silverberg, EdD, coordinator of the Post-Master’s Advanced Certificate Program for Leadership in Education at CSI. “We currently have over 120 educational leaders in the system.”

“The students who are accepted into this highly competitive program join a cohort of fellow students, which helps foster a community of learning,” Silverberg said. “This learning community of highly qualified and motivated students moves through the program together so that they can provide a support system for each other in the program and beyond.”

“The CSI program focuses on how school leaders create conditions in schools that support high-quality teaching and learning for all students,” commented program alum Frank Giordano, Principal of Brooklyn’s MS 443. “At the same time, the CSI program is intensely personal, focusing on the leadership development of each participant.”

Courses include curriculum to human relations, as well as research and practice in educational leadership. Along with theory-driven coursework, students also gain valuable field experience through fieldwork projects focused on school and district level issues. Unique to CSI, students in the program also complete full-time internships in a New York City summer school program.

“These program components better prepare the candidate for a highly competitive career in the New York school system and also provide the opportunity to network with current leaders, many of whom are also fellow graduates,” Silverberg stated. “This further positions them to be the strongest possible school leaders.”

The next class of the Post-Master’s Certificate in Leadership in Education begins in July. Applications are currently being accepted. For questions, please contact the CSI Office of Graduate Admissions at 718.982.2019. The College of Staten Island, located at 2800 Victory Boulevard, is a senior college of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s leading urban university.

Leadership Graduates at a Glance

-Approximately 320 graduates in 19 graduating classes since 1997
-Every High School on Staten Island employs at least one program graduate
-6 District Supervisors
-2 Agency Directors
-44 employed on Staten Island
-51 employed in Brooklyn
-10 employed in Manhattan
-2 employed in Queens
-2 employed in Parochial schools
-5 employed in New Jersey

What Do Leadership Graduates Have to Say?

“I found the Leadership in Education program at CSI to be a thought-provoking, rigorous, and in-depth experience. The learning environment is collaborative, innovative, and reflective. The summer internship is an invaluable training experience and great networking opportunity. As a result, I felt thoroughly prepared and confident in my administrative abilities.”

-Philip J. Carollo, Assistant Principal, PS 22, Staten Island

“I am a graduate of the Leadership Program at the College of Staten Island. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is planning to go into an educational leadership role. All of the instructors are highly knowledgeable about what an educational leader needs, and are clearly in touch with the recent practices that are used in public schools. Sound strategies were provided and multiple opportunities were given in which we were able to explore, create, devise, and reflect on what an effective leader needs.

I am currently a principal of an elementary school and I have utilized many of the skills that I gained from my experiences at the Leadership Program at CSI.”

-Sophie Scamardella, Principal, PS 65 (The Academy of Innovative Learning) Staten Island

“I am a graduate of the Leadership Program of the College of Staten Island from nine years ago. The program has given me the foundation necessary to lead in New York City’s complex and dynamic educational system.”

-Joseph Scarmato, Principal, High School for Medical Professions, Brooklyn

“My course work in CSI was an experience that allowed me to collaborate with other professionals and to gain insight from professors who modeled the elements of effective leadership. I thank CSI for focusing my vision toward a constructivist-based leadership style”

-Malky Plutchok MS, CCC-SLP, SBL, SDL, Supervisor of Speech, Cluster 5

“Taking part in the CSI Leadership Program provided me with the opportunity to make great connections in all areas of the school community, as well as develop my skills as an administrator. I recognized that a school’s structure should be set up where every person has an active and equally important role in setting high expectations of clear academic goals for all students. In addition, it became clear that a leader can change or improve the climate of a school by exemplifying qualities of support, appreciation, recognition, and honest leadership to brighten the tone of a school environment and promote learning.”

-Maria Bender, Assistant Principal of Mathematics, IS 72, Staten Island

Understanding the Ramifications of Air Raids over Japan during WWII

This photo, labeled War Theatre #22, Saipan Island, February 24, 1945, is one of many digital assets found on a new Website that examines air raids on Japan during World War II.

According to its home page, Japanairraids.org is “an ongoing project to build a digital archive dedicated to the international dissemination of information about the World War II air raids against Japan.” 

The site’s creators, Cary Karacas, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy at the College of Staten Island and Bret Fisk, a writer and translator living in Japan, have compiled an impressive collection of official records and first-hand accounts of the air raids.

