A long-time Tanglewood volunteer and second-home resident of Pittsfield was feted on Monday night at a jazz concert in Manhattan honoring his longtime service to the La Guardia High School of Music, Art and the Performing Arts near Lincoln Center.

Gabriel Kosakoff, 87, was cited for his decades of service to the school, formerly known as Music and Art and featured in the movie and TV series "Fame."

"The concert was an amazing tribute to a beloved teacher," according to his colleague Renee Rota. "It was a thrill to celebrate the accomplishments of an extraordinary educator who has touched the lives of thousands of students."

Kosakoff, a trombone player, graduated from Music and Art in 1944, joining the military before returning to teach at the school.

"I felt I could make a better contribution to music teaching than behind a trombone," Kosakoff told the New York Times last week. He still works in the school’s alumni office, helping to plan events.

"No child left behind? Are you kidding?" he asked rhetorically. "Without the arts, all children are left behind."

Kosakoff began volunteering at Tanglewood in 1997 and has been a board member of the Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers. He has been honored as a Tanglewood Tour Guide of the year and also edited "The Guides’ Guide to Tanglewood."

Kosakoff and his wife, the former Carol Lenhoff of North Adams, recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.


Advertisement

They had met when he worked as house manager for the 92nd Street Y concert hall in Manhattan, where she was ushering for $1 a night. "She decided she liked the music," Kosakoff recalled. "I came with it."

Now, Carol Kosakoff still ushers at Tanglewood and the couple enjoys time with their son, daughter and five grandchildren.

He described his students as keeping him young since, year after year, they were always the same age, so he had to be. "I’m on whatever level they’re on," he told the Times.

n

Former Mount Greylock Regional High School student and Williamstown native Molly Carson, now of Bennington, Vt., has been named Miss Vermont International 2014.

Based on her resume, personal and professional background, community service, and dedication to promoting her chosen platform, the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org), Carson was selected from among dozens of applicants to represent Vermont in the Miss International pageant to be held in Jacksonville, Fla., July 28 through Aug. 3.

According to the Miss International website (miss-international.us), "The International Pageant system promotes today’s young women and their accomplishments. Being the premiere pageant for young women has given Miss International a chance to open doors for women everywhere."

Carson left Mount Greylock Regional High School early, after her junior year in 2011-12, to attend Clarkson University’s Early College Program at The Clarkson School. Now a sophomore at Clarkson University majoring in psychology and biology with a minor in business, she also is an Airman First Class with the Vermont Air National Guard.

As Miss Vermont International, her duties will include making personal appearances throughout the year at community parades, festivals, and special events where she will raise awareness and support for Wounded Warrior Project.

For further information about the Miss International pageant, sponsorship opportunities, Carson’s work with Wounded Warrior, and her appearance schedule, email lucygardnercarson@msn.com.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.