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Arlington junior high chorus to reunite after 50 years

By John Davis

POUGHKEEPSIE -- Former Arlington students who sang a half-century ago in the junior high school chorus will be reuniting today to hold a sing-along with their former director, John LaFalce, 84.

He is flying from his home in Mesa, Ariz., for the reunion at Arlington Middle School — formerly the junior high school building.

"It's like a dream," LaFalce said. "I can't believe it's happening. Some of my kids are going to be 60 and 65 years old."

Bill Dederer, 66, of Rotonda, Fla., is one of those "kids." He sang tenor in the former Arlington Junior High School chorus in 1957-60 while attending seventh through ninth grades there.

"The whole point is to have fun," Dederer said. "It's not going to be a performance."

LaFalce was music director in the Arlington district from 1955 through 1982. He taught music classes as well as directed the junior high school chorus.

Throughout the years, his students sang at numerous service clubs and senior citizen homes in Dutchess County. A highlight was a performance at the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens.