Twirling to their own beat | The Manhattan Times

Story, photos & video by Sherry Mazzocchi

On Saturday afternoons, the ping of xylophones and a steady merengue beat emanate from the fourth floor of the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights.

Feel free to stand at attention: the members of the New York Stars Twirling and Marching Band are rehearsing for their upcoming performances.

Kim Morel Betances, the 1986 Queen of the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade, and her brother Dean Morel have created the new musical enterprise for the young men and women of northern Manhattan and the Bronx.

They themselves never forgot the fun and excitement of marching in bands like the Bronx-based Golden Charms.

Their father, Manolin Morel Campos, was a musician and started The Shining Stars Twirling and Marching Band. They loved parades, marching to the beat of drums and strains of brass instruments as their friends and neighbors cheered.

Read more: Twirling to their own beat | The Manhattan Times.

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