About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center


2010 Press Releases

For Immediate Release

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Contact: Kathleen Mathieu, 201-939-1844 (office), 201-694-0384 (cell)

Accomplished Young Pianist to Share Her Gift through Solo Benefit Concert

Mary Longest (seated at the piano) and Angela Vallone will showcase their talent during Hands and Hearts for Breast Cancer: A Piano Benefit Concert. All proceeds benefit The Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center.
Photo courtesy Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Foundation

Demarest resident Mary Longest, a Northern Valley High School, (NVD) student, will perform a piano concert to benefit The Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and promote breast cancer awareness. The community is invited to attend the performance at NVD the evening of Friday, October 22.

Mary, who is a student of Closter-based Irene Panagakos Lafharis, has participated in the New Jersey Music Teachers Association Festival at Westminster Choir College for five consecutive years.  She has recorded at Bennett Studios and performed at Steinway Hall and Ridgewood Public Library. The concert will feature works by Beethoven, Mozart, Albeniz, Katchaturian and Gershwin, as well as the soloist’s own compositions. Angela Vallone, a student of Meagan Miller and the highest ranked high-school soprano in New Jersey, will perform with Mary for part of the concert. Both girls are seniors at NVD.

The dedicated young musician, a student of piano since age seven, said, “I welcome the chance to use my love of music to raise money and awareness to help others.” In her research to select a beneficiary for the concert, Mary even interviewed Dr. Miguel A. Sanchez, medical director of the breast care center and chief of pathology at Englewood Hospital. “Dr. Sanchez told me all about the work of the center, and I was really impressed,” she said. “We also talked about the connection between music and medicine, and about how music can help keep up the spirits of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff members.

“I feel very lucky to be able to use piano in this way,” she continued. “A solo concert like this at 17 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Mary is well supported in her efforts by her parents, Deborah and Greg, but she continues to be the driving force behind the concert, despite a calendar crammed with academics, school and church activities, volunteering, two part-time jobs and, of course, lessons and practicing. “I’m working as hard as possible to give a concert that merits the support of the people who come out to ‘support the cause,’ ” she said.
The concert will be held on Friday, October 22nd at 7:30pm at the Performing Arts Auditorium of Northern Valley Regional High School, 150 Knickerbocker Road, Demarest, NJ.

All concert proceeds will be donated to The Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center at Englewood Hospital, a pioneer and leader in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The internationally acclaimed center recorded 47,238 patient visits in 2009. The US Congress has recognized the center as a national model for the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease, and it has been designated by the American College of Surgeons as a cancer teaching center. Distinguished in many ways, The Leslie Simon Breast Care Center is a leader in detecting the smallest size tumors (Stage 0) in breast cancer patients.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.englewoodhospitalfoundation.org or at the high school.  Assigned VIP seating is available for $25. All other seating is first come, first served and tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the concert.

For further information about the concert, email Mary Longest at PianoBenefitConcert@gmail.com or call Deborah Longest at 201-658-5834.
Photo courtesy Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Foundation

More info about Mary Diane Longest…

Mary Diane Longest is 17 years old and a senior at Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest, NJ. For the past six years, Mary has been under the tutelage of Irene Panagakos Lafharis at her studio in Closter, NJ. Previously, between the ages of six and ten, she studied with Adele Pastre in Cresskill, NJ.

Mary has received the highest honors for performance at the New Jersey Music Teachers Association’s Annual Festivals, held at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. She has been awarded both the gold medal and trophy for her three-year and five-year consecutive accomplishments. At Westminster, world-renowned pianists and teachers, acting as judges, praised her sensitivity, phrasing and overall ability to play with emotion.

Mary has recorded both group and solo CDs at Bennett Studios in Englewood, NJ in 2006 and 2010. In addition to private lessons, Mary attended Composition Camp in 2007 at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Through Ms. Panagakos Lafharis, Mary had the opportunity to work with Anthony Aibel, a renowned Juilliard conductor and composer, from 2008 through 2009. She further developed her composition skills for her own selections, and participated in the area’s first Piano Orchestra, under Mr. Aibel’s direction. In 2009, she participated in the Young Musicians Competition held by the New Jersey Music Teachers Association in Princeton, NJ. Over a period of six years, Mary has performed in more than 20 recitals at Steinway Hall and the Ridgewood Public Library. In 2008, she was honored with the Musically Spirited Award.

Mary loves working with children and enjoys being a counselor for the Demarest Summer Recreation Program. Combining her passion for piano and youth education, she acts as a positive role model for children through her work as Teacher Assistant to Ms. Panagakos Lafharis. Mary is an inspiration to motivate young players to work harder between lessons. She enjoys sharing her love of music and has donated her time to both Hands and Hearts and Arts from the Heart, organizations that provide music to residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Since 2006, from Allendale to New Brunswick, Mary has joined her musical peers in sharing their gift of music with residents. Mary also volunteers with the St. Therese Church Youth Folk Group, playing at weekly Sunday Mass in Cresskill, NJ. Mary is also a member of the National Honor Society, the Italian Club, the Ski Club and the Bowling Team and enjoys working part time at Callahan Jewelers in Closter, NJ. 

A lifelong resident of Demarest, Mary has two siblings. Her brother, Michael, is a sophomore at the University of Scranton, and her sister, Caroline, is currently in fifth grade at the Demarest Middle School. Her parents are Deborah and Greg Longest. Mary’s future plans include pursuing music in college. Having been to Italy in both her sophomore and junior years, she looks forward to studying in Europe and exploring her musical gifts abroad during her college career.

Bio courtesy of Deborah and Greg Longest, September 2010.

About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provides patients with the highest level of compassionate care through a broad range of state-of-the-art clinical programs and the most advanced treatments and diagnostic services. It is renowned for its bloodless medicine and surgery program, cardiac and vascular programs and its leadership in breast care, oncology and joint replacement services. Through its affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Consortium for Graduate Medical Education, this thriving, acute-care and community teaching hospital trains medical residents in a variety of disciplines, including internal medicine, critical care medicine, surgery, pediatrics, podiatry, and pathology.  Englewood Hospital is home to a Vascular Fellowship Program that has trained a generation of world-class vascular surgeons.  Additionally, many members of the medical staff at Englewood Hospital serve as faculty members at Mount Sinai. Englewood Hospital has earned numerous accreditations from the Joint Commission and other organizations and is among the six percent of hospitals nationwide honored with the prestigious Magnet nursing award, a distinction that has been earned twice by its nursing staff.