Yesterday, February 3, marked the 200th birthday of historic Chappaqua resident Horace Greeley. In recognition of that birthday, Horace Greeley High School students were invited to perform in a commemorative ceremony at Greeley Square in Manhattan, which is just south of Herald Square where Broadway and the Avenue of the Americas cross.
The students were invited by the 34th Street Partnership, which is headed by President Daniel Biederman, a resident of New Castle and parent of a 2004 Greeley graduate. Two groups of Greeley students performed on the Square in front of the pedestal of the seated statue of Horace Greeley sculpted by John Quincy Adams Ward, circa 1890.
Greeley’s a capella group, the Madrigal Choir, directed by Maureen Callan, launched the festivities with their rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” During the course of the ceremony, they also sang “America” (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee) and concluded the ceremony with a rousing “Happy Birthday” to the great man.
The members of the Madrigals who braved the cold in Manhattan included Jonathan Abrams, Quinn Areces, Jason Berkower, Karl Engemann, Ali Goldberg, Alex Greenzeig, Vaishali Kumaraguru, Megan Maher, Allison Melvin, Carly Pirro, Sarah Roberts, Brian Swinney, Sarah Visnov and Carolyn Wolf.
Members of Greeley’s Theater Repertory class presented “A Tribute to Horace Greeley,” along with a professional actor who channeled Horace Greeley. Through individual monologues, the students recounted the milestones of Greeley’s life. Notables in that portrayal included Samuel “Mark Twain” Clemens (Emerson Obus); Cecilia Cleveland (Ali Goldberg), Greeley’s niece who spent a summer in Greeley’s home in Chappaqua and published a book about in 1874 entitled “The Story of a Summer, or Journal Leaves from Chappaqua;” Margaret Fuller (Alex Young), a journalist, critic and the first female foreign correspondent for the “New York Tribune” under Greeley; Abraham Lincoln (Cole Benack); Karl Marx (David Olonoff); and Edgar Allen Poe (Alex Gold). The remaining Theatre Rep performers acted as narrators, Jahanara Alamgir, Cyndi Bonacum, Joe Hinderstein, Nell Okula, Justin Wolf, and Emma Zander, or poets, Sky Jarrett and Zoe Mackey. Christopher Schraufnagel directed the performers.
Also present at the ceremony were descends of Horace Greeley: triple great grandsons, Alexander Horace Greeley, 24, and Mathew Horace Greeley, 22, and their families.