Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Spirit Comes Alive at BHS Holiday Concert this Thursday

The Burlington High School Music Department invites you to enjoy a bit of holiday cheer on Thursday, December 15, 2011, at the annual BHS Holiday Concert. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of the high school. Featured on the concert will BHS Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble led by Matt Lovell, and the BHS Chorus and Select Singers led by John Middleton-Cox.

The BHS Holiday Concert promises to be a wonderful evening of music that will bring the warmth of the season to all who attend.  Admission is free and everyone is welcome to enjoy this holiday gift of music.  Fogelberg Performing Arts Center is handicapped accessible.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Noises Off" set to open tonight: Don't miss the hilarity of it all!

The Burlington High School Drama Club is ready to raise the curtain on one of its funniest performances in recent years!

Noises Off opens tonight at 7:30 pm in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of Burlington High School, 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington. 

A hilarious and raucous look at what really happens backstage in the play within the play, Nothing On, this  Burlington High School production will have you laughing in the aisles and talking about sardines and doors for weeks to come.

Cast members of Noises Off are Danielle Schissler, Zaven Ovian, Anthony Cruz, Katrina Gilstrap, Michelle Lee, Chris Coe, Giovanna Fernandes, Jeff Manni and Walker Peterson. 

Don't miss all the fun! Tickets are available at the door and are $5 for students and senior citizens; $10 for adults.


Photos courtesy of Chet Maguire

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: Video memories

This past Thursday on a sparkling November morning, the Thanksgiving game was played victoriously by the BHS Red Devils.

Prior to the game the BHS Marching Band accompanied baritone Zaven Ovian by putting down their instruments and performing the American Sign Language (ASL) version of The Star Spangled Banner. The crowd rose to their feet and as the anthem began, you could hear a pin drop at Varsity Field. We wanted to share a clip of the ASL anthem, provided by alumni parent Shirley Fong:

During the half-time show the Marching Band played their hearts out and added a few exciting crowd-pleasing tricks. 

And finally, what better way to teach than to show...Mr. Lovell took to the stands with a trumpet and became one of the gang!

There have been many wonderful memories created this year with the BHS Marching Band. Here's to a great year and many, many more to come!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Laughing Allowed!: BHS Drama Club presents "Noises Off"

Cyber Monday shoppers, don't forget to buy your tickets to the show!

The Fogelberg Performing Arts Center at Burlington High School is poised for what The New York Post has described as the “funniest farce ever written,” with the performances of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, on December 2 and 3. The fast-paced, door-slamming comedy will be presented by the Burlington High School Drama Club on December 2 and 3 at 7:30 pm.

Noises Off follows a traveling acting company’s struggles to prepare and perform a bedroom farce called Nothing On.  The romantic entanglements, general cluelessness, and bad habits of the cast and crew create a catastrophic production of the play-within-a-play, which in turn provides for a hilarious experience for the audience of Noises Off.

Noted for its strong ensemble of comedic players, the Burlington cast is directed by BHS English department faculty member Ann Ford. Cast members includes (in order of appearance):

Danielle Schissler as Dotty Otley (& Mrs Clacket in Nothing On)
Zaven Ovian as Lloyd Dallas (& director of Nothing On)
Anthony Cruz as Garry LeJeune (& Roger Tramplemain in Nothing On)
Katrina Gilstrap as Brooke Ashton (& Vicki in Nothing On)
Michelle Lee as Poppy Norton-Taylor (& stage manager of Nothing On)
Chris Coe as Frederick Fellowes (& Philip Brent in Nothing On)
Giovanna Fernandes as Belinda Blair (& Flavia Brent in Nothing On)
Jeff Manni as Tim Allgood (& company manager of Nothing On)
Walker Peterson as Selsdon Mowbray (& burglar in Nothing On)

Reserved seating tickets for Noises Off are available by visiting, by phone at 781-A-FUN-TIC and at the door. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Fogelberg Performing Arts Center, located at 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, Massachusetts, is handicapped accessible.

Cyber Monday shoppers, don't forget to buy your tickets to the show!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: A Final Farewell to Senior Band Members

Seniors from the BHS Color Guard, Marching Band and Dance Squad

This is it...the final game for all seniors in the BHS Marching Band, Color Guard and Dance Squad.

The Burlington High School Red Devils will take on the Lexington Minutemen tomorrow at Varsity Field. Prior to the game the seniors and parents will be recognized for their contribution while members of the band. A bittersweet moment for the parents, the ceremonies will begin at approximately 9:50 with kick-off at 10:15.

If you haven't yet heard, the BHS Marching Band will not play the National Anthem at the game...they will perform the ASL National Anthem. Check out the previous blog entry to find out  more details.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

BHS Marching Band to perform ASL National Anthem on Thanksgiving

This Thursday morning the Burlington High School Marching Band, our own dedicated group of student musicians, will astonish one and all during the opening ceremonies of the Thanksgiving Day game against Lexington at Burlington’s Varsity Field.

