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Famed Composer Carmino Ravosa, 85, Longtime Briarcliff Resident

Carmine Ravosa
Carmine Ravosa Photo Credit: wikipedia

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Longtime Briarcliff resident Carmino Ravosa, one of the most popular songwriters for children in the nation and its foremost musical composer on historical subjects the past five decades, died Sunday, July 19, in White Plains. He was 85.

Ravosa was a resident of Briarcliff Manor Village, where he served for many years on the board of trustees of the Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society.

Ravosa was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1930. After serving in the U.S. Army as a corporal in the U.S. Army Band, he graduated from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Conn. — where he met his wife of almost 60 years, Claire Colby — and received a master's degree and an advanced degree from Columbia University.

He was a music teacher at the Fox Meadow Elementary School in Scarsdale from 1965-78, a faculty fellow and the composer-in-residence at The Dalton School in New York City from 1978-99 and the composer-in-residence for Edison Schools Inc. (the largest private manager of charter schools in the nation) in New York City from 1999 to 2003.

He was a songwriter for CBS' "Captain Kangaroo" and "Romper Room", PBS' "Shining Time Station" and PBS' publication "Sesame Street Magazine."

At the invitation of President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, Ravosa gave a solo command performance of his musical "Ghosts in the White House" in the East Room of the White House in 1978 for more than 600 Halloween guests. He also performed selections from his musicals "Shh! We're Writing the Constitution" and "From George to George" at the 1989 inauguration of President George H. W. Bush. Ravosa again performed his musical "From George to George" at the Smithsonian National Museum during the 2001 inauguration of George W. Bush.

He is survived by his wife, Claire Ravosa; his daughters, Carine and her husband, Arnold Feist, and Gina Ravosa; his son, Dean Ravosa and his wife, Ann; eight grandchildren, Nathan, Elissa, Michael, Marielle, Erinn, Colby, Parker and Skylar; and his sister, Corena Ravosa.

Visiting hours will be from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Beecher Flooks Funeral Home, 418 Bedford Road, Pleasantville. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8 at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 197 Manville Road, Pleasantville.

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