On February 28th, 2022, for the first time in Newfield history, there was a celebration for Black History Month catapulted by our own Ms. Meichner.
When asked why she felt that it was important for Newfield to have such an event she said, “So we can celebrate all of the contributions of the black community not only in the Middle Country but all of New York.” She adds, “Black people have contributed more than music but also to the sciences and engineering”. In addition to her endless thanks for the support from the Middle Country Community, she described the efforts of putting together such an event -- music rehearsals, dance rehearsals, advertisement, and securing Suffolk County Legislator Mr. Jason Richberg as a guest speaker. Mr. Richberg is a prominent minority rights leader in the Suffolk community. He gave a speech in which he expressed how all people, no matter what color, in reality, have the same goal of happiness and poetically how Black History, and all history, is the unsung song of trying to secure that happiness.
Other parts of the program included a performance by the Jazz Band “Once More Once”, who took it to the nines with multiple saxophone solos. There was energetic dancing by Jasmine Recova, Sebastian Hererra, Chalaylee Myers, and Ashleigh Murray who together form the Step Squad. There were two video messages, one from Broadway actress Q. Smith of “Come From Away”, and the other from Jets player & proud Newfield alumni Elijah Riley. Following were performances by the Chamber Orchestra and Drum Club, as well as the reading of an original poem by senior Cassie Bruscino. And to top off the evening, there was singing from all of Newfield’s choruses joined into one, with their last song encouraging the audience’s participation and creating an aura of unity in the auditorium.
Among the participants this year was Austin Pelissier, who was recently accepted into a selective program for the NAACP ACT-SO, as part of their Arts and Entertainment Initiative. Only thirty people are chosen annually and meet in a convention where they produce music and create projects to be presented at the NAACP Image Awards. Pelissier, who serves as historian of the Thespian Honor Society, Vice President of the Tri-M Honor Society, and Vice President of SADD, performed with the Drum Club. He adds, " It's a celebration that is truly needed and it's very past due. Music transcends any border and any generation. We can all connect through music and it's a wonderful medium to convey such a critical message."
When asking audience members for their comments on the show, one noted that “it was nice that they brought awareness to something and put together something with a purpose.”
Throughout Black History Month, Newfield had always found a way to implement it into their daily routine, like in the daily announcements. Yet, this was the first large, organized event we have held in its name. And for the greater benefit of the community, we hope it won't be the last.