Professor Karacas obtained many of the primary English-language documents, videos, and sound recordings from the U.S. National Archives in College Park, MD and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Fisk has collected most of the Japanese-language documents and is conducting interviews with air raid survivors.

The bilingual Website offers an array of archived reports and footage in both English and Japanese. It contains aerial photos of cities before and after bombing raids as well as photos from the cockpits of the bombers themselves. It also contains first-hand accounts of the people affected by the air raids.

The concept emerged from a 2009 research trip to Japan where Professor Karacas attended a meeting of the Society to Record Air Raids on Japan, which has met annually since 1970. “At the meeting, I was struck by the fact that in the group’s 39-year existence, I was the first-non-Japanese to attend,” said Karacas. “I concluded that the creation of a bilingual digital database would be the best way to disseminate information about the raids and encourage others to research…topics related to the destruction of urban Japan.”

The archived reports include air intelligence reports that detail the planning of incendiary raids.” The striking “Survivor Accounts” section contains published materials that chronicle survivors’ experiences during the air raids. Some of the more haunting pieces involve Japanese citizens watching as their loved ones are struck by incendiary bombs or one account of a witness watching children tossing an unexploded bomb to each other seconds before it went off. The photos include pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bombs struck, as well as a photograph of a giant mushroom cloud hovering ominously over one of the cities.

Newsreels and propaganda films round out the Website’s archives along with “The Fighting AAF” radio broadcasts.

Since late November, the site has attracted nearly 100,000 unique visitors, all of whom are also invited to submit any materials they may have to help build the site’s archives so that they may reach people who do not possess the “time and resources to visit the physical archives” in Maryland. Karakas and Fisk have compiled a growing menagerie of archival reports, footage, and photographs that aims to be more than a sum of its parts.

Karakas said that he hopes that “the Website will encourage researchers to examine a multitude of topics related to the wartime reorganization of neighborhoods and cities under ever-changing civil defense policies,”

For more information about the site, visit www.japanairraids.org.

[gallery] Classroom with a View: CSI Students Ascend Mt. Vesuvius

The class stops at a scenic overlook to orient themselves within the Italian landscape on the walk up to the caldera of Mt. Vesuvius.

The geologic and cultural history of the first-century Roman Empire came alive for 12 College of Staten Island students last summer thanks to Professor Anderson Ohan’s 13-day geology field course at the Mt. Vesuvius region of Italy.

View the CSI Today Photo Gallery.

The four-credit course, Geology 547, provided a supervised study of the eruptive history of the only active volcano on the European continent. The response was so positive; he plans to take another group there this summer.

During their summer in Italy, the students visited the town of Pozzuolo, the Temple Serapis, the Solfataras, and the Isle of Capri, accumulating data and gaining knowledge about the geologic and volcanic history of the Mt. Vesuvius area. They stayed at the Vesuvian International Institute in Castellammare di Stabia; overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. The institute, a former monastery, is equipped with a dining room, classrooms, and numerous computers.

Jen Burtner, a graduate of New Dorp High School and a teacher at IS 61, received a BA in English in 2004 and a Master’s in Secondary Education in 2007 from CSI.  She joined the Italy trip because she was inspired by  Ohan when she studied Mount Kilauea with him in Hawaii.

Not only did she enjoy what she learned while traveling the world with a great professor, “the thought of four college credits in two weeks was very appealing,” Burtner admits. “Though science is not my focus or passion, I stayed in contact with [him after the Hawaii trip] because I wanted to emulate his teaching style. I often observed him while he was giving lectures, trying to put my finger on what it was that keeps his students engaged. I discovered it was his passion and vision, a skill I wanted as a teacher. When I heard about his course in Italy I jumped at the chance to see him in action once again.”

Mt. Vesuvius has erupted, explosively, eight times in the last 17,000 years. Ohan’s course focused on the famous catastrophic eruption of 79 CE that buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and was the first volcanic event that was described in detail, preserving Europe’s finest collection of first century Roman life. In addition, the art and architecture of previous cultures that occupied the Bay of Naples are preserved in Pompeii; the Oscans, the Greeks, the Etruscans, the Samnites, and the Romans.

