To view the comprehensive history of the Great Neck High School Music Program since 1928, including MANY videos from Winter Concerts, Artfests, Carnegie Hall and guest conductors since 1991, click HERE

To view the comprehensive history of the Great Neck High School Music Program since 1928, including MANY videos from Winter Concerts, Artfests, Carnegie Hall and guest conductors since 1991, look to the menus on the left side.


Contact Joseph Rutkowski at


Congratulations to the 

2021 NH Musicians of 

Room 218



Dear Friends

This was, by no stretch of anyone’s imagination, an incredibly unusual year.


If you wish to see the performances of the past year, check them out below…


41 LIVE Shows streamed on Zoom from room 218 during the 2020/2021 Season


Winter Concert

 North High Virtual Winter Concert 12/17/20

The 92nd Winter Concert at the John L. Miller-Great Neck North High School was released as a Virtual Winter Concert Thursday, December 17th 2020


Young Peoples’ Concert #30

Thanks to Maya Lerner, Justin Lander, Mike Meehan and seniors Arabella Notar-Francesco, Katherine Smolens, on June 2, we presented our Young People's Concert #30. 


Artfest 2021


Graduation NHS ceremony released on Thursday, at 2:00 P.M.

It begins with the Lobby Music Ensemble playing Let it Be from earlier this season.

And continues with

LIVE from Room 218 JAZZ Falling in Love

LIVE from Room 218 Afghan Dance Watan Lan

LIVE from Room 218 JAZZ I Love Paris in the Springtime

Grad Orch 2017 Jupiter and Carmen

Grad Orch 2016 Romeo and Juliet

Carnegie Hall 2016 Shostakovich 5

CM Recital Scott Joplin

Artfest 2021 Hovhaness Fugue for Strings

Artfest 2022 Duke Ellington It Don’t Mean A Thing

And then our June 10th recording in the Commons of Pomp and Circumstance.


Our Lincoln Center 15-minute movie created by Nina Phillips with the screenplay by Stephany Barbu and Scott Levy for the students at NM and JFK as part of our Lincoln Center project


Chamber Music Recital presented on Wednesday, April 28


Pirates of Penzance


Social Justice Week in Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Music Night


Valentine Soirée


International Night


NAfME blog What Music Has Meant to My Students 12/22/20


Noa playing "She talks to angels" in Genelle's Gazebo copy 

On Thursday, Oct 22, I took the ninth grade band outside to play because wind players are not allowed to play inside...

One of the ninth graders in the class is a guitarist name Noa.  I know that she plays rock concerts, so I asked her if she wanted to play something for us while we were all around Genelle’s gazebo.

Genelle Taney was our principal violist when she graduated in 2003. When she was a junior, she developed a rare form of cancer that kept her at home during most of her senior year. Genelle was such incredibly giving person that she asked me if there was anything she could do for the music dept while she was at home being treated for cancer. I told her that I always wanted to scan the music photographs from the 80 years of yearbooks to put on our web site. She said that she would love to do that. It gave me an excuse to visit her every week, bringing over a few yearbooks for her to scan. Today her work is on our web site and you can see the music students of this dept going back to 1928. Thanks to Genelle.


Genelle Taney is the only student I ever had (or will ever have) that was with me for 8 years. She was in the last 6th grade class I taught at North Middle and because of her illness during the year after her graduation, she came to play in our orchestra at school during the orchestra class. Genelle was too ill to attend either of the colleges, which selected her: Harvard and Amherst. She performed with her sisters and her fellow violists at Carnegie Hall that year in April, 2004. Although her doctor advised her to have chemotherapy right before that concert, Genelle decided to delay the treatment until after the concert so that she would not let down her fellow musicians.

Genelle passed away in December of 2004, leaving behind memories of an incredible student who excelled in her academics, her music and her sports. She was a star in all three areas. But more than her talent and hard work, Genelle was the nicest and most kind young person that I ever met. The day before she passed away, her dad asked her if she was afraid. Genelle said, "I am not afraid. I am just worried about my sisters."

Noa picked the song played by the Black Crowes called “She talks to Angels”

I asked her if I could send this video to you because she remembered my “Genelle story” and she was touched and said yes!

How fitting this was in Genelle’s Gazebo to watch my “hybrid A” ninth grade band students with the rest of the students on zoom watching on zoom this girl play such a beautiful song outside...


I sent the this story and the video to Genelle’s mother who wrote back:

“How amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. And a huge thank you to Noa for making our day. So beautiful!! Please extend our gratitude to Noa.”






For the 107 students who played at Carnegie Hall on March 1, 2020… should know that there still has not been a concert performed there since March 12, 2020.


Carnegie Hall officially cancelled all performances beginning on March 13, 2020. The American Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to perform on March 12, but they cancelled. The last performances in the building took place that day (3/12) in Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall. The last performance in Isaac Stern Auditorium took place on March 10, the evening performance of the New York Wind Band Festival.

See the link for Carnegie Hall archives of past concerts 

and notice that our March 1, 2020 was still one of the very last concerts there as of now (June 30, 2021)

Joseph Rutkowski
Instrumental Music Director,  John L. Miller - Great Neck North High School
Administrative Teacher-MUSIC, John L. Miller - Great Neck North High School
Tri-M Chapter 2605 Advisor
35 Polo Road
Great Neck, NY 11023
(516) 441-4751
Alternate email:

Check our web site:

WQXR Classical Hero of May 2018
LI Music Hall of Fame Educator of Note 2015