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From Scarsdale: The Band Eclypse

They were about to take the stage. The familiar feeling of a free fall set in their stomach. All eight of their hearts pounded as adrenaline surged through their veins.

The Westchester County Battle of the Bands was neither their first nor their biggest gig; in fact they had played numerous times for a crowd of 2,000 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Despite this, The Band Eclypse felt the pressure of a competition and sensed the anticipation of an unknown crowd.

“As we took the stage to sound check, it was like getting dressed in front of strangers,” guitarist Matthew Yaspan said. “We were preparing ourselves and making sure our sounds matched each others; all the while 500 pairs of eyes were watching us.”

The band’s nerves were evident as they began playing their set before being introduced. They were forced to stop a few seconds into their first song to receive their formal introduction. After that, however, their performance was nearly flawless. The crowd cheered and screamed enough to win the band the prize for popular acclaim. Their performance was lively and active and showed a great level of chemistry between the members.

One wouldn’t be able to tell just by watching them, but The Band Eclypse has only been playing together for ten months, and had formed to play just one gig. Their history began when lead emcee’s Daniel Lonner (known as L.E.D.) and Jeremy Jordan-Jones (known as Triple J) as well as producer Scott Jacobson were accepted in an audition to play at the annual Amateur Night competition hosted by the Apollo Theater, a landmark in New York City. “The intensity of our audition was not at a high enough level to win the competition; we needed something more,” said Lonner. The trio recruited members to form a full band to ensure their victory in the four-round competition. They fielded bassist Ziya Smallens, guitarists Eric Sherman and Matthew Yaspan and pianist Ianni Drivas; Scott was moved to the drums. The group won first place in the first two rounds before being eliminated in the third. After these memorable performances, it was inevitable that the band would continue.

Since then, The Band Eclypse has made a few roster changes, including the replacement of Ianni Drivas with Andy Sherman, brother of guitarist Eric Sherman, as well as the addition of Jamie Ballan as lead singer. They are competing in The Break Contest to play for the chance to be in Bamboozle, a high-profile music festival in the Meadowlands, and have multiple performances in nightclubs scheduled in the future.

While they are serious musicians, they are all students under the age of 18. “It’s hard to be a musician especially when school remains a priority. We all want to do it full time and we do our best, but school takes up a lot of time,” says Lonner, who is also taking music classes at New York University. “We try to practice twice a week to work on our sound, and it’s enough for now, but hopefully we will be able to add more time for the band to our schedules. It’s especially difficult with Eric, who is currently attending Boston University.”

The Band Eclypse is unique in multiple ways. It consists of members from all different musical backgrounds including jazz, blues, rock, metal, hip-hop and pop. “Our goal is to be something truly different. We’re in a pretty limited genre as we are ‘rap/rock,’ but we make sure that our music crosses all types of musical borders. It’s especially helpful to be blessed with a singer like Jamie; she makes it easier to cross these musical borders,” says Jacobson.

“We want to make ourselves known. We want to show the world just how talented we are and to share our music and our message with them. It’s our desire that people know our names and that we will be forever remembered as something great that changed the way people thought about music,” emcee Jeremy Jordan-Jones explains.

Check out their tunes at

(The Band Eclypse is currently in the studio recording their album, new material up soon!)

The Sound of Music at the Greenacres School

On Saturday January 30th and Sunday January 31st the Greenacres players, in conjunction with Kevin J. Kearins and KJK Productions, Inc., and the Greenacres PTA, performed the Sound of Music. In all, over 180 children grades 1-5 sang and dance there way into the hearts of their parents, grandparents and friends who came to watch. Everyone was a star.The major parts were all divided giving the maximum number of children the opportunity to be center stage in all there were 17 different Marias. Thanks to Greenacres' Moms; Robin Dillon, Erin Foster and Lauren Haller.


An Evening of Chamber Music at Hitchcock Church

The New Choral Society, now in its 16th season, will present “An Evening of Chamber Music” under the direction of Dr. John T. King, on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 8 PM. The concert will take place at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church.

The all-professional orchestra made up of extraordinarily talented players who play regularly with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, the NY Philharmonic and on Broadway, team up to present a program that will appeal to all! Featured soloists this year on the program are concertmaster Krystof Witek, violin, David Enlow, harpsichord, and Donna Elaine, flute, playing Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5”. Soprano Anita Johnson will perform works by Mozart, Handel, Rachmaninoff, as well as Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas brasileiras, No. 5” with William Anderson, classical guitarist.

