Frank Battista is very well thought of in Long Island music education and performance circles. The J. Taylor Finley Middle School band director is so highly regarded that he was chosen as the conductor for Nassau’s Division 2 All-County Band for a recent concert at LIU Post’s Tilles Center.
The band was comprised of 140 of the best sixth grade musicians from dozens of school districts spread across Nassau County. The students were selected based upon their New York State School Music Assn. scores from the previous school year.
Finley Middle School music teacher Frank Battista.
The students prepared to perform four selections of music before the first rehearsal. The band rehearsed three times at Herricks Middle School prior the recent concert. The program included, “Trails of Glory” by James Swearingen, “Bazaar” by Randell Standridge, “Paradise Awaiting ...” by William Owens and “Zombie Tango” by James Meredith.
“Working with the Division 2 Nassau Music Educators Assn. concert band was an absolute honor,” Mr. Battista said. “The students were incredibly attentive and focused through the lengthy four hour rehearsals and their outstanding performance was a testament to their hard work.”
Mr. Battista has been a Huntington music teacher since September 2001. He is a graduate of Massapequa High School and obtained both undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. His two undergraduate degrees are in music education and music performance and his master’s degree is in music education.
The veteran educator found the experience at the Tilles Center with the Nassau band to be thoroughly enjoyable. “I cannot say enough about the NMEA chair-people and coordinators who did an amazing job preparing the facilities and organizing all aspects of the rehearsals,” Mr. Battista said.
By complete coincidence, Mr. Battista’s nephew, Andrew Greco was selected to be a percussionist in the Nassau Division 2 All-County Band’s ensemble. “It was a lot of fun having him in the group,” the Finley faculty member said. “He did an amazing job and took it easy on his uncle during rehearsals.”
Mr. Battista currently serves as the director of Finley’s eighth grade concert band and the symphonic band and is the ukulele club’s co-adviser with Matt Gelfer. He was a member of the Huntington Blue Devil Marching Band staff for 16 years and taught at Huntington's Summer Arts Enrichment camp for 14 years.
Mr. Battista’s glowing reputation in Long Island music circles and his appearance at the Tilles Center with the Nassau Band’s 140 student-musicians reflects well on the district, too.
“The Huntington music staff takes great pride in our program and community,” Mr. Battista said. “It’s always an honor to represent Huntington in spotlight opportunities such as these.”