St. Francis Prep’s music marathon in their memory


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

Photos Courtesy of St. Francis Prep High School
Photos Courtesy of St. Francis Prep High School

The memory of two teachers at St. Francis Preparatory High School — and the lessons they imparted — lived on through the school’s 12-hour music marathon.

Conducted by both students and faculty, the second annual concert sought to memorialize two Prep icons: John McGinley and Mark Teofilo.

McGinley, the school’s moderator and former physical education teacher, passed away five years ago at age 75. A fixture at the school for 50 years — earning the school’s inaugural “Honorary Alum” and “Franciscan Spirit Award” honors — he helped run different organizations and concerts, officials said.

Then last December, the Prep community lost Mark Teofilo, the percussion and music theory teacher and conductor at the school for 25 years. Teofilo worked with the school’s marching band and percussion ensemble and won Prep’s “Excellence in Education” award in 2003. Officials said he had just turned 50 before suddenly passing away one week before Christmas, due to heart complications.

“They were both great human beings. Mark was a great teacher, and John worked very hard all his life to help people. They were great assets to the Prep community,” said Robert Corbino, music chair of the school.

The Fresh Meadows school established a scholarship fund in their name and honor, raising more than $10,000 so far from the March 18 benefit. Officials said the money will go toward helping students in the future attend Prep.

Throughout the day — beginning at 8 a.m. — the school’s jazz band, orchestra, percussion ensemble, chorus and chamber choir took the stage, along with student and faculty soloists.

“It was a long day, but there was a feeling that we were doing something good — that something good was coming out of this tragedy,” Corbino said.