Gifted Students of Calasanctius School Prefer Parousia Over The Leading Brands

Friday April 20, 1979 – Calasanctius School -167 Windsor Avenue. Buffalo, NY

167 Windsor Avenue. Buffalo, NY 14209

167 Windsor Avenue. Buffalo, NY 14209

This was our first time performing for Calasanctius.  We had just finished playing at “The Masthead” on Grant Street last Monday where we rocked it with “The George,” a local new wave band.  I remember this night pretty well.

We were all jazzed to unleash our “Good vs. Evil” show set on the super-intelligent kiddies when we were approached by the headmaster…  He questioned us as to why we had a six-foot crucifix with a rolled-up window shade drawn across the horizontal arm… and what was on the shade?  My brother pulled on the string and drew down the 3’ x 4’ shade to reveal a very large bingo card drawn on it.  I saw the headmaster make the sign of the cross.

He (who we now believe was Rev.Ted Podson according to a good friend and alumnus from the school), suggested that, this being a religious institution, he would prefer that we not perform the stunt on stage but no, we argued with him saying that “this is the show your students paid to see”…were pretty confident that they could handle it and could understand that were making a distinction between one’s own spirituality and the business of religion. Although in hindsight I guess we did intentionally embarrass and humiliate our hosts with our anti-establishment commentary.  But hey, I’m sure we inspired some critical thinking along the way.

We used the giant Crucifix during our rendition of the song “Hymn 43” by Jethro Tull.  My brother would sing, “Oh, Father high in heaven, Smile down upon your son, hey, hey.  Who’s busy with his money games, oh…” and that was Barry’s cue to pull the shade down and reveal the giant bingo card.  …and so it went.

The students at Caly loved us!  Our music really struck a chord with this crowd.  They liked our original songs the most; Myron, Lucifer’s Lament, Revelation, Cotton Holiday, Malmedy, Oh My Love… They got it… our wit and sarcasm and our presentation.  This particular class liked us enough to have us back every year up until graduation.

Parousia - welcomed among the intellectually gifted (aka: brain-freaks)

Parousia – welcomed among the intellectually gifted (aka: brain-freaks)

We were honored to be appreciated by such an original “think-tank” like Calasanctius.  If you aren’t familiar with the school here’s a brief history:

St. Joseph Calasanctius... “He quietly replaced the eye in its socket...”

St. Joseph Calasanctius… “He quietly replaced the eye in its socket…”





“…One of the important features of the Buffalo landscape was an obscure private school founded by emigres and initially supported by them.  The Calasanctius Preparatory School was a hard-to-categorize place: not a “blue jacket” prep school, neither was it a diocesan Catholic school, though it was organized, run, and largely staffed by priests.  It was founded the year Sputnik went up in 1957 and in September, Calasanctius Preparatory School for the Gifted opened to students ranging from the 9th through 12th grade.    Its focus was on a new willingness to embrace learning, academic rigor, inquiry, or simply sheer brain-power as assets rather than detriments for the new age.”






Saturday March 22, 1980 – Calasanctius School -Holiday Inn Grand Island, NY   

Holiday Inn Grand Island, NY- Coastal shot

Holiday Inn Grand Island, NY- Coastal shot

This was our second time performing for Calasanctius.  It was a school sponsored Junior Achievement event held at a Holiday Inn in Grand Island.  We were honored to be back performing for an audience that really liked us.  We especially needed that, coming off the heels of our March 19th gig at the Cambria Fire Hall playing at an event sponsored by St. Mary’s School for the Deaf.  They were expecting a dance band and they got Parousia instead.  😯

Holiday Inn Grand Island, NY- Coastal shot

Holiday Inn Grand Island, NY- Coastal shot

Having a back-yard BBQ before heading out to Davio's

Parousia hanging out before dusk.

Two notable pieces of history marked by this gig: It was the last show with our lighting tech “RMS Labs” aka’ Lenny Krucenski, and our first gig with Dave Styn as roadie for Parousia.

It was snowing and cold as normal for March in Buffalo.  At the end of the night we were anxious to get outta’ there and get to an after-party at Laura’s house.  I was leaving with Gregg and Bob when Bob suddenly announced (as he often did) that he left something behind and ran back into the ballroom to get it.

Gregg got in his truck and started it up. He went to pull up closer to the door and ran over something… we got out and saw that it was Bob’s bass.  He had left it leaning up against Gregg’s truck.  I remember Gregg getting pretty upset about that…”what kind of a f*n idiot leaves his guitar leaning up against an idling truck,” Gregg screamed into the night… thank god his bass was in a hard case.  I don’t think he ever told Bob he ran it over.  Oops, I guess I just let the cat out of the bag. Sorry!

Holiday Inn Grand Island, NY. – invaded by Parousia.

Holiday Inn Grand Island, NY. – invaded by Parousia.