At any given home game, Burlington’s varsity football games open with the teams taking the field and baritone soloist Zaven Ovian performing the National Anthem accompanied by his fellow musicians in this dedicated marching organization.

This is not your typical opening and, by now, everyone knows that the BHS Marching Band is not your typical performing group.

This Thursday during the opening ceremonies of the final game of the season and a farewell to all seniors, the Marching Band will take the field just prior to their performance of the National Anthem, led by senior drum major Andrew Frost and junior drum major Eddie Gelberg. They will take their positions . . . and then at approximately 10:15 am they will forego the instruments they have played all season.

The Burlington High School Marching Band will sign, not sing, the National Anthem!

Burlington High School Marching Band director Matt Lovell came up with the idea at the beginning of the school year and following a passing mention to the band was delighted to find that members went to the internet and self-taught the ASL anthem. The students took it to their fellow musicians who learned it in no time.

To the best of their knowledge, no other musical organization has done anything of this kind.

This Thursday morning as spectators in the stands are prepared to rise for the playing of The Star Spangled Banner, they will rise, hear a single voice, and view a sea of words as the members sign in complete reverence and pride the lyrics to the national anthem of the United States of America. 

Just another example of how the learning environment at BHS can have an affect on our students in more ways than we could ever have imagined!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

ALL IN A DAY'S WORK: BHS Marching Band performs Veteran's Day and Friday-Night Lights

The Burlington High School Marching Band will take part in a day of remembrance and performance as it celebrates Veteran’s Day and the final Friday-Night-Lights game of the season at Varsity Field.

Helping to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the US involvement in World War II, the band will participate in the Veteran’s Day observance on the town common with the program beginning with the flag raising and "Call to Colors"  at 9:00 am. The BHS Marching Band will perform a number of patriotic selections. If there is inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in the Human Resources Building, 61 Center Street.

In the evening, Burlington hosts the Wilmington Wildcats in a game that will decide the second place spot in the league. The competition promises to be fierce as both teams come to the field with a 3-1 small school record in the Middlesex League.  The final game will take place at home on Thanksgiving Day at 10:15 am.

The BHS Marching Band will perform during the half-time show and continues to dazzle with its routines on the field. Don’t miss this final Friday Night Lights half-time show and match-up against the Wilmington Wildcats. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Annual Gala Benefit Concert hits the mark again for Music Boosters

Another successful Gala Benefit Concert and Silent Auction has now come and gone. It was a fantastic evening of music hosted by the BHS Music Boosters featuring the New England Tenors and showcasing BHS alumni who revived BHS musicals greatest moments.

The Music Boosters would like to thank the following businesses and individuals who contributed to the silent auction: 

Burlington Expert Tailor
Burlington High School Music Department
Burlington House of Pizza
Burlington Jade
Burlington Players
Burlington Recreation Department
Burlington Studios
Burlington House of Pizza
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Crossroads Liquor
Eccoli Hair Design 
Echo Enrichment Center
Empire State Building Sky Ride
Flatbread Company
Fresh City and Green Tangerine Spa and Salon
Herb Chambers Lexus
Get In Shape for Women
James A Martin Company, Inc
LL Bean
Liquor Cabinet
Mahoney’s Rocky Ledge
Massage Envy
New England Aquarium
New York Sky Ride
Not Your Average Joe’s
Perfect Promos
Reagle Music Theatre of Boston 
Real School of Music
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Sharper Image Hair Design
Showcase Cinemas Woburn
Spencer Cleaners
Tetra Tech (Wilmington)
Uno Chicago Grill
WEEI Sports Radio
Wilson Farms
Wyndham Hotel (Chelsea)

We would also like to acknowledge the following Music Booster families for their gift items for the Silent Auction: 
The Shafman Family
The Kikuchi Family
The Fleischmann Family
The Chiang Family 
The Parker Family  
Laura Stone

The festive dessert buffet is always a wonderful addition to our fundraising event. The Music Boosters would like to acknowledge the following businesses for their generous donations: 

Delicious Desserts 
La Cascia’s
Dunkin’ Donuts 
Stop N Shop Bedford
Stop N Shop Reading
Whole Foods
Burlington Marriott
Hilton Garden Inn

In addition to the business participation, the Music Boosters would like to thank the members of the organization who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this event such a wonderful success. Parental involvement is so important to the success of not just this event but to all of our endeavors. We thank each and every parent who took part in the planning of the Gala Benefit Concert and Silent Auction.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


In one week the Burlington High School Music Boosters will host their annual Gala Benefit Concert and Silent Auction in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of the high school. The event will take place on Saturday, November 5, at 7:30 pm. Doors will open at 6:30 pm for bidding on our exciting silent auction items.

