Educator of Note awardees, from left, Alan Schwartz, 2023, Susan Weber,...

Educator of Note awardees, from left, Alan Schwartz, 2023, Susan Weber, 2019, Frank Abel, 2022 and Kim Lowenborg-Coyne, 2021, on Sunday at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in Smithtown. Credit: Rick Kopstein

Five celebrated teachers, who have shared their love of music with scores of Long Island youngsters, were honored Sunday with an emotional and long overdue ceremony in Stony Brook.

Friends, colleagues and former students related stories of the influential music instructors' impact on so many — in some cases over decades — during the tribute at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

“They are leaders in our community,” said Tom Needham, vice chairman of the Hall of Fame and chair of its education committee.

Previous COVID-19 restrictions meant that Sunday was the first time all five could be celebrated together at a public event.

Recipients included 2023 honoree Alan Schwartz, Frank Abel, awarded in 2022; Kim Lowenborg-Coyne, awarded in 2021; Marc Greene, honored in 2020; and 2019 recipient Susan Weber.

“They are like parents to some of these kids and they have inspired kids to pursue careers in music,” Needham said. “They have probably had more of an impact on the musical history of Long Island than even some of the other inductees.”

Because of previous COVID-19 restrictions, Sunday was the first time...

Because of previous COVID-19 restrictions, Sunday was the first time the five award winners could be celebrated at a public event. Credit: Rick Kopstein

Schwartz, music department chair of Great Neck South Middle School, talked about how music instruction helps students develop important collaboration skills.

“Music class is the only class where 100% of the time students are responsible for each other,” said Schwartz, whose varied musical background includes pianist/accompanist, composer/arranger and former principal French hornist.

Abel, a veteran musician with a four-decade-long resume who also created award-winning marching bands at schools, including Uniondale High School, watched with pride as former student Sanjah Singh introduced him and presented him with the award.

“Frank Abel is music that comes to life,” said Singh, who was part of the 1996 Uniondale High band.

His voice cracked as he told Abel, “You gave us the confidence to find our voices and to chase our dreams and to do it with style.”

The hall has biographical information for the teachers on its website.

Lowenborg-Coyne started as a teacher in Rockville Centre schools and took the job as director of art and music programs for the North Babylon school district in 1996. She helped organize and raise money to bring the high school choir to the White House in December 2016. She also earned a grant to bring a ballroom dance program to two elementary schools.

Greene came to Long Island in 1993 after working for years in upstate New York. He started as director of choral and theater activities at Newfield High School in Selden and eventually moved to the position of director of music and art. He helped develop programs such as a string orchestra for grades 4 through 12 and specialized kindergarten music instruction.

Weber, a violinist and violist, teaches conducting and string methods at Adelphi University. She taught orchestra for 32 years in the Uniondale district and is past president of the New York State School Music Association.

“Hearing from former students about their accomplishments and how their time with me influenced them is heartwarming and has continued to drive my passion,” Weber said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect location for the ceremony, which happened in Stony Brook.

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