Photoessay: Blue Pearl


Arul Gnanasivam

Students swing dance at the annual Blue Pearl dance, hosted by Lynbrook Marching Band

Arul Gnanasivam, Photo Editor

Students danced the night away at the annual Blue Pearl dance on Jan. 26, as swing and dance music from the Lyratones jazz band echoed throughout the gym. The dance was held on behalf of the Lynbrook Instrumental Music Boosters and raised money for the band program.

Band members dressed in tuxedos and suits for the event and served a variety of foods and drinks to the guests, such as homemade baked goods and handcrafted Italian sodas and floats. Drinks and floats were served at the makeshift bar, which was decorated with strings lights and decorative bulbs, adding to the ambiance of the semi-formal occasion. Next to the bar were tables, each with a candle in the middle and to the side was a glowing decorative water fountain, all of which added to the classy atmosphere of the event. Inside the gym, music played in front of a large space of the gym where students could swing dance.

Students also had the opportunity to get their photos taken in front of a backdrop by a professional photographer. In efforts to promote the dance, the Lynbrook Band went to great lengths to put out advertisements. The multiple promotion efforts included swing dance tutorials on Youtube, a promotional video starring senior Alvin Han, a Facebook event, profile picture spams and flyers around the school.

The dance featured live music, provided by The Lyratones jazz band. The Lyratones jazz band began about 30 years ago as an employee activity for the Lockheed Corp., located in Sunnyvale, California. The name Lyratones was initially LERA-tones; the “LERA” stood for Lockheed Employee Recreation Association. Over time, non-Lockheed employees joined the band’s 17-piece orchestra, including Lynbrook history teacher David Pugh, who plays the drums. Pretty soon numerous managers requested the Lyratones to play at their events, and the Lyratones became the orchestra they are today. For the Blue Pearl performance, music director Michael Pakaluk joined the band on the trumpet.

The Lyratones perform songs for a variety of dance styles, including Samba, West Coast Swing and Waltzes, and play arrangements from famous artists such as Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington and Ted Heath.