Silent auction items include tickets to the Boston Red Sox, orchestra seats for La Cage Aux Folles, season tickets to all BHS theatrical productions, gift baskets and gift cards for services and eateries in the Burlington area. All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the programs of the Music Boosters which include scholarships, transportation, award banquets and other items requested by music staff that support successful educational experiences and musical performances.

The performers are busily preparing for what promises to be an exeptional night of music and memories. Not only will the New England Tenors be returning after an overwhelmingly popular performance last year but we will also bring back stars of BHS musicals past in revivals of their showstopping songs.

The NEW ENGLAND TENORS will be guest artists for the event following their highly acclaimed concert performance last year. The tenors, JOHN MIDDLETON-COX (Burlington Public School’s own Coordinator of Music), DAMIEN CORCORAN and RAY BAUWENS, will perform musical selections that cross generations and styles, from opera to musical theatre to Irish rock!

Alumni who will return to perform at the Gala Benefit Concert are:

ANGELA RICHARDSON (2004), who is remembered for her larger than life portrayal of Auntie Mame at BHS. A graduate from Eastern Nazarene College in music performance, she is employed by the Reagle Music Theatre of Boston. Angela has performed with a number of local theatre companies including Nunsense with the Burlington Players and most recently as Jo in the Wellesley Players sold out run of Little Women.

AMANDA POTTS (2004), a graduate of the University of Connecticut and a MMuEd student at Gordon College. She is remembered at BHS for her roles in Guys and Dolls and Mame.  Amanda has recently starred in The Center for the Performing Arts (Natick) production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and ACT Andover’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Amanda is the instrumental music teacher at Francis Wyman Elementary School.

ANDREA GIANGRECO (2009) who recently graduate of Salem State College. She is remembered for her lead roles in the BHS productions of Anything Goes and Les Miserables, and comes back to BHS following a run in the Turtle Lane Players production of The Rocky Horror Show. Andrea has also played several lead roles with the Pentucket Players of Haverhill.

EVA RAE COSTANZA (2010), who is currently studying musical theatre at Boston Conservatory. Eva, a former youth performer with North Shore Music Theatre, performed lead roles at BHS in Les MisThoroughly Modern Millie, Annie and The Wizard of Oz, as well as the Burlington Educational Summer Theatre production of Annie! She is a costuming assistant with The Costume Room and has worked with Backyard Broadway and Burlington Educational Summer Theatre.

JAMIE COOK (2010), currently a student at Hofstra University in New York. Jamie is best remembered for her roles in Thorough Modern Millie and The Wizard of Oz, and has been seen in the Burlington Educational Summer Theatre production of Annie.  She returns to Burlington following a lead role in Hofstra’s production of The New Brain. 

There will also be a special performance of a selection from Fiddler on the Roof by TAHLEEN (2005), NISHAN (2008) and ZAVEN OVIAN (2012) with their mother and outgoing Music Boosters member, VANESSA OVIAN. The Ovians have collectively appeared in every musical that has appeared on the BHS stage for the past ten years. They have played lead roles in Mame, Jekyll & Hyde, Les Mis, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Titanic and Beauty and the Beast, and the Burlington Eduational Summer Theatre productions of Annie and Little Shop of Horrors. They have all participated in both the BHS band and chorus programs.Vanessa has an MA in Vocal Performance. 

Please make plans to join us on Saturday evening, November 5 at 7:30 with family and friends!

A festive dessert buffet will be served during our silent auction intermission!

Tickets are available online at or at the music office. Info: 781-A-FUN-TIC.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Yes, yes, yes, it snowed last night. Uh huh, we know, it's before Halloween and November.


Are you ready for some football????

Tonight Burlington is gonna stomp Watertown on our own home turf! The game starts promptly at 7:00 pm so don't be late.

The BHS Marching Band will present their newest routine to the hometown crowd. Don't miss them ... the pride of Burlington . . . they never disappoint!

Oh yeah......bring something to sit on. Those shiny new benches can get a wee bit cold in this blustery weather ; )  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

GALA BENEFIT CONCERT AND SILENT AUCTION: New England Tenors in return engagement

The Burlington High School Music Boosters Association is pleased to announce that it will hold its annual Gala Benefit Concert and Silent Auction on Saturday, November 5 at 7:30 pm, in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of Burlington High School.

Following an overwhelming response to their performance at last year’s event, the Music Boosters have invited The New England Tenors back for a return engagement. The benefit will also showcase Burlington High School alumni in reprise performances from musicals past.

The New England Tenors members John Middleton-Cox, Damien Corcoran and Ray Bauwens, never cease to captivate their audiences with their brilliant cross-generational performances. With combined roots in musical theatre, opera and rock, repertoire includes classics made famous by The Three Tenors, the Irish Tenors, operatic arias, and just the right sprinkling of current and popular favorites.

