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Vincent Scire Jr. of Levittown, loved music and playing it with others

Vincent Scire Jr. with his sisters Nancy Buckpitt,

Vincent Scire Jr. with his sisters Nancy Buckpitt, left, and Janet Biela. Credit: Nick Buckpitt

Vincent Scire Jr., a Levittown resident, lived and breathed music. From an early age, he practiced on the clarinet, his main instrument, for hours each day, Scire's sisters said. As he grew older, Scire joined Long Island community bands and musical clubs, gave private lessons, and was part of the '50s and '60s band Cathy and the Revivals for more than 30 years.

"He was so driven in trying to share music with others," said his sister Nancy Buckpitt of upstate Plattsburgh. "He never gave up. That love of music was always there."

Scire, 68, died April 21 from COVID-19.

"He had a perfect ear and perfect pitch," said Cathy Santaniello, of Lindenhurst, the lead singer of Cathy and the Revivals. "He could hear a key. I would say, ‘I know, I do the song in the key of E, but I forget what that sounds like.’ He’d do the noise and I’d be like, 'perfect.' If someone dropped a penny on the floor, he’d be like, ‘It landed in the key of F sharp.’ "

Scire was born July 25, 1951, and grew up in an Elmont home his father had lived in since he was 9. He attended Elmont Memorial High School, where his passion for music first blossomed. He joined the school band and marched in the local parades. Scire earned an associate degree from Nassau Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University, and a master’s degree in music education from Queens College.

Although he didn’t become a music teacher, Scire continued to live a musical life. He joined multiple community bands including the North Shore Pops Concert Band and the Freeport Community Band. He performed in parades, at summer festivals and local venues throughout the metropolitan area. Scire joined Cathy and the Revivals in his early 30s when the group was simply called The Revivals, playing saxophone and singing first tenor. As The Revivals, the group recorded two records: "I’m So Young Again" and "Looking Back."

Scire’s favorite song was "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, which his sister Janet Biela of Orlando, Florida, said was telling of her brother's personality.

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"He was his own person," said Biela, adding that Scire loved all things from an older era, with his most prized possession being a pocket watch he received from his parents when he was young. "He did not care what anybody thought. He always did it his own way. He was secure in who he was."

Another one of Scire’s great loves was the Singles Association of Long Island, which he founded with his longtime friend Joe Musac, of Bay Shore, in 2005. The two organized club events such as dinner or bowling. After these outings, members would often attend Scire’s concerts.

"Anyone who knew him was more the richer for it," said former club member Linda Ann Emilio-Ellis of New Hyde Park. "He was a warm person. He was an Italian gentleman. I found him to be very welcoming and accommodating and eager to meet new people."

Scire’s ability to run the singles club came from his talent connecting with others.

"He maintained connections with people," Buckpitt said. "He saw them as important and strived to keep them. He was very caring and kind. I don’t think he could do enough for people."

A devout Catholic, Scire was interred at Holy Rood Catholic Cemetery in Westbury. His family hopes to hold a memorial service next year.

Scire is survived by his two sisters.

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