The students studied the volcanic deposits, the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the casts of a number of Roman inhabitants who were buried by this eruption, in an attempt to understand the style of the 79 CE eruption.

Since the style of a past eruption is the key to a future eruption, the students visited the summit of Mt. Vesuvius, Oplontis, Boscareale, and Sorrento, gathering data from past eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius, attempting to understand, and possibly reach a conclusion, about the character future eruptions. Today, three million people live in the vicinity of Mt. Vesuvius and an eruptive event similar to the 79 CE eruption would be catastrophic.

Now that last summer’s journey to Italy is history, Professor Ohan has announced that he will be giving another lucky group of students the chance to visit the region next summer. This time he hopes to expand the trip to include a visit to Sicily.

For more information on this summer’s course in Italy, contact Professor Ohan at 718.982.2829 or anderson.ohan@csi.cuny.edu.

Library to Host Faculty Author Talks

The CSI Library will host another in its series of Faculty Author Talks next week.

The College of Staten Island Library Archives & Special Collections will present another in its series of Faculty Author Talks on Thursday, March 24 in the Library (Building 1L), Room 216 at 1:30pm.

Prof. Wilma Jones, Director of the CSI Library, explains the significance of these talks. “The program is significant in many ways. For one, it provides a forum for authors to talk briefly about the research that went into their book. Second, it offers the College community a chance to see what great works are being published by scholars at CSI.  Third, the forum offers the potential for future collaboration or cross-pollination between a faculty presenter and a member of the audience. Lastly, the forum may inspire students who attend these programs to consider working on his/her thesis with one of the presenters, after hearing about their research. Simply rewarding all around!”

The faculty featured at this session include:

Leonard Ciaccio, Department of Biology: The Youngest Partisan: A Young Boy who Fought the Nazis. Mesorah Publications, 2001.

Romi Cohen was ten years old when the Nazis took over his native Czechoslovakia; for the next five years he was a hunted fugitive and a valiant fighter with the partisans. Romi is separated from his mother, risks his life to save his father and others, and participates in successful battles against the Nazis. A. Romi Cohen was the rare Jew who turned from fugitive to hero–and with Dr. Leonard Ciaccio, he tells his story.

David A. Gerstner, Department of Media Culture: Queer Pollen: White Seduction, Black Male Homosexuality, and the Cinematic. University of Illinois Press, 2011.

Queer Pollen discusses three notable Black queer 20th-century artists and the unique ways they turned to various media to work through their experiences living as queer Black men. David A. Gerstner elucidates the complexities in expressing queer Black desire through traditional art forms such as painting, poetry, and literary prose, or in the industrial medium of cinema.

Kenneth Gold, Department of Education: Discovering Staten Island: A 350th Anniversary History of Staten Island. The History Press, 2011.

This book identifies 350 sites of historical significance on Staten Island with the intent of honoring the borough’s 350th anniversary. The book features subjects and sites such as abolitionism, the history of the fire and police departments, Prohibition Park, Lighthouse Hill, immigration, and local industry.

Timothy Gray, Department of English: Urban Pastoral: Natural Currents in the New York School. University of Iowa Press, 2010.

Were the urbane, avant-garde poets of the New York School secretly nature lovers like Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, and Annie Dillard? Timothy Gray urges us to reconsider our long-held appraisals of Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, and their peers as celebrants of cosmopolitan culture and to think of their more pastoral impulses.

James Kaser, Department of the Library: The Chicago of Fiction: A Resource Guide. Scarecrow Press, 2011.

The importance of Chicago in American culture has made the city’s place in the American imagination a crucial topic for literary scholars and cultural historians. This book provides detailed synopses for more than 1,200 works of fiction significantly set in Chicago and published between 1852 and 1980. It also includes plot summaries, names of major characters, and an indication of locales.

For more information on the Library’s Faculty Author Talks, email James A. Kaser, Professor and Archivist, at james.kaser@csi.cuny.edu.

For up-to-date event information visit the CSI Event Calendar.

Back from Asia, Sussman Begins U.S. Leg of Book Tour

Associate Professor Nan Sussman is embarking on the U.S. leg of her book tour.

