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Carole Perry WB2MGP Media Mentors Inc. P.O. Box 131646 Staten Island NY 10313-0006

Ham radio Salute to Gershwin

What in the world does ham radio have to do with I he renowned composer George Gershwin? We who have been in the hobby for a while know that the influence and fun of radio can easily permeate many aspects of our lives. So it really didn't seem far-fetched to me to recommend the use of radio operators to assist a friend who was producing the 100th Anniversary Salute to Gershwin at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York.

I'd been trying for months to expound on the benefits of radio communications to my good friend Jerry Parker, who is the former liaison to the Chancellor of the New York City Board of Education. The concert provided me with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate a practical application of ham radio from which he could benefit. Jerry worked very hard planning the logistics and details of this huge undertaking.

The concert on March 19th would feature groups from three Brooklyn schools: the Edward R. Murrow Hi eh School Or chestra. the Dyker Heights Intermediate School Chorus, and the Fort Hamilton High School Symphonic Band, all performing on the same program as the Brooklyn College Conservatory Jazz Ensemble. An event such as this involves a great deal of organization and effort. For months, 1 watched as Jerry coordinated everything with Dr. Nancy Hager, the Director of the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College and with David Latulippe, the Director of the Conservatory of Music Concert Office.

Finally, I knew the moment was right to suggest the incorporation of ham radio volunteers for communications and security. The idea was presented to the key personnel at the college, and everyone was very receptive.

Next. I announced the need for volunteers at a meeting of w my radio club—NYCRA—the New York City Repeater Association. It's very gratifying to know that I can always count on getting a positive response when a call for help is put out. One of the people 1 know will always be the first to volunteer is my good friend Charles Hargrove N2NOV.

Charles is the ARBS (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) Emergency Coordinator for Staten Island, New York. Staten Island is one of the five counties that make up New York City. When he was asked to organize an ARES unit in September of 1996, he read through accumulated materials gathered over his 20 years of interest in scanner listening of the public service bands. Charles thinks that since his uncles, cousins, and grandfather are and were police officers, it was natural for this interest to develop. Since March of 1992 he has been the moderator of the NYDXA Shortwave and Scanner Listeners Net heard locally on 147.360 MHz on Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

The team that Charles put together has developed into an efficient, active crew that has participated in walk-a-thons, parades, races, the New York City Marathon, the receiving of Mayor Giuliani's Proclamation of Amateur Radio Awareness Day, and now the Brooklyn College Salute to Gershwin concert.

I'd be remiss if 1 didn't mention every member of the group who provided such an excellent communications setup that night. The terrific ham radio operators who added a special dimension to the smooth operations were Charles Hargrove N2NOV; Karen Hargrove N2ZYF: Frank Katalenas N2UMC; Louise Pauly N2RIP; Paul Hansen N2QXB; Ray Valvik N2ZWT; Ron Faup KB2PWS; and Michael Moran KC2CYE. 1 had the honor of shadowing Jerry Parker, who quickly acclimated himself to the efficient use of the ham radios.

A radio volunteer was assigned to each of the holding rooms where the children waited until it was time for them to appear. The stage manager had his own shadow and was delighted to see how much of a help it was to him. Young Mike KC2CYE was assigned to the parking area, where he was a tremendous help. Days after the concert. the box office personnel were still talking about the valuable service provided by Karen K2ZYF and the other hams. Charles was net control and manned the crossband 2 m/440 base station. He happily shared information about ham radio with everyone backstage.

When the extraordinary maestro Laurence Laurenzano conducted the finale with the combined ensembles, all the volunteers were able to enjoy watching the wonderful performance from backstage. Paul Shelden, the talented director of the Brooklyn College Conservatory Jazz Ensemble, made a point of letting me know at the end of the evening that he was w very impressed with the professional way the backstage communications were handled.

There were at least three people from the Performing Arts Center at the college who requested that I send them more information about getting a ham radio license. I always enjoy using my radio at different events, but this one was especially noteworthy for me because it involved children, the arts, friends, the community, and my very special ham friends. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that the hams provided an invaluable service.

For further information about ARES or emergency communications, call Charles at (212) 978-3375. m in the ARRL competition, or for the AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) activity. The AMSAT rules last year worked well and will show little if any change for 1998. The first-place emergency power/ portable station will receive a plaque at the AMSAT General Meeting and Space Symposium in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in October. Certificates will be awarded this year for second and third place. Stations submit ting high, award-winning scores will be requested to submit dupe sheets for analog contacts and message listings for digital downloads. Check the AMSAT Web page at the URL fhttp:// www.amsat.orgl for details. The Field Day information is down a few levels under the "activities/am satfd" subdirectories. The rules will also be published in the AMSAT Journal, or can be obtained by sending an SASE to me, W5ACM.

A GREAT gift idea for yourself, your ham friend(s), or your child's school library is a subscription to 73 Magazine ... only $24.97! Call 800-274-7373 or write to 70 Route 202 North,

Peterborough NH 03458

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C. L. Houghton WB6IGP San Diego Microwave Group 6345 Badger Lake Ave. San Diego CA 92119 [[email protected]]

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