Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Today is the final day of classes in 2009 for our students. With that in mind we would like to reflect on the first few months of the school year which have been an absolute whirlwind of activity. The students have had fantastic opportunities to develop their musical and performance skills during the Marching Band season, the Holiday Concert, the Benefit Concert, and a multitude of performances on and off the BHS campus.

To support their endeavors, the Music Boosters have had the busiest season ever. With the Marching Band trip to DisneyWorld looming in 2010, the fundraising arm of the organization was full throttle, providing opportunities for every student to raise money for their individual Disney account. Looking back, we are very proud of the endeavors of the students and families as they participated in the following general and Disney-based fundraisers:

Instrument Night with Rayburn Music
Merchandise sales (knit winter scarves, spirit sticks and stadium cushions)…these items are still available if you are still in gift-giving mode or plan to attend BHS Hockey games; contact Vicky Kikuchi at
Friends of the Music Boosters annual fundraising campaign
The Lion King ticket sales fundraiser
The Woburn Halloween Parade Walk-A-Thon
The Gala Benefit Concert and Silent Auction
The Calendar Raffle (winners will be announced in January)
The Crucible concessions

Many of the Marching Band students have taken advantage of the opportunities to raise money for their individual Disney account. To date, $11,732 has been raised by the students. The most funds raised by a single student totals $430.36! Students whose accounts have surpassed the total trip amount because of fundraising activity will be reimbursed at a later date.

Looking forward to 2010, the Music Boosters will face several challenges as we help our students and staff undertake a roster of monumental events. Here is a quick rundown of what we can look forward to:

Movie Night, a final fundraiser for student Disney accounts, to be held at BHS on Friday, January 22
Ides of March Concert on March 4
Town-wide Band Concert on March 11, to be held in the BHS gymnasium featuring all Burlington Public Schools instrumental students
Titanic, the Musical, March 19-28
• Marching Band trip to perform at DisneyWorld, April 19-23
BHS Spring Concert
Great East Choral Festival & day at Six Flags
Spring Sing
Music Awards Banquet

The next BHS Music Boosters Association meeting will take place on January 12 in the Band Room at BHS, beginning at 7:30 pm. Mark your calendars for this very important meeting when we will have a full presentation on the Marching Band trip to DisneyWorld.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and we’ll see you in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Burlington High School is pleased to announce that, following three rigorous afternoons of auditions last week, the casting is complete and the Tony award winning Broadway production, Titanic, the Musical, will set sail at BHS on March 19-20 & 26-28, 2010!

Based on the true story of the ill-fated luxury liner, audiences will witness the lives of characters who were actual passengers on board the fated ship. With music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and libretto by Peter Stone, this is not the love story seen in the movie. Theatre-goers will find themselves immersed in a range of emotions from great anticipation and excitement, to panic and grief as the voyage turns tragic.

Titanic's creative team is a proven winner with John Middleton-Cox as Director/Producer/Co-Music Director, Stephanie Diozzi as Assistant Director, Amanda Potts as Co-Music Director, Leanne Reardon as Choreographer, Shannon Janovitz as Production Manager, Peter Waldron as Set Designer and award-winning costume designer Maureen Tierson-Krebs.

Mark your calendars now. As with all other BHS musical productions, Titanic, the Musical will sell out. Tickets will go on sale February 1, 2010. More details to follow after the first of the year!

To learn more about “Titanic, the Musical,” follow the production’s blog at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The BHS Music Department will present its annual Holiday Concert this Thursday at 7:30 PM in the Fogelberg Auditorium. Performing on the concert will be the BHS Concert and Jazz Bands under the direction of Matt Lovell, and the BHS Chorus and Select Chorus under the direction of John Middleton-Cox.

In addition to their performance on Thursday, both the BHS Chorus and Select Chorus have been out and about in Burlington presenting their holiday music to enthusiastic groups of Burlington residents. They have recently performed for the Burlington Breakfast Rotary Club, the Burlington Senior Center, Atria Longmeadow and will also be a featured group at the Burlington Mall.

Don’t miss the concert this Thursday. It promises to be a wonderful evening of music that will bring the warmth of the season to all who attend.


