Memorializing a Music Teachers Legacy
How a tiny little teachers union makes a big impact every year
In 2012, the Amityville Teachers Association (ATA) lost a beloved member, Chris LaMarca. Chris was a well-liked music teacher within the district and his death, right around Thanksgiving, shook the community. Last night, the Amityville Teachers Association held the Annual Chris LaMarca Memorial Concert to keep his memory alive.
After LaMarca’s sudden death, many of his students where distraught as they filled the local Lutheran church for his memorial service. With so many students and community members grieving over the sudden loss, the Amityville Teachers Association, in conjunction with Carly Wallenstein, organized a memorial concert in which his students, both past and present could perform. In total about 50 students and some of the bands that Chris played with performed in a packed high school auditorium. Not only did his students perform, but they were also able to help raise money for the LaMarca family who were dealing with the sudden tragic loss of their husband and father. The concert, raised $5,000 which was given to LaMarca’s son.
Because of the popularity of the first concert, the Amityville Teachers Association teamed up with the Parent Teacher Council to help keep his memory alive by hosting the memorial concert every year. Over the last five years, students both past and present have continued to come back to perform. The ATA created a non-profit scholarship fund. The concert now raises money annually for the Amityville Teachers Association Chris LaMarca Music Scholarship. The $500 scholarship goes to a music student to help keep LaMarca’s love of music alive.
Now in its fifth year, the concert was moved from the Amityville High School Auditorium to Revolution, a local music hall in Amityville. Through the hard work of the union and local community, LaMarca’s legacy and love of music is living on. From this tragedy, a new generation of Amityville students are being helped to follow their love of music, just like Chris LaMarca did. Not only is the union honoring one of their fallen members, but they are also ensuring that his legacy goes on for years to come.