Long Island's Usdan/Bethpage Scholars in the Arts Announced

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Long Island's Usdan/Bethpage Scholars in the Arts Announced

Five talented Long Island music students will once again receive a unique opportunity to study and perform at Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts this summer, thanks to a charitable scholarship program developed by Usdan Center and Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

The Usdan Center/Bethpage Scholar in the Arts program gives accomplished students who otherwise couldn’t attend Usdan, the opportunity to study at the award winning summer arts day camp. The students were chosen for their fine musicianship and for their achievements as outstanding representatives of their communities.

Usdan’s Executive Director Dale Lewis said: “We are proud to partner with Bethpage Federal Credit Union, one of our region’s preeminent leaders in corporate philanthropy. For the second year, we salute Kirk Kordeleski, President and CEO, and his staff for their generous support of five of Long Island’s top student musicians.”

As part of the Usdan/Bethpage scholarship program, five individual Bethpage community branches will, in effect, “adopt” a Usdan/Bethpage scholar, and the students will each receive recognition in their Bethpage community branch for the remainder of the year. The students were introduced to their Bethpage branch sponsors at a June 12th reception at Usdan Center.

"Bethpage is strong supporter of the arts on Long Island and is very proud to partner with the Usdan Center to help these five talented, deserving students benefit from its unsurpassed, professional art programs," said Kirk Kordeleski, President and CEO, Bethpage. "I am confident that each student will have an invaluable summer arts experience at Usdan."

The winners of the Usdan/Bethpage Scholar in the Arts program are: from Lynbrook, Ben Barnett - Trombone, 12th grade, sponsored by the Lynbrook Branch; from Huntington Station, Collin Richardson - Trombone, 11th grade, sponsored by the Huntington Station branch; from Brentwood, MeLisa Brown - Flute, 11th grade, sponsored by the Bay Shore branch; from West Babylon, Megan Haggerty - Voice, 9th grade, sponsored by the North Babylon branch; and from Blue Point, Mike Williams - Voice, 12th grade, sponsored by the Patchogue branch.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union (www.bethpagefcu.org) is a not-for-profit financiAl Cooperative, existing solely to serve its members and has experienced rapid growth in recent years to become a strong alternative to banks. Bethpage was approved for the largest federal community charter in the U.S. in 2003 and now is Long Island's largest credit union and leading community financial institution with over 180,000 members, 22 branches and 60 shared service center locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. As a financiAl Cooperative, Bethpage offers better rates, lower fees and a full menu of personal and commercial financial services.

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (www.usdan.com), is the nation’s premier not-for-profit summer arts day camp. Usdan, now entering its 45th season, has been declared a “Best Of” camp TimeOutNY/Kids, and by NY Metro Parents, and Long Island Press. Usdan is open to all young people from age 6 to 18, and no audition is needed for most programs. Admission to Usdan is based on an expression of interest in the arts. The Center is situated on a 200-acre woodland campus in Huntington, Long Island, to which 1,600 students travel each day on buses that depart from neighborhoods throughout the New York metropolitan area. Although Usdan’s mission is for every child to establish a skill-based relationship with the arts, the unique inspiration of the Center has caused many to go on to professional careers. Usdan’s 60,000 alumni include actors Natalie Portman, Olivia Thirlby and Lisa Gay Hamilton, singers Jane Monheit and Mariah Carey, Broadway playwright Michele Lowe, Grammy-Award winning producer Adam Abeshouse, Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra conductor Adam Glaser, and members of major American orchestras, dance, and theater companies.

Usdan was formed to provide children with the arts as a companion for life through great teaching, and the camaraderie of fellow students whose bond is their love of the arts. Usdan offers more than 40 programs in orchestra, band, chorus, guitar, piano in the Music Department; ballet, modern, jazz, and tap dance in the Dance Department; musical theater or drama in the Theater Department; creative writing, fashion design, chess nature and ecology, and organic gardening. A special feature of each student’s program is the Center's series of Festival Concerts, daily educational performances by distinguished artists. Some of those who have appeared at Usdan include James Galway, Yo-Yo Ma, Canadian Brass, jazz artists Jimmy Heath, Arturo O’Farrill, Jon Faddis, Cark Terry, and Jane Monheit, the Tokyo String Quartet, the Limon Dance Company, and stars of numerous Broadway shows.

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