The season is always filled with cheer,
When BHS Music is near!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"THE CRUCIBLE" Joins List of Most Memorable BHS Productions

The Burlington High School Drama Club has outdone itself this year with its presentation of The Crucible, by Arthur Miller on December 4 and 5. The production boasted a large cast of Burlington High School students and of the 21 cast members, 11 came from the ranks of the music department as did every member of the set construction and stage crew!

In 2006 the Burlington High School Drama Club, under the guidance of advisor/director Sue LaVoie, decided to produce a fall play to give theatre opportunities to students early in the school year. The first three productions were comedies with the inaugural production in 2006 of Fools, a comedy by Neil Simon, followed in 2007 by a more high-brow comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest,by Oscar Wilde. The year 2008 brought a new advisor/director, Anne Ford, to the Drama Club and another Neil Simon comedy, Rumors, was brought to life.

This year, however, opened a new chapter and level of performance at BHS with the production of The Crucible, a political allegory, addressing two events in American history: the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy hearings. Shannon Janovitz, BHS English teacher and Stage Manager for the production, commented that the play “addresses themes of personal and social responsibility, as well as fear, hysteria, and the corruption of power,” and further described it as “a strong example of protest literature … it is at once engaging and thought-provoking.” She concluded that The Crucible’s “intentions are to leave audiences with both a sense of hope for humanity, and an understanding of what it means to be socially responsible.”

The student actors in The Crucible were outstanding in their portrayals of the Salem Witch Trial era characters, taking on not just the subject matter in such a mature production, but also the understanding of period physical traits, mannerisms and dialogue. Bravo and kudos to each and every one of the performers (listed in order of appearance): Michael Keating as Reverend Samuel Parris, Futaba Shioda as Betty Parris, Michelle Lee as Tituba, Chelsea Rose as Abigail Williams, Taylor Waisnor as Susanna Wallcott, Maria Perfetti as Mrs. Ann Putnam, Andrew Maurer as Thomas Putnam, Stephanie Swiszcz as Mercy Lewis, Marissa Cote as Mary Warren, Kevin Parker as John Proctor, Emily Murgo as Rebecca Nurse, Danielle Schissler as Giles Corey, Rameez Pervaiz as Reverend John Hale, Caroline Coe as Elizabeth Proctor, Peter DeBarros as Francis Nurse, Katie Baker as Ezekial Cheever, Chris Coe as Marshall John Willard, Stuart Gelin as Judge Hathorne, David Murray as Deputy-Governor Danforth, Giovanna Fernandes as Martha Corey/Ruth Putnam and Bridget Hoarty as Sarah Good.

BHS productions not only provide opportunity for students on stage but they also develop skills and leadership backstage. The following students held backstage and tech responsibilities during The Crucible: Daryn Starkey as Assistant Stage Manager, John DiRusso as Lighting Engineer, Chris LaRocque as Sound Engineer, Tori Carrabino as Prop Master, Jessica Olin as Assistant Sound Engineer and Natalie Casey as Hair and Makeup specialist. Set Construction and Stage Crew members were Nick Abruzzese, Tori Carrabino, Edward Chilliest, Sam Cote, Ian Drummond, Chris LaRocque, John Kelley, Jessica Olin, Daryn Starkey and Nicholas Stewart.

Also helping to stage the show were Tim Rose on Set Construction and Publicity, Vanessa Ovian as Public Relations Manger, Chet Maguire on Publicity, Kate McMahon on Set Construction and Ticket Management, Rob Ford on Graphics and Music and Alan McRae (BHS Science) as Videographer.

Finally, this production would not have been possible without the expertise and professionalism of Anne Sawyer Ford as Director (also Poster and Program Designer), Shannon Janovitz as Stage Manager and John Middleton-Cox as Lighting and Sound Designer. These three individuals put their heart and soul into every moment they spent with the students in the preparation and execution of this production, securing a place for The Crucible at the top of the list of memorable productions at BHS.