Nan Sussman, Associate Professor of Psychology at CSI, and two-time Fulbright award recipient, has recently returned from a tour of Asia, where she discussed her book Return Migration and Identity: A Global Phenomenon, a Hong Kong Case. Prof. Sussman, who has gained international recognition for her research regarding the psychological impact of Chinese return migration,has received enthusiastic media attention in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing for her book, which has also been nominated for an Asia Society Book Award.

Now that she has returned to the States, Sussman will discuss her book at a number of venues in the region, including The Leonard Lopate Show on WYNC (820 AM and 93.9 FM) on March 16 at noon; the Asia Society in Washington, DC on March 22 at 8:00pm; The Strand Book Store in Manhattan on April 11 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, where she will read passages from the book; and the CUNY Asian American/Asian Research Institute on April 29 at 6:30pm.

Katie Cumisky, Chairperson of the CSI Psychology Department commented,”The Psychology Department is so excited about the reception that her current book is getting and we plan to attend her reading/signing at The Strand.”

Sussman received a Fulbright grant in 2004 to interview 50 “re-emigrants,” people who moved from Hong Kong to Western countries and then returned, in order to gauge how they coped with the transition. “As a research psychologist, I am interested in understanding the process of cultural transitions and developing solutions to minimizing the distress associated with these transitions,” Sussman said in an earlier interview. “I am particularly interested in reverse culture shock, the process of returning to your home country, either by sojourners (teachers, students, business personnel, missionaries, etc) or immigrants, and the subsequent changes in identity.”

Sussman also taught Psychology 217: Psychology and Chinese Culture at Shanghai University in China last year, where she joined CUNY students to teach an intensive four-week Winter Session course on Chinese culture with a focus on psychological research.

Conference to Address Staten Island’s Past, Present, and Future

L-R: NY State Assemblyman Matthew Titone and City Councilwoman Debi Rose will be among the featured speakers at the conference.

Everyone is invited to participate in this weekend’s groundbreaking conference, Staten Island in American History and 21-Century Education, a two-day event with 80 presentations, including panels on various themes from Dutch architecture to contemporary politics, from war memorials to the history of local parks, including the tenth anniversary of the closing of Fresh Kills. Other special panels will examine transportation history, Miller Field, Catholic and Jewish history, Dorothy Day, and immigration. The conference will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20 in the College of Staten Island Center for the Arts from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

View the full schedule of activities.

On Sunday at 10:30am, City Councilwoman Debi Rose will make opening remarks at the roundtable on civil rights, exploring her role in the naming of the Martin Luther King Expressway and other turning points in borough history, while at the same time Assemblyman Matthew Titone will make introductory remarks at a roundtable on the history of the LGBTQ movement on Staten Island since the 1950s.

In addition, the preeminent historian of New York City, Prof. Kenneth T. Jackson, author of the newly released The Encyclopedia of New York City will speak and do a book signing on Sunday from 12:30pm to 1:45pm. His topic “Emerging from the Shadow: Staten Island and the Challenge of the 21st Century” will explore the transformation of the borough since the opening in 1964 of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the ways in which Staten Island differs from the other four counties in New York. Prof. Jackson argues that “this borough has many advantages that could become critical in the next half century.”  Borough President James Molinaro is expected to make opening remarks and dozens of local historians and speakers from across the country will participate in discussing local sites and topics.

The fee is $15 for one or both days and can be paid at the door. Please RSVP to info@si350.org if you plan to attend lunch on Saturday or Sunday or if you’d like to participate in the full program. Additional information is available on the conference Website.

The conference is co-sponsored by si350, the Staten Island Foundation, and the College of Staten Island, Wagner College, and St. John’s University. Event Co-Chairs are Prof. Phillip Papas and Margaret Berci.

Event Details:

Saturday, March 19:

-9:00am to 10:15am: Five sessions including:

“Monuments and Memories: World War I, 9/11, and Beyond”

Gravestones at Moravian Cemetery, Richard Simpson, Historian, Moravian Cemetery

“Doughboys in Marble and Stone: The ‘Great War’ in Staten Island Memory,” Phillip Papas, Union County College

“Staten Island’s 9/11 Memorial: The Architecture of Memory,” Jenny Pachucki, National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and Wagner College

-10:30am to 11:45am:  Five sessions including:

“Staten Island Politics since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge” (Roundtable). Participants: Tom Wrobleski, Staten Island Advance; Richard Flanagan, College of Staten Island/CUNY; Jeffrey A. Kroessler, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY; Thomas LaManna, College of Staten Island/CUNY.

