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LCSD Fine Arts Hall of Fame Inducts Six
Thursday, May 9, 2019 -
Six Liverpool Central School District fine arts alumni, mentors and contributors were inducted into the Liverpool Fine Arts Hall of Fame on May 5. The hall of fame is sponsored by VITAL (Vision in the Arts at Liverpool).
Jack Esterson (alumnus) is an architect and principal in the Brooklyn-based design collaborative Think! Architecture. He has been practicing architecture in New York City for 43 years, and has spent this time focusing on bringing an artful and humanist design approach to communities, particularly to traditionally under-served neighborhoods. His prior background in fine arts has added to his passion for the place where art, technology and social benefit intersect. Esterson grew up in Liverpool and flourished in every arts course he could take at LHS. After graduating in 1970, he attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for architecture and fine arts, where he later returned to join the design faculty. His projects have won numerous design awards and have been widely featured in the design press. He received the 2015 NYS AIA Excelsior Award for Public Architecture for his community-based work. He now lives in an art-filled historic townhouse in Clinton Hill with his husband Richard of 33 years, and is an avid supporter of the arts in Brooklyn.
Mary Lohr (alumnus) began taking private piano lessons in 1949 and clarinet lessons at Liverpool Elementary in 1953. She graduated salutatorian in 1959 from LHS and magna cum laude in 1962 from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in music education. From 1962 to 1965 she worked for the Baldwinsville Central School District as an elementary vocal and instrumental music teacher. In 1968 she became the organist at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, allowing Lohr to use her voice and instrumental talents in performance, composing, leadership, and mentoring. Lohr and her husband, former Liverpool music teacher Don Lohr, were the dynamic duo at church for 48 years. Currently she is celebrating her 51st year at St. Paul’s and serves as music director. She was director of youth musicals for Lutheran Festivals of the Arts and lent her music talents to perform for annual fund-raisers for SU’s Lutheran Campus Ministry. In 1974 she joined the American Guild of Organists - Syracuse Chapter, held the Service Playing Certificate Award, was leader of the new Organist Task Force, and in 1986 became Dean. She was a lecturer and workshop leader for the American Guild of Organists - Northeast Region. Lohr has been teaching private organ and piano lessons for almost 60 years and has accompanied numerous students at NYSSMA auditions for 50 years. She played saxophone for the Phoenix Community Band for 10 years.
Betsey McGee (mentor) is a proud graduate of Liverpool High School. She performed in the Symphonic Band, Symphonic Orchestra and Concert Chorale, earning placements in All-County and All-State ensembles. She also performed in the LHS Rock Ensemble, Jazz Band, and the annual Casting Hall & musical productions. McGee earned degrees in music education from SUNY Fredonia and Syracuse University. She was employed in Liverpool as an elementary general music teacher for nearly 38 years, most of which were at Wetzel Road Elementary. McGee participated in a number of extra-curricular and summer activities as a teacher, including All-District Chorus, solo festivals and Summer Music Camp (teaching piano & flute lessons as well as assisting with the production of the Broadway Showcase). She also mentored high school students while rehearsing for nearly 20 musicals. McGee also works with performance venues and arts advocacy groups such as the Cultural Resource Center, VITAL, CNY Flute Choir and the Talent Showcase at the New York State Fair.
Dr. Mark F. Potter (contributor) joined the Liverpool Central School District in 2007 (after having committed 24 years to the children, staff and community at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District). Initially, Dr. Potter was hired as the acting director of health, physical education and athletics and later transitioned into the executive director for secondary education position. Currently, Dr. Potter serves as the superintendent of schools. Through the years, Dr. Potter has continued to maintain his ties with all aspects of student development… including the need to support all curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs in Liverpool. As an administrator, teacher and a coach, Potter believes children need a positive, nurturing environment which includes the involvement and commitment of quality, complimentary and supportive relationships from adults, appropriate learning spaces, and necessary resources - all leading to the successful growth and development of contributing members of the school community.
Pianist and conductor Adam Rothenberg (alumnus) has performed throughout the United States and Europe in a wide array of projects including solo recitals, chamber music, orchestral concerts, opera, and musical theatre. After graduating from 2011, he earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where he was the recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, in Broadway pit orchestras, at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, and at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was the recipient of the 2017 Billy Joel Keyboard Fellowship. As the associate conductor of the national tour of Miss Saigon, he has conducted in dozens of venues across North America, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. He is passionate about pushing the boundaries of classical music and bridging the gap with other genres and art forms.
Lisa Zippi (mentor) retired from Long Branch Elementary where she taught elementary and vocal music. Previously, she taught music in both the Phoenix and West Genesee School districts. She is an alumnus of LHS and obtained her teaching degree with a concentration in piano at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She completed her master’s degree in education at Oswego State. Zippi founded and directed the community group, Liverpool Youth Voices, and was a previous recipient of the Syracuse Symphony Music Educator Award for classroom music. She has enjoyed directing, managing and accompanying numerous All-District and All-County choral concerts and festivals. Currently, she teaches private piano and performs for various functions throughout CNY as a solo pianist.