Great Neck North alum returning home with the Spizzwinks

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Zachary Lee and the Yale Spizzwinks will be performing at Great Neck North High School on Jan. 12 as part of a
Zachary Lee and the Yale Spizzwinks will be performing at Great Neck North High School on Jan. 12 as part of a "hometown tour." (Photo courtesy of Zachary Lee)

The world’s oldest underclassman a cappella group will perform in Great Neck on Jan. 12, one of its Great Neck native members said, and he hopes to help inspire a new generation of musicians.

Zachary Lee, the valedictorian of Great Neck North’s 2017 class, said the Yale Spizzwinks always makes a point to touch every inhabited continent with the power of music. This can amount to 100 shows a year, he said.

But the chance to return home is particularly special.

“There’s just something very special about home and returning to the place where it forms who you are,” Lee, a music major at Yale, said. “The music programs in Long Island and at the school really helped me grow into a performer and a musician and wind up in a group that travels all over the world.”

“So I really do feel I owe a lot to this place too,” Lee added.

In addition to the Jan. 12 concert at North High School at 7:30 p.m., Lee said the Spizzwinks will be staying around performing at other schools he attended.

The group since 1914 has grown a large repertoire, Lee said, with “everything from Sinatra to Ed Sheeran, The Beatles to Bruno Mars” and Yale classics sprinkled with tongue-and-cheek humor.

“They’re all fun, they’re all great,” Lee said. “We have a wide selection of music to choose from and we know them all well.”

Lee said one of the goals of this “hometown tour” is to encourage people to show support for the arts and the outreach the group does, while showing a younger generation how music “could add so much to their lives.”

“I’ve always loved the idea of getting kids to follow music and pursue it,” Lee said, recalling how the orchestra would return to the middle schools to encourage younger students.

And ultimately, Lee said he is very excited about showing the Spizzwinks – which he described as a group of “great friends” with varied interests – his own “part of the world.”

“It’s really something special,” Lee said of the group. “I don’t know where else I could find something like this and I’m very excited to bring them to my home town, to bring them to Great Neck.”

Tickets are available at  https://spizzwinks.ticketbud.com/the-spizzwinks-in-great-neck-ny

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