concert for ukraine
Sara Jean Ford, of Phantom of the Opera fame, sings New York State of Mind with Richie Cannata on saxophone (Photo by Joe Abate)

A night of music swept Madison Theatre at Molloy College on April 5 to aid the people of Ukraine. 

World-renowned musicians, students, and Broadway stars united for the 2-hour benefit concert held by Drs. Louis and Julie Pannullo. The idea for the fundraising event stemmed from their desire to help Ukrainians after seeing the ongoing atrocities of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“We support the people of Ukraine, a sovereign country that is under an unprovoked attack by an aggressor that threatens the lives of innocent people in an attempt to weaken and destroy democracy,” said Dr. James Lentini, president of Molloy College, as he introduced the show. “At Molloy, we place great value on the way we treat and respect each individual and the war in Ukraine is an affront to those values. We want to make it clear: We stand with Ukraine.”


Derrick Davis, of Phantom of the Opera fame, sings “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story (Photo by Joe Abate)

Louis Pannullo, a musician and practicing dentist in Williston Park, has coordinated other musical benefits, including a fundraising show for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This time, the Pannullos assembled their talented colleagues and friends to perform beloved melodies ranging from Gershwin, Puccini, Sondheim, and more.

The 13 performances included vocal renditions from Phantom of the Opera’s Julia Udine, Jeremy Stolle, Elizabeth Welch, Carl Moe, Sara Jean Ford, Derrick Davis, and Raquel Suarez Groen. Natalie Tenenbaum, a multigenre concert pianist, led a West Side Story medley. Richie Cannata, acclaimed saxophonist and former member of Billy Joel’s band, took the stage with Pannullo, esteemed pianist Christopher Clark, and Sara Jean Ford to perform Joel’s “New York State of Mind.”

(L to R) Julia Udine, Sara Jean Ford, Elizabeth Welch, and Raquel Suarez Groen, of Phantom of the Opera fame, sing together (Photo by Joe Abate)


The full company and students from the Collaborative Arts Project 21, the college’s prestigious theater conservatory, concluded the show with a tear-jerking interpretation of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel.

About 300 people filled the audience, with tickets priced at $50 each. The back of the programme provided spectators with a QR code link to make personal donations to Ukraine through the Diocese of Rockville Centre Mission Office.

All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Catholic Relief Services to help the people of Ukraine.

Carlton Moe, of Phantom of the Opera fame, sings Verdi’s “La Donna e Mobile” (Photo by Joe Abate)
Jeremy Stolle, of Phantom of the Opera fame, sings “I’ve Been Everywhere” (Photo by Joe Abate)
Molloy College Artistic Director Angelo Fabroni introduces the concert (Photo by Joe Abate)
Molloy College President James Lentini offers support for Ukraine and for the benefit concert (Photo by Joe Abate)

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