Keenan Lyons, Isabella Cahill, Katherine DeGennaro, Jennifer Low, Julien Rentsch, Madelyn Kye, and Cecilia Kye.

H-ton Musicians Entertain Assisted Living Residents

Keenan Lyons, Isabella Cahill, Katherine DeGennaro, Jennifer Low, Julien Rentsch, Madelyn Kye, and Cecilia Kye.

November 19, 2018

The proverbial wheels are always turning for Huntington High School students. Juniors Maddy Kye and Julien Rentsch put together a musical performance involving a small group of like-minded teenager for the residents at Maryville Enhanced Assisted Living Residence located on Greenlawn Road.

Ms. Kye and Mr. Rentsch developed the program as part of a service project they are working on this year. They were joined by Keenan Lyons, Jennifer Low, Katherine DeGennaro and Isabella Cahill and J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth grader Cecilia Kye.

“Over the summer, I attended Summer Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs) for two weeks with my best friend, Natalie Ciccone, who also recently completed her service project for RYLA,” Ms. Kye said. “During the second week, we planned service projects and were encouraged to follow through with them upon returning home. After some thinking, I decided to reach out to Julien due to his enthusiasm for music and his being the vice president of Tri-M Music Honor Society. I proposed that we visit nursing homes with Tri-M and Julien was eager to be involved. We chose to partner on the project and I am happy to say that our first visit was not only a success, but that we are hoping to visit other nursing homes in the future.”

Ms. Kye, Mr. Rentsch and their classmates are no ordinary teenagers. They are among the “cream of the crop” in the state, both individually and collectively compiling remarkable academic and co-curricular records.

“Maddy Kye came to me over the summer about running a service project, so we came up with the idea to create a program where kids from Tri M Music Honor Society play at nursing homes and hospitals throughout the year,” Mr. Rentsch said.

The recent afternoon included multiple solo and duet performances. “This is only the first of many more to come,” Mr. Rentsch said. “It was great to see the joy we brought to some of the senior citizens. They even wanted us to go back and perform again.”

Besides boasting sterling academic records, the teenagers are among Huntington’s finest musicians, so the set of performances was a real treat for Maryville’s residents. “Everyone in the facility was super kind and enjoyed it so much,” Ms. Cahill said. “It felt great to ‘make their day’ with a little bit of music.”

This year’s Tri-M executive board includes Ms. Cahill (president), Mr. Rentsch (vice president), Ms. Low (treasurer), Abby Semelsberger (secretary) and Mia Nitekman (historian).

Maryville has been serving the community for more than three decades, but it has probably never seen an afternoon like the one this special group of Huntington student-musicians created within its friendly confines.

“Overall, I am just so grateful to have been able to brighten the days of these people with music and hope to be able to do so again soon,” Maddy Kye said.

The Huntington musicians are all-in for the next visit to a local adult care facility. “It was wonderful to make the day a little brighter for the residents and staff of Maryville,” Mr. Lyons said. “It was a very great opportunity to perform with other Huntington High School musicians and I look forward to our next event at Carillon in a few weeks.”

Julien Rentsch on keyboard and Keenan Lyons playing violin.
Julien Rentsch on keyboard and Keenan Lyons playing violin.
Cecilia Kye playing flute, Madelyn Kye playing cello.
Cecilia Kye playing flute, Madelyn Kye playing cello.
Isabella Cahill singing, Katherine DeGennaro on keyboard.
Isabella Cahill singing, Katherine DeGennaro on keyboard.
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