FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Putnam County Executive
October 21, 2013
Big Band Evening Draws Crowd to Putnam County Golf Course
“We’ll be more than happy to have the Sonny Carroll orchestra back anytime.”
– General Manager Mike McCall
It was standing room only when band leader Sonny Carroll brought his 20-piece orchestra for a late Sunday afternoon performance of classic swing-era music to the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac recently. The event, a partnership between the County and the Putnam Arts Council, was free and open to the public. Guests who were inclined could enjoy a $20 per person buffet dinner prepared by Home Style Caterers.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was among the more than 150 people who attended the Oct. 20 event over the course of the evening. Afterwards, Odell said she hoped there would be future appearances by the band at the club.
“There was a great turnout. The ballroom at Putnam County Golf Course was packed,” Odell said. “Everyone just loved the music and the dancing. There is obviously a huge Big Band following here in the Hudson Valley. We are now looking into what we can do to continue to do this at the golf course.”
The event was reminiscent of Carroll’s twice monthly Sunday appearances at Sciortino’s in Brewster where he entertained for approximately five years until the restaurant closed.
The 92-year old bandleader, whose real name is Angelo Testerano, lives in nearby Danbury. He formed his popular band in 1973. The group is composed of 20 musicians playing trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitar, bass and drums and two vocalists. Amazingly enough, Testerano ignores computers and writes his musicians’ scores by hand. He still takes charge of the set-up and take-down of each gig they play.
Marc Pekowsky, a Mahopac resident and Board member for the Putnam Arts Council, plays saxophone in the orchestra and was instrumental in bringing the band to the newly renovated golf course. Pekowsky, a music teacher in the Yonkers Public School District, who has known Odell for many years through their shared interest in several community projects, met the County Executive by chance at the golf course during while it was undergoing its many renovations. Pekowsky told her he thought the ballroom with its raised stage and dance floor would be the perfect setting for the Sonny Carroll Orchestra.
“I knew there were a lot of people in our area who love to dance. I felt quite sure there was an audience for this kind of quality entertainment in Carmel,” Pekowsky said. “I told her and she just said, ‘Let’s do it!’
Odell quickly introduced Pekowsky to PCGC General Manager Mike McCall and, as Pekowsky said, “Once the management of the golf course came on board, it just happened. The setting at the golf course, with its stage and dance floor, is enormously appealing to many people. The event was truly successful and beyond our wildest dreams. I hope this kind of entertainment can continue here in Carmel,” he said.
Putnam Tourism Director Libby Pataki agreed with Odell’s assertion that the Big Band sound is popular and will draw people to where the great music is being played.
“To walk into that room and hear that wonderful music was a trip down Memory Lane for me, said Pataki. “My parents fell in love to this music, danced to this music and enjoyed it so much their entire lives. To have this musical history continue to be so strong here in Putnam is a great thing.”
McCall said he was more than happy to have been brought on board and was quite enthusiastic about the number of people who attended the music and dancing event. He estimated that of the more than 150 who attended, about half took advantage of the reasonably priced buffet dinner.
“The band certainly delivered a good night for everyone who attended,” said McCall. “We’ll be more than happy to have the Sonny Carroll Orchestra back anytime.”
Full House: The Sonny Carroll Orchestra and its Big Band sound drew a full house at Putnam County Golf Course on Sunday, Oct. 20. Tourism Director Libby Pataki believes Big Band music fans will travel to where the great music is being played.
Room Shot: The ballroom at the newly renovated Putnam County Golf Course was filled with couples enjoying an evening out to dine and dance to the sounds of Big Band music played by The Sonny Carroll Orchestra last Sunday.
Dancing: Couples flocked to the dance floor as The Sonny Carroll Orchestra played Big Band music at the newly renovated Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac on Oct. 20th.