-11:45am: Lunch

-1:00pm to 2:15pm: Five sessions and 15 papers, including:

“The Archaeology of Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” Sherene Baugher, Cornell University

-2:30pm to 3:45pm, Fve sessions including:

Contextualizing the Willowbrook School Site:

“A History of Land Use of the Willowbrook School Site,” James A. Kaser, College of Staten Island/CUNY

“Halloran General Hospital,” Henry J. Kennedy, Esq., Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

“An Institutional History and Sociological Analysis of the Willowbrook State School,” David Goode, College of Staten Island/CUNY


The Spirit of Place and Legend:

“The Neighborhood Games: Coaching Legends, Community, and Thanksgiving Day Football,” Jay Price, Staten Island Sports Historian, former Staten Island Advance reporter

“Genius of Genius Loci: An Exploration of Sense of Place in the Works of Paul Zindel,” Jessica R. Kratz, Greenbelt Nature Center, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

-4:oopm to 5:15pm: Keynote Address:

Carmen Fariña, former NYC Deputy schools chancellor, “Making Connections: Social Studies as a Vehicle for Understanding Ourselves and the World”

Sunday, March 20:

-9:00am to 10:15pm: Five sessions including:

The Legacy and Promise of Fresh Kills:

“The History of Fresh Kills Operations,” Ted Nabavi, NYC Department of Sanitation

“Interpretations of Made Land,” Robin Nagle, New York University and the NYC Department of Sanitation

“The Transformation of Freshkills,” Eloise Hirsh, Freshkills Park Administrator

-10:30am to 11:45am:

Trains, Bridges and Highways: The Politics of  New York City Transportation and Its Impact on Staten Island: Chair/Commentator: Charles L. Sachs, Historian and former Senior Curator, New York Transit Museum

“Missing the Train: New York City Subways, the Dual Contracts, and the Failed Effort to Tunnel to Staten Island, 1898-1913,” Kenneth M. Gold, College of Staten Island/CUNY

“Beyond the Bridge: Robert Moses and the Parkways on Staten Island,” Jeffrey A. Kroessler, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/(CUNY

-11:45am-12:30pm: Lunch

-12:30-1:45: Keynote Address:

Prof. Kenneth T. Jackson, “Emerging from the Shadow: Staten Island and the Challenge of the 21st Century”

-2:00pm to 3:15pm: Borough Historians’ Plenary Session:

“1898: New York City’s Consolidation and Its Ramifications” (Roundtable Discussion),  Chair: Robert Weible, New York State Historian. Participants: Thomas W. Matteo, Staten Island Borough Historian; Michael Miscione, Manhattan Borough Historian; Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn Borough Historian; Jack Eichenbaum, Queens Borough Historian; Lloyd Ultan, Bronx Borough Historian

Music Students Get Virtuoso Instruction at Master Class

Virtuoso violinist Yevgeny Kutik recently conducted a master class for students at the College of Staten Island.

Recently, four aspiring violinists from Staten Island had the rare opportunity of working with the Russian American virtuoso violinist Yevgeny Kutik, who was at CSI to perform a program of classical music later that day.

The 24 year-old musician, who has rapidly gained international acclaim since his 2003 concerto debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra, gave the students inspiring criticism of their performances of challenging compositions from the violin repertoire, including movements from violin concertos by Felix Mendelssohn and Samuel Barber. Details about tone production and expression received microscopic attention from the violinist as he probed each student’s approach to the instrument and to the works they presented.

The students included two current CSI Music majors, Stephanie Geraci and Melissa Folzenlogan; Gerri Galardo, a Music alumnus who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Hunter College;  and Jefferson Dixon, a Tottenville High School student. The four participants were selected by their violin teacher, Olivier Fluchaire, who serves on the faculties of the College of Staten Island and Hunter College.

Weighing in on her experience in the class, Geraci said, “Yevgeny Kutik helped me further understand the basics of using the bow. He also gave me great ideas for how to improve my piece, like how to phrase certain passages, and how vibrato will bring out certain notes.”

