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The fourth annual Long Island Music Hall of Fame Awards ceremony and fund-raising gala inducted new members Oct. 18 in the recently renovated and much-improved multimedia stage performance space, “The Paramount,” on New York Avenue in the heart of Huntington Village.
The primary mission of the hall of fame is to celebrate and preserve Long Island’s musical heritage as an important resource. And in continuing that mission, the founding board members and Founding Chairman Richard L’Hommedieu, organized an eclectic group of music industry celebrities, acts and awardees. Inductees and special guests included country singer Charlie Daniels, singer Taylor Dane, rappers of Whodini, classic rock band Barnaby Bye, songwriter Ervin Drake and hip-hop pioneers, originally from Queens, Salt-n-Pepa.
Cheryl “Salt” Wray and Sandra “Pepa” Denton are alumni of Queensborough Community College and attended with Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper.
Among the other notable Queens connections, Queens College professor Edward Smaldone, chairman of the college’s Aaron Copland School of Music, introduced 90-year-old Professor Emeritus Leo Kraft, still an active composer. Kraft is a member of ASCAP, a past president of the American Music Center of the Aaron Copland School and a current member of the advisory committee of the League of Composers/International Society for Contemporary Music.
Since his 1989 retirement, Kraft has continued to write music. Recent works include “Sextetto,” written for Stony Brook Contemporary Players, and “For Those We Loved,” written for an orchestra.
Hair-metal rocker Dee Snider, of Twister Sister, was awarded the 2012 Harry Chapin Award. Snider is an Astoria native and is widely known as a syndicated rock DJ. He appeared on Donald Trump’s television reality show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” and raised $325,000 for the March of Dimes.
A unique addition to this year’s inductees was Queens resident Ira Malz, a music industry standout as founder of Concert Security Systems. Maltz indicated that his current company, previously operated under another name, was founded by him in 1975 and has proudly earned the reputation as being a security outfit that has a flawless record of safety in the five boroughs and Long Island.
Concert Security Systems provided security for the Bjork concert in the New York Hall of Science, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and for a beer garden in Queens. The company also provided the security for the music hall of fame event.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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