Richmond County Orchestra ‘hits the band’ for Jewish Music Month this weekend

Opera music

STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Richmond County Orchestra performs “Strike up the Band,” a concert in celebration of Jewish Music Month on Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m. at the Joan and Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center in Sea View.

The event will feature singer/songwriter/composer Ryan Kelly Berkowitz, pianist Olga Gurevich, child soprano Adeline Cherny, Anita Berger with the singers of St. Cecelia, with maestro Alan Aurelia conducting the ‘Richmond County Orchestra.

Pieces featured include: “Strike up the Band”, “Take Me out to the Ballgame”, “Crazy”, excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld, Mahler’s adaggietto from Symphony No. 5 , World Premiere of Ryan Berkowitz’s “Did You Thank a Jew Today” and “God Bless America” ​​in Chorus with Guest Conductor Anita Berger.


Ryan Kelly Berkowitz, Miss Staten Island 2002, who studied musical theater at Carnegie Mellon University, was a three-time winner of the Grammy Ballot for Best Pop Song. His covers and originals are receiving spins on WHLI, WHUD & SIRIUS XM. She’s appeared on stage and screen, including Amazon Prime as Tiffany in the award-winning film “Dorian Blues.” Berkowitz has appeared at Bird Land, The Bitter End, 54 Below and other popular hotspots. Berkowitz’s latest original impersonation show, “Mostly Dead People & Cher,” debuts this year.

The career of pianist Olga Gurevich is that of concert performer, chamber musician, accompanist and teacher. She received a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the Gnesin Academy of Music, then completed her higher education at the Maimonides State Academy in Moscow, Russia. Olga is a laureate of several international piano competitions.

Mezzo-soprano Galina Ivannikova will perform the Ukrainian national anthem with the Richmond County Orchestra to open “Strike Up the Band.”

Anita Berger, a retired New York City public school vocal music teacher, choir director, opera singer, and piano teacher, directs the St. Cecilia Chorus. She has played soprano and tenor recorder with the JCC Recorder Ensemble in Staten Island. She is a former winner of Staten Island’s Got Talent competition.

The Jewish Community Center is located at 1466 Manor Rd, Staten Island, NY 10314.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and free for students and children. Call 718-876-7945 or visit

Space is limited, so advance purchase is recommended.

All NYC COVID protocols will be in place. Vaccine cards will be checked at the door.


The Richmond County Orchestra (RCO) was founded as a non-profit organization in 1998 by local Staten Island musicians and maestro Alan Aurelia. The orchestra has brought professional presentations of the classical arts to the Staten Island community. They have also performed at the Guggenheim, Metropolitan and Jewish Heritage Museums, Washington Square Park and Carnegie Hall.