For his part, Dixon noted that he appreciates the exceptional caliber of instruction that he received in this master class. “As a violinist, you spend hours in the practice room perfecting technical issues and repeating passages countless times. However, this is all in vain if you cannot translate a message to your audience. At CSI, we as musicians were given the opportunity to learn the art of performance, which is vital to any musician. Having the resources of an excellent, professional faculty supplemented with master classes by such maestros as Yevgeny Kutik truly teaches us more than any amount of practice alone could. Working with these individuals, you realize that playing the violin is much more than a skill, but an art. I’d like to personally thank Yevgeny Kutik for inspiring me, and I thank CSI and Prof. Olivier Fluchaire for allowing this opportunity.”

CSI Music Professor Dr. William Bauer offered his insights into the class from a faculty perspective. “The student performers amazed me in the way they each responded to Mr. Kutik’s insights. Despite differences in style and level of development, these young musicians made noticeable leaps in the approach each took to the music. Mr. Kutik challenged them all to grow and expand their vision of what is possible, both in terms of sound production and in terms of expression and interpretation.”

This unique educational experience was made possible by Professor Emeritus the late Dr. Michael Shugrue, who sponsored the evening concert, which was part of a series of classical events that he promoted in collaboration with the Division of College Advancement and External Affairs and the Center for the Arts.

Past master classes have exposed students to the artistry of the jazz singers Jean Rohe, Gretchen Parlato, and Marguerite Jeunemann as part of the Music program’s mission to broaden Music majors’ horizons by bringing them together with actively touring concert artists.

Chamber Music Collective of CSI Faculty Present Works Spanning Four Centuries

The Chamber Music Collective of CSI performs this Monday at the Center for the Arts under the directorship of CSI faculty pianist Dr. Sylvia Kahan.

The Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island presents The Chamber Music Collective (CMC) of CSI on Monday, March 14, 2011 at 7:30pm.

The Chamber Music Collective of the College of Staten Island is a group of faculty musicians who teach in the Music Program of the Department of Performing and Creative Arts. All of these artist-teachers have performed in New York’s major concert halls (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, etc.) and many have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally, to audience and critical acclaim. Under the directorship of CSI faculty pianist Dr. Sylvia Kahan, the Chamber Music Collective brings together this esteemed group of faculty artists to present diverse small-ensemble works spanning four centuries.

The core members of the Collective are: Elena Heimur, soprano; Edward Brown, guitar; David Wechsler, flute; David Keberle, clarinet; Olivier Fluchaire, violin; Renee Briggs, Sylvia Kahan, and Yoojin Oh, piano; and David Clive, percussion.

For the inaugural concert, the CMC, joined by guest artists Kurt Briggs (violin), William Frampton (viola), and Matthew Goeke (cello), will present works by Poulenc’s Flute Sonata, Hummel Grande Serenade for guitar, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano; four songs on Russian poems by Rachmaninoff; and an arrangement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in F major, K. 413, for piano and string quartet. The program will also feature the Staten Island premiere of a work by CSI faculty composer David Keberle, Percorsi d’anima, for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.

The creation of a resident faculty chamber music group at CSI has been a long-time dream of Sylvia Kahan, who has taught at CSI since 1996. “The Music Program tried to launch a faculty series several times before, but various difficulties made the idea hard to realize. In recent years, our beloved and recently deceased music benefactor, Dr. Michael Shugrue, filled the need for classical music concerts with his enlightened patronage. Thanks to Dr. Shugrue, the New York Philharmonic Ensembles and various other eminent groups brought their talents to the Center for the Arts, enriching immeasurably the lives of the campus community. It is hoped that, now, the Chamber Music Collective can fill the need for chamber music on campus left by Dr. Shugrue’s passing. Our goal is to offer programs that balance beloved, well-known works with rarities from the classical-music repertoire. These programs will also include 20th- and 21st-century works by established modern composers, including our own outstanding faculty composers.”

The Center for the Arts will offer only one program by the Chamber Music Collective this Spring 2011 semester. It is hoped, however, that, as interest in the group grows and as audiences develop, more frequent performances will be scheduled.

Tickets for this performance are $10 and can be reserved in person in Building 1P, Room 113; by phone at 718.982.ARTS (2787); by mail at 2800 Victory Boulevard, 1P-113, Staten Island, NY 10314; or via the CFA Website.  The Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturday from noon to 3:00pm.