More Calasanctius history:

“…Faculty brats were the core of the student body of Calasanctius.  Volunteers and part-timers from UB and from Roswell Park did a lot of teaching, which encouraged more faculty support and engagement.  The school admitted girls long before the private schools did, and was co-educational while the elite Catholic schools remain gender-segregated.  Educated people wanted faculty credentialed like them and rigorous like them…”



Friday, June 5, 1981 – Calasanctius Graduation – Davio’s on the boulevard

This was our third and final performance for Calasanctius.  This time the event was held at Davio’s on Niagara Falls Blvd.  It was a place that catered mostly to wedding receptions, reunions and other reasons to party and get down.  Anyway, we didn’t care where we were because we loved playing for this graduating class of super intelligent-beings and hey, there was a full bar just a few yards away.

Photos of Parousia compliments of “Crissy” Mike Carol’s little sister.

Photos of Parousia compliments of “Crissy” Mike Carol’s little sister.

I remember we were hanging out in the parking lot before the show.  Patt was out there and so was Robert.  I think Patt had been drinking a little bit otherwise he may not have done what he did.  I’m not sure how it started but Patt and Robert got into a discussion about who was faster.  I think Bob was bragging that he was a fast runner and could not be caught and Patt challenged him.

Before I knew what was happening they both took off like a bolt of lightning and the chase around the Davio’s parking lot was on!  Man, I never saw the both of them move so fast!  I’ll let Patt tell the rest of this story, not to steal his thunder.

Calasanctius School -06.05.1981 - Davio's

Calasanctius School -06.05.1981 – Davio’s

Events that made this show memorable: This was our first year anniversary with the fabulous “Mike and Shirley light show” and this was my first or second gig with my new North drum kit!  It was a college graduation gift to me.  I bought it from Edwin’s drum store on Broadway for about $960.00.  I paid for it with the last of my student loan money (which I paid back in its entirety six years later).

Calasanctius School -06.05.1981 - Davio's

Calasanctius School -06.05.1981 – Davio’s

Ad for Gerry North's Signature Drum Series

Ad for Gerry North’s Signature Drum Series

Final Facts about Calasanctius:

“…When City Honors was formed, Calasanctius lost its core constituency. The school’s census gradually dwindled. The founder generation passed on and was replaced by well-meaning, traditional prep school managers who didn’t comprehend the ethos of academic rigor that was plausible during the Kennedy New Frontier years and in June of 1991 Calasanctius closed its doors for good.”

 Calisantius text appears courtesy of Artvoice “Intellectuals and Community” Jan. 2013 by Bruce Fisher.

Financial Record for June 5, 1981 Calasunctius Show

Financial Record for June 5, 1981 Calasunctius Show

2 comments for “Gifted Students of Calasanctius School Prefer Parousia Over The Leading Brands

  1. Barry Cannizzaro
    July 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Yes; I do remember thoroughly embarrassing “the good headmaster” by performing the Jethro Tull tune; Hymn 43 as I pulled down the bingo card in front of the cross when I sang the line “whose busy with his, money games” (hey; what can I say; The Doors said the word “higher” on their first and last appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show even though Morrison was told to replace “higher” with the word “better” which they didn’t and then some TV station “big wig” told them after the show, “you’ll never play Sullivan again!” Morrison didn’t care; he already made a name for himself and his band on national TV and with or without Sullivan they were on their way to the top. I too made a last-minute controversial decision and performed the despicable bingo card/cross act; but I was damn proud I did players! Like Eric Bishoff; a giant promoter of the WWF used to say: “controversy creates cash; baby”. So band mates; Hollywood, here we come! What can I say!

    Besides the bingo card incident, I remember distinctly how all the little Calasanctius braniacs went wild and crazy when we played ‘Suffragette City’, and ‘Rebel Rebel’ by David Bowie. They were all over the dance floor. What a parrrrrrrrrrrrty baby! Yeehaw!

    That about does it for this dim witted guitarist’s trip down memory lane for this gig. Keep on rockin’ all you turks! Peace!

    -Da dimwit!

  2. March 8, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Here is my funny story about Ted Reindhardt… back on June 5, 1981 my band Parousia performed at a party for Calasanctius high school at Davio’s Restaurant on Niagara Falls Blvd. I remember that before our show, I went to the bar to get a drink and there was a tall man sitting on a bar stool in front of me. He was watching my band set up and in particular he was eye-balling my North drum kit. His back was to the window and there was a lot of glare, so I couldn’t see his face to well. He said hi, and asked me about my drum kit, where I got it, how much it cost… and then he asked me, “Hey who’s your favorite drummer in Buffalo.” Without hesitation I said, “Ted Reinhardt”. He looked at me with a quizzical expression and said, “I’m Ted Reinhardt”. I was mortified that I didn’t recognize him, but we had a good laugh over it.

    Ted was a drumming inspiration to me and to many others. He was an awesome visage behind the drums. He lurched over his drum kit like a buzzard and played with bare feet. I never got to see the band Rodan, but I wished I had. I did see him many times in Spyro Gyra and Gamalon and was always blown away by his playing. Hat’s off to a great guy and an amazing drummer. We’ll all miss you Ted! 03/04/2015

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