By Journalist Ms. Jones
MARLBORO – On Friday, February 25th The Falcon celebrated Black History Month with a Gospel Celebration. Participants included Bernard McClinton & Friends, Brandon Williams, The Rainbow Gospel Singers, Todd Snead, Solomon Phifer, Jr. & Fulfilled Destiny, and The Voices of Impact.
“Black history is taking place right here tonight… Let us not forget the importance… We thank God that we’re able to be here… because of our ancestors who came across here in the hulls of ships,” prayed Bishop James A. Rollins, Sr. of The Tabernacle in Middletown as he reminded us that the fight is not over. “Let us not forget social justice… Voting is the currency of democracy… It’s on trial right now in Washington, DC.”
Pastor McClinton organized last year’s Juneteenth Celebration. He was requested to organize the Gospel Celebration. He also emceed the event.
“[Gospel music] is very important [to Black History Month]… You talk about any type of singing, there’s Gospel. A lot of people came from Gospel. R&B singers. Whatever other type of genre out there… Everyone always says, ‘I was brought up in the church singing Gospel music,’” said Pastor McClinton.
This Black History Month is the first one without owner Anthony “Tony” Falco. He passed away on October 28, 2021 due to COVID-19 complications.
“He had cancer in 2018. He had lymphoma. And he had a stem cell transplant to beat the lymphoma. So, his immune system was compromised and then he got COVID,” said Lee Falco, Tony’s son who now runs the Falcon. “[It’s] very important to me and I think a lot of people in the community [to keep his legacy going]… [I’m just]taking it day by day…It’s a challenge. It’s an honor.”
The Falcon started as a house concert series. Tony bought a church in Marlboro and in the 1980’s he wanted to make it a performing arts center. He later sold it to the post office and rebuilt it in their family’s backyard. He started doing shows there from 2000 to 2009 and then opened The Falcon in 2005. He started doing shows there in 2009. Asia Burks of The Voices of Impact reminisced of Tony’s passion and missing his presence.
“It’s different. The atmosphere is still the same, but a piece of the puzzle is still missing,” said Burks. “Tony was everywhere. In the booth doing the sound. Up here [on stage] trying to figure out the sound. He was always moving around the building.”
The Falcon’s mission is to support living artists. The shows are always free. People are asked to be generous in the donation box as 100% of donations are given to performers. Artists of different genres are welcome to perform there.
“[Tony] opened it to Gospel… and his son didn’t let it die,” said Bishop Audrey E. Giles of The Rainbow Gospel Singers who just celebrated her 25th church anniversary at God’s Grace Ministries in Beacon. “I really love going to the Falcon… even though they have the bar. People are doing what they do. But, it seems as though… when the Gospel singing is going on…They’re in the bar part, enjoying themselves with their truth, but they’re listening to the song… My niece [told me] the guy was back there… drinking… He said, ‘That lady sound great.’ And [he] took another shot. I pray that his life would never be the same because that’s what we aim to do living in this last day, in this last hour. We are trying to impact the kingdom of God. And that’s what we’re here for. Because God gave us purpose. And He did it on purpose.”