Special Note: The BHS Music Boosters Association used the production nights as a fundraising opportunity by selling concessions before the performance and during intermission.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Additional Student Named to Senior District Festival Chorus

Just a quick addendum to the blog post of December 1 about MMEA Senior Districts. The number of participants in the Sr. District Festival Chorus from Burlington High School has risen by one. Jessica Olin will also be attending the festivities on January 9, 2010, at Lowell High School making it a total of four students who will be participating.

Congratulations to Jessica and all those who participated in districts.


The Burlington High School Marching Band Awards Banquet was held on December 2, 2009. The cafeteria was filled with students and their families with nary a seat to be found! Honored during the banquet were the Marching Band students, faculty, advisors, administration and parents. After all, producing the kind of results that were witnessed during this year’s football season from our kids takes an entire musical village!

Band, Color Guard and Dance Squad members were all honored in their respective groups, presented with a variety of service awards based on years of service. Principal Patrick Larkin paid tribute to all those present in the room, sharing his pride of the entire music community, and presented a special plaque to Matt Lovell, Band Director, who is celebrating 25 years of music education at Burlington High School. Student leaders were honored by their own peers and faculty members and advisors were honored by their students. The Music Boosters continued the presentations as it honored the second year members with hooded sweatshirt jackets, a very special tradition that has continued year after year. It is pretty safe to say that the evening was just one big love fest!

Very special thanks must go out to the 99 Restaurant, Billerica, for donating and serving the entire meal and we encourage all our families to pay them a visit this holiday season to thank them for their generosity. Many thanks, also, to the junior and senior families who donated desserts, to the students and parents who decorated the cafeteria for this festive event and to Shirley Fong for coordinating the entire event.

(photo of Matt Lovell receiving plaque from John Middleton-Cox and Principal Patrick Larkin at Marching Band Awards Banquet, honoring his 25 years as music educator)

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Over the past few months the Burlington High School Music Boosters Association members have been taking care of the members of the Marching Band, Dance Squad and Color Guard by providing plenty of water, hot chocolate and cider and a buffet of snacks during and after performances at football games, parades and even just prior to the Thanksgiving Day game.

At the risk of missing a couple of families (and we do apologize if that happens) we would like to acknowledge the following families who donated food and drink for the students during the football season: the Abruzzese family, the Bojarczuk family, the Brouillette family, the Cahoon family, the Chilliest family, the Conti family, the Cote family, the DiRusso family, the Dutton family, the Fleischmann family, the Fong family, the Frost family, the Gilstrap family, the Hanafin family, the Heissler family, the Horwitz family, the Kashgegian family, the Kelley family, the Kikuchi family, the Knox family, the Landry family, the Leva family, the Maiorana family, the Martin family, the McCartney family, the Mills family, the Nadir family, the O’Donnell family, the Parker family, the Ridley family, the Rosenberg family, the Roth family, the Sheldon family, the Shioda family, the Tsatsaronis family, the Villalta family, the Waisnor family and the Weisse family.

Sincere thanks to one and all and to Shirley Fong who coordinated this huge task.

photo from BHS Marching Band banquet this past Wednesday

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


On Saturday, November 21, 2009, eleven students from Burlington High School's music department attended Senior Districts, a competition sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association (MMEA). Representing BHS were Patrick Hanafin, Eric Leva, Cara DiPerna, Giovanna Fernandes, Stuart Gelin, Ariana Hall, Amanda Harrigan, Andrew Maurer, Nicollette Moodie, Jessica Olin, Jessica Villalta, Mary Jo Herlihy and Ryan Vibert.

After auditions of over 1100 students from more than 50 public and private schools were held in November, 450 students from grades nine through twelve were selected to participate in this prestigious Massachusetts Music Educators Association event.

The Burlington High School Music Department is pleased to announce that Ariana Hall, Giovanna Fernandes and Amanda Harrigan have been selected for the Northeastern District Festival Chorus. They will rehearse with a guest conductor and perform in a concert to be held at Lowell High School on Saturday, January 9, 2010.

Ms. Harrigan and Ms. Hall have also received All-State Choir recommendations and are eligible to participate during the weekend of March 19, 2010.

Congratulations to all of the Burlington High School students who competed this year. Their participation in this event has not only enriched their own musical experience but will enhance the entire Burlington High School music program.