Mr. Sanford Sardo
Director of Choral Activities
Mr. Sardo has been the Director of the Calhoun Choral Program since 1993. Mr. Sardo received his BA in Vocal Performance from the State University of New York @ Stony Brook, where he studied choral conducting with Dr. Timothy Mount. He received his MEd in Music Education from the Aaron Copland School of Music @ Queens College, where he studied with Dr. Lawrence Eisman and the late Dr. David Walker (Silver/Burdett/Ginn). He is certified in Orff Level I and Music Technology from Hofstra University.
Mr. Sardo was listed in Who's Who in America in 2002 and 2003, and he has been listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers on six occasions. He was named Educator of the Week in April 2004 by The New York Lottery and WLNY/TV 55. He was named Music Educator of the Year by the Long Island Musicians Association in 1995.
Mr. Sardo has been honored by the Nassau County Legislature, the Town of Hempstead, the Merrick Kiwanis, the Merrick Chamber of Commerce and the Bellmore-Merrick Council of PTAs for his passion of shaping young minds and his contributions to the Bellmore-Merrick Community.
Mr. Sardo was a member of the 2004 Bellmore-Merrick District Committee on Promoting Character, Civility, and Social Responsibility, and he is proud to have been selected to have his name listed on the Civil Rights Memorial Center’s ‘Wall of Tolerance’ in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2010, Mr. Sardo was honored with a "Leading Educator Award" from the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, where he served as a member of the New York Advisory Board for the National Young Leadership Conference.
A proponent of bringing techniques in Mindfulness to both students and staff, to balance out the increased stress of recent educational policy, Mr. Sardo teaches and coordinates a variety of mindful techniques to staff and students at Calhoun H.S. He a certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor through the Awareness is Freedom- School of Positive Transformation, in addition to being a Buddhist Practitioner and teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center in Massapequa.
Mr. Sardo is a member of NAfME, NYSSMA, and the Nassau Music Educators Association.
Away from Calhoun H.S., Mr. Sardo is the owner of Charles Street Entertainment, a live-event sound engineering company. He also has a storied career as a marching band visual clinician, working most recently with the Garden City H.S. and Lindenhurst H.S. Marching Bands. As a theatrical lighting designer and sound designer, Mr. Sardo has over 100 Off-Broadway, Regional, and Educational Theatre credits to his name.
Ms. Brie Schecher
Crescendo Choreographer/ Associate Director
Ms. Schecher was named Choreographer/ Associate Director of Crescendo in 2015, having served as Associate Choreographer since 2011. No stranger to the Bellmore-Merrick Central HS District, Brie was the Choreographer of the annual spring musical at W.C. Mepham High School, for productions including Fame, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Pippin, and All Shook Up.
Ms. Schecher has been dancing for over 25 years and continues singing and performing periodically, with a preference for Italian Aria's. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Queens College, where she was involved in productions of Fosse, Thriller, 42nd Street, Cinderella, Pajama Game and Chicago. As a Queens College sophomore, junior, and senior, Ms. Schecher was chosen to be a student choreographer for the school's Student Choreographer's Showcase.
Ms. Schecher also holds a BS in Nursing from Molloy College, and is a Registered Nurse at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola. Brie is also an accomplished studio teacher, having worked most recently as a member of the faculty at Center Stage Dance and Creative Arts in West Babylon.
Brie was a member of Crescendo during the years of 2000-2003 (as Brie Piccirillo) and is excited to be back and working with such a talented group.
Ms. Tara Melito
Crescendo Choreographer/ Associate Director
Ms. Maino was named Choreographer/ Associate Director of Crescendo in 2017, having served as Associate Choreographer in 2016. She has been dancing for almost three decades. Tara majored in dance at Hofstra University, training in ballet and modern dance. While at Hofstra, Tara was involved in the Faculty Dance Concerts each fall and spring, working with a number of esteemed choreographers. Tara choreographed and performed with the renowned student-run clubs, Danceworks and Movom (Mind Over Vision Over Movement), receiving a Dance Faculty Recognition Award for her dedication in furthering Hofstra's Dance Program.
Tara has taught dance to students ranging in ages from 3 to 18 at a studio in Queens over the last 6 years.
Ms. Maino holds a BA in Psychology and Dance and an MS in Elementary Education from Hofstra University. She is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Tara is a certified Special Education Teacher working in an elementary school in the NYC Public School System. She also holds a Certification in Dance Education (PreK-12).
Tara was a member of Crescendo during the years of 2001-2003 (as Tara Maino), and is thrilled to have joined the CCP Team.
Dr. Jennifer McKenna, Ed.D
Crescendo Choreographer Emeritus
Dr. McKenna was the Choreographer of Crescendo from 1995-2015. She was named the show choir's Associate Director in 1998, serving in that position until 2015. In addition, she was the Director/Choreographer of CCPDance during its existence from 2000-2002. She holds a BA in English with a minor in Secondary Education from Hofstra University and an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University. She also holds an Ed.D in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Phoenix.
Dr. McKenna taught English and Theatre Arts at West Islip H.S., where, from 1998-2015, she directed and/ or choreographed many of their 4 yearly productions. From 1998-2004, she served as the Advisor of the school's chapter of the International Thespian Society, and the faculty contact of the school's Drama Boosters Organization. Dr. McKenna also taught the Syracuse University Project Advance classes at West Islip H.S.
From 2004-2015, Dr. McKenna served on the Dance faculty of Center Stage Dance and Creative Arts in West Babylon, where she was also the CEO/Studio Director until 2009.
Dr. McKenna was nominated for the Disney Teacher Awards in 2003, and the Tony Awards Educator of the Year Award in 2015. She was honored by the Town of Islip for her work with her school's Drama Club, and by the Nassau County Legislature, the Town of Hempstead, and by Calhoun's chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society for her work with the CCP. She was listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 2004.
Relocating to Florida in 2015, where she is now a school administrator, Dr. McKenna was named Choreographer Emeritus to honor her for her 20 years of dedication to Crescendo.