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Kenmore East Performing Arts Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

When the Kenmore East High School Performing Arts Hall of Fame inducts six members as part of its 2019 class this spring, it would be understandable if many of the new inductees pulled out their instruments and started to play. The group has a distinctive musical blend this year – and even a Beatles' connection!

A special ceremony will take place in the school’s auditorium on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. and is free to the public. This will be the fifth group honored by the school and, just like previous inductees, this group highlights some incredible talent and a range of artistic endeavors, and all are graduates or educators from the 59-year-old school.

Digital matte painter Andrew Cunningham is among the non-musicians in this group, and his work has enhanced many incredible animated films including Disney films, a Smurf sequel, and the recent "Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.”

He is joined by Steve Nice who, while not a musician himself, has spent over a quarter century in the music industry. As a radio consultant and management agent, Steve has worked with such artists as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Elle King, and the Foo Fighters.

The four musicians being honored cover a large range of instruments in various modes of music. Gail Bauser is a symphony cellist and spent many years as orchestra director and string music teacher at Ken-East. Elliot Scozarro is a jazz saxophonist who has played all around the country and overseas. The late Bruce Brucato is best known locally as a guitarist for several top bands, including Rodan, Gamalon, and Junction West, and is an inductee in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Gary Astridge is also a local musician, as drummer for the BBC Band, a local British Invasion tribute band. He is also known as one of the leading authorities on Ringo Starr and his drum gear.

A total of 38 local and national stars from the fields of music, theater, and film were previously chosen for this award over the past eight years. The biographies of these individuals read like a "Who's Who" of performers and artists who cover the gamut across all the different entertainment arenas.

These include a costume mistress who managed the Metropolitan Opera and "Saturday Night Live"; a film producer of such hits as "A Single Man" and "The Golden Compass"; the special effects genius behind "Avatar"; and the conductor of the U.S. Army Field Band. On the dramatic side, inductees represent the Broadway stage, television, movies, and radio. Comedic twins Paul and Peter Vogt; musical theater stars Corinne Melancon and Brian Charles Johnson; and radio personalities Tom Bauerle and Jim McGee are all represented on the special Kenmore East wall.

Musically, the range of talent is phenomenal, including Billy Sheehan and Dave Constantino, members of the rock band "Talas," and local legends Ted and Tom Reinhardt; jazz and classic musicians; song-writers and composers; and the makings of an incredible brass section.

For more information on the Hall, induction ceremony, or the new members, please contact ke_alumni@ktufsd.org or call 716-874-8402.