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Coram home lights up with holiday music

Arthur Giove, of Coram, creates a musical holiday

Arthur Giove, of Coram, creates a musical holiday light display at his house every year. (Dec. 14, 2011) Credit: Erin Geismar

Year after year, Arthur Giove and his family have gotten a little more accustomed to the lives of celebrities.

The crowd that waits outside their Coram home has continued to grow. They’ve been in newspapers and on TV. There are cameras constantly pointing their way, to the point that Danielle Giove, Arthur’s wife, has to consider what she’s wearing when she leaves the house.

“There are people here in the pouring rain,” said Arthur Giove, 38, who has lived in Coram for six years.

The Gioves aren’t the real spectacle. It’s their house, at 65 Elm Ave., which from late-October until New Year’s Day is illuminated with 176 moving, twinkling, flashing light fixtures.

The display covers the house and a couple of trees in the yard. There is a giant Santa Claus, penguins, wreaths, candy canes and anything else that would appear in a Winter Wonderland--right on the Giove’s yard. The display is programmed to light up in tune with the Christmas music playing on radio station WRWD/107.3 FM, which is broadcast quietly from speakers on the yard. Those in cars can also tune in on their own.

The show goes on from 5 to 11 p.m. daily.

Arthur Giove began installing the light display three years ago after seeing a video online of a the music-controlled software. He said he started with 16 different elements and has added on each year.

He also collects donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Long Island chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation through a donation box on his yard. He said each year has raised between $7,500 and $9,500.

“I come every year, multiple times a year,” said Emily Prochnick, 21, of Coram, who brought her neighbors Meghan Simon-McCuen, 13, and Madison Simon-Cabella, 3. “It’s so nice that they do this. I’d love to shake their hands.”

Others have felt the same way. Giove said people will often ring his doorbell to thank him, and, this year, the family got a surprise when a group of people walked right into the house because they thought there were more displays inside.

“People are just really excited,” Danielle Giove said. “It’s easy for us to forget what’s going on out there because we can’t see it from in here. And then I’ll have to run to the store for something and I’ll remember.”

Arthur Giove said it takes him about 60 hours to put the display together and 10 hours to take it down. It raises his electric bill by about $400. But he said when people tell him how much it means to them or that seeing the display has become a part of someone’s family tradition--it’s all worth it.

“I do it just to see everyone’s faces when they watch,” he said.

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