For tickets and more information, visit or call the office at (914) 725-1678.

Dreamscapes: An Exhibit of Ard Berge's Work at Iona College

The exhibition DREAMSCAPES: New Works by Ard Berge is featured at the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery in the Iona College Arts Center opening on January 24th. The exhibition includes a series of twenty-six paintings and eight drawings through which Ard Berge imaginatively explores the American experience from global and historical perspectives.

Berge, a skilled portraitist, playfully and sardonically populates his canvases with a great American bison, an African peddler on the moon, a fairground on a desolate landscape, an Apache hero engulfed in the stars and stripes, and the White House on a camouflaged lawn. His pictorial realism is not literal but rather represents the whimsical visual reflections of one American’s responses to the world’s paradoxes. Some of these take the form of unexpected and ironical juxtapositions of subjects within the frame of a single canvas while others unfold in diptychs and triptychs. A striking quality of this body of work is the incongruity between the breadth of its subject matter and the exacting precision with which paint is applied to canvas to render these fantastical leaps of the mind in minute detail.

Ard Berge’s last show was at Art First Contemporary Art gallery in London. He has taught studio art and art history for the past ten years at Felician College in New Jersey.

The artist will hold a gallery tour on January 28th at noon. The show will close with a reception on February 25th from noon to 3:00 pm.


Gallery Hours:
Monday-Thursday: noon-5:00 pm
Thursday Evening: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Sunday: 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery
Iona College Arts Center
665 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
(914) 637-7796
Gallery Director: Madalyn Barbero Jordan

I Want My HGTV!

So by now, you know where I am going with this, Cablevision customer that you probably are.  Because I am NOT A HAPPY CAMPER, people.  I woke up on January 1 of this bright New Year only to find that there was no more HGTV, there was no more Jamie Durie, or Curb Appeal, or Holmes.

There. Was. No. Dream. House.

How is a woman in upper middle class suburbia supposed to dream of a better life out west, due south, or far north, I ask you, without the New Year’s Day tour of her fantasy Dream House?  And how is she supposed to fall asleep at night without the soft lullaby of Suzanne Whang, host of “House Hunters” and the wildly popular spin-off, “House Hunters International?”

I’m not faring much better without my Food Network, thank you very much.  Not that you asked or cared.  I suppose you have your own troubles to deal with, what with your Emeril withdrawl (it racks you with “Bam!”) and your lack of Bobby Flay-vor.  Perhaps what ails you is Post Traumatic Iron Chef Disorder.  Me, I suffer from Ray’s Disease, an attack that has left me saying things like “Yum-O!” when meeting friends for lunch at the diner and “Could you pass the EVOO, please?” at dinnertime.  I find myself looking for Giada, Paula and Ina at school pick-up, and hoping to run into Mario in his orange clogs at the shoe store. 

I don’t miss Alton Brown all that much.  This fact does give me some comfort on these cold, lonely nights.  I haven’t completely lost it.
So now, instead of just crying into my Le Creuset cookware, I have been called to action in response to my disappointment.  I went online and voiced my opinion at the newly created fansites of “” and “”  I then paused to consider that this is more than I have done in support of (or complaint against) the new health care bill initiatives.  Which is pretty sad, but best kept for another article entirely.

I have not yet given up on Cablevision’s promise to get my stations back to me.  While I keep the weak flame from my metaphorical Bic lighter flickering in support of the Dream House, I must admit that I have had to surf the channels in order to find a replacement station. 
Everyone, repeat after me:  E!

It turns out that the entire Kardashian clan – found on E! Entertainment Television pretty much all night long – is more than just a little bit addictive.  Who are these people anyway, and what have they done to Bruce Jenner’s face?  Further, how is it possible to come up with so many girls’ names that start with K?  And does Kourtney’s beaux Scott remind anyone else of James Spader’s character Blaine from Pretty in Pink, (with the prepster look, misogynistic tendencies, and lockjaw), or is it just me?

Here’s hoping that contracts get worked out soon between Cablevision and Scripps Networks.  But if not, keep up with me and the Kardashians in an all-new season beginning Sunday, January 24th.

Columnist and blogger Julie Gerstenblatt is always "on the verge" of something.  She writes with humor and candor about her life in Scarsdale, her friends and family, and the particular demands of motherhood and wifedom in modern-day suburbia.  This week, she's in a "Purple Haze."  Read what she has to say here, and then follow her online at: