RAISE YOUR VOICES
Sing your heart out, with the Islanders Performance Experience Program.
Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 3:04 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
With the purchase of a Performance Experience Package, local singing groups and students from local area schools have the ability to watch an Islanders game with their friends and classmates at the Nassau Coliseum as well as sing the National Anthem, America the Beautiful or God Bless America.
Last November, Susan Pace, a music teacher at the Brentwood South Middle School, brought 120 of her music students to the Nassau Coliseum to sing the National Anthem before the Islanders faced off against the Edmonton Oilers. And during the first intermission, the students sang God Bless America.
Our kids in Brentwood don’t really have too much a background in hockey so for them to come to a hockey game was an absolute wonderful experience for them. By five minutes into the game they were like they had been fans forever. - Susan Pace“Our kids in Brentwood don’t really have too much a background in hockey so for them to come to a hockey game was an absolute wonderful experience for them. By five minutes into the game they were like they had been fans forever,” Pace said about her students’ experience last season. “For the kids to go over and attend a hockey game was just fabulous. They had a great time. They were so well behaved. They just thought it was the best thing to be able to go to a professional game and enjoy themselves.”
The group of students from Brentwood was so large that they couldn’t fit on the ice. Instead, they stood in the stands and were pictured on the scoreboard hanging from the ceiling of the Coliseum. The students were even shown on local television programming in Nassau County.
Pace called the experience wonderful and said, “It was just spectacular,” but more than anything she said the ability for her sixth-eighth grade students’ to sing the National Anthem “was such an honor.”
“It’s wonderful to give honor to your country in a way that’s professional and a way that’s lets the local schools know that the Islanders have a connection with the community and that there are ways to give to the community by sharing their music with the community,” Pace said.
Since their experience was so positive, Pace is excited to bring her students back for another game this coming season. “Oh it was so much fun, absolutely. We are booked to come back on October 16th,” Pace said.
But the students at Brentwood weren’t the only ones who had the opportunity to sing at an Islanders game last season. Nicole Dougherty, the former President of the Parent Teachers Association at the Medford Elementary School, brought 30 fourth and fifth grade students to the Coliseum for the Islanders game on January 12 versus the Detroit Red Wings.
The kids absolutely loved it. It was an amazing event. The parents loved it, the kids loved it. It was a huge hit. The kids felt like rock stars when they were going through the back hallway while they were waiting to go on the ice and sing. - Nicole Dougherty“The kids absolutely loved it. It was an amazing event,” Dougherty said. “The parents loved it, the kids loved it. It was a huge hit. The kids felt like rock stars when they were going through the back hallway while they were waiting to go on the ice and sing.”
More than anything, the event allows you to bring a group of your friends to an Islanders game for an affordable rate while you get to feel a little like a celebrity when you sing in front of the entire audience at the Coliseum.
“It’s a really fun event to do. You see these kids at school everyday and it’s nice to see them in a different atmosphere where they’re more laid back. It’s an experience they’ll talk about their whole lives,” Dougherty said. “A lot of kids, in our area at least, don’t get the chance to go to a hockey game and stuff like that so for the affordable tickets at a group rate, it makes it a little more financially feasible for people and it’s something that they get to remember. They were out on the ice with the New York Islanders.”
Pace and her students at Brentwood aren’t the only school to have planned a return trip to for this coming season. Dougherty and the PTA are also in their planning stages to have the students at the Medford Elementary School return.
“We decided to do it again this year because number one, everybody loved it and two, last years’ third graders were looking forward to doing it this year as fourth graders. So it’s going to be one of those things that they look forward to doing it as they get old enough.”
If you would like to start your own tradition, join the Islanders by signing up for one of the Performance Experience Packages for the 2010-11 season. They are already being booked and won’t be around for long, so if you are interested in getting involved please contact the Islanders Group Sales department by calling (800)882-ISLES Ext. 3 or emailing GroupSales@NewYorkIslanders.com.