Professional Musicians Jam for Middletown High Music

Jordan Brown, student at Middletown High School

What better way to interest music lovers in contributing to the Middletown High School band and chorus programs than to feature an accomplished professional who is 18 years old, and just out of high school himself?


None whatsoever. And wunderkind singer Nicolas King did not disappoint, in a heart melting medley of selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, ably backed by the phenomenal “Duo Piano” trio of Mike Renzi and Mac Chrupcala, pianists, Mike Coffey on drums, and Alan Bernstein, head of the Rogers High School Music program, on bass.


Everyone, and anyone, could relate as the musicians went through “The American Songbook”, playing selections from Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Michel LeGrand, Henry Mancini, and Leonard Bernstein at Larry Brown’s Piano Gallery of Rhode Island in …….
well, Middletown.


Mike Renzi, pianist

Introduced by Mr. Brown, Maureen Mauer, committee head, spoke to

the audience about the importance of  music education programs at the high school level, and about Middletown's choral and instrumental programs in particular.  There was also a silent auction of gold jewelry.


The selections included various themes from American films, such as “Somewhere, My Love” from Doctor Zhivago, “The Way We Were”, “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s , and a pounding rendition of “Chariots of Fire.”  Mr. Chrupcala and Mr. Renzi slid back and forth between their imposing Yamaha grands and a keyboard that created special swelling sound effects. The improvisation, and the sheer joy of professionals handing off to each other, was infectious.


Young Mr. King brought lumps to throats with his renditions of “Maria”, “Tonight”, and “Somewhere” from West Side Story.   Angela Bacari, Mr. King's grandmother, sang an emotional rendition of “How Do You Keep the Music Playing.”



Bassist Alan Bernstein & Drummer Mike Coffey



DVDs of the  event will be on sale

Angela Bacari sings, Mac Chrupcala plays

Mac Chrupcala playing a riff

Young Nicolas King sings "Maria"

A "West Side Story" medley

The jazz group playing

Maureen Maurer  speaking

Larry Brown introducing the program

Audience anticipating the show

Patricia & Dominic Munafo came from Jamestown

Nicolas King & Heidi List Murphy

The silent auction

Cameraman Phil Jewell explains the process to

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