John Middleton-Cox, tenor, is originally from Northern New York and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Boston Conservatory. As a classical tenor, he has performed a variety of professional roles from Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus to the Duke in Patience, and regards Jordan Hall, the Emerson Majestic and The Old North Church to be among his favorite performance venues. Middleton-Cox is the Coordinator of Music in Burlington, Massachusetts, where he also conducts the high school choruses and produces and directs the spring musical. He is Music Director at North Parish Church in North Andover.

Damien Corcoran, tenor, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in music from Rutgers University where he performed for five years with the Rutgers Opera Workshop. Other favorite performances include those with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Amato Opera Company in New York City. In addition to a capella performances in restaurants in New Jersey and Massachusetts, Corcoran is the lead man for the Irish-flavored rock band, Demijon Music Clan.

Ray Bauwens, tenor, is well known to audiences not only in New England but also internationally. Some of Mr. Bauwens’ recent performances have included the roles of Cavaradossi in Tosca, Dick Johnson in La Faciulaa del West, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera, and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana. He has appeared with the National Symphony of the Ukraine, the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, Opera Providence, Connecticut Concert Opera, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, Boston Civic Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic and during Lila York’s staging of the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Boston Ballet.

The Gala Benefit Concert and Silent Auction is the most successful fundraiser for the Burlington High School Music Boosters Association. Proceeds from the event will fund scholarships, support award banquets, assist in transportation and fulfill wish-list requests from the music department.

Admission to the Gala Benefit Concert and Silent Auction is $15 adults, $10 senior citizens and students. Ticket prices include reserved seats at the evening’s performance and festive dessert buffet served during intermission at which time bids may be placed on silent auction items. Tickets can be purchased online at For more information please phone 781-A-FUN-TIC.

The Fogelberg Performing Arts Center, located at 123 Cambridge Street, is handicapped accessible (for special assistance, please phone 781-270-1860).

Friday, October 14, 2011

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Burlington Red Devils vs. Melrose, come rain or come shine!


At the risk of wearing out an age old song, "Rain, rain, go away, come again another day!"

Tonight's match-up between Burlington and Melrose WILL take place rain or shine! We're ready the for Melrose Red Raiders...the band is raring to go after last weekend's performance at the Salem Invitational.

The game is in Burlington at 7:00 pm but it is a home game for Melrose...their field is being worked on so the schedule was a bit confusing.

Don't forget to bring an umbrella, rain jacket and something to sit on that will keep your tush warm and dry!

Monday, October 10, 2011

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHOW: BHS Marching Band Takes Field in Salem

This is the year of lasts for me.

In what is my first of the lasts I attended my 11th and final Salem Marching Band Invitational in New Hampshire this past weekend as a BHS parent along with 3,000+ of my closest marching band friends and afficionados.

The Salem Marching Band Invitational is a rare experience at which our band students, dance squad and flag corps perform for a stadium filled to the max. Most of the bands over the past years have hailed from New Hampshire, with an occasional band from Maine. Burlington is the only group from Massachusetts to perform in recent years. Reminiscing about the past ten performances in Salem, I’d like to share some fond memories and observations.

Size never counts! There have been marching bands as diminutive as 30 and as gargantuan as 350 members. No matter the size, each and every group has worked its hardest to come to this moment in time where their performance holds the attention of every musician and spectator. These bands are always fantastic!

Why can’t we be friends? It doesn’t matter who is seated next to you, every parent shares in the joy of the next, cheering and whooping it up for every marching ensemble. It is quite a unique experience, one of which (and I'm quite sure about this) our own band members are unaware. We point out our own students, talk about previous years and, well, be just who we are . . . proud parents!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Aretha may never know how much this word has meant to the musicians who take the field. Marching routines are always performed with nary a movement or noise in the stands. In fact, I remember being a bit startled at this during the first year I had attended.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! How true! Those of us who have attended a few of the Salem events have noticed that the innovative style of the BHS band has returned to the Invitational in subsequent years.

The Show Must Go On! Sometimes there are near disasters. I will never forget the year we had a mishap with transportation, necessitating students, instruments, hats and plumes to cram into cars for the trip! My drive up to Salem included passing cars crammed with red and white, with brass instruments filling the voids!

Instruments Abound! For a few years we have seen extended percussion ensembles on the field and sideline of the Salem Invitational, hauled in on large rolling barges! But it’s pretty safe to say that Burlington has become the innovator once again by introducing a full section of electric guitars, powered by a high-voltage car battery. That’ll be picked up next year!

Neither rain, nor sleet nor . . . ! Still fresh in my memory was the nearly ill-fated invitational when the skies opened up prior to the event and it had to be moved into the gymnasium of Salem High School. Never fear. The BHS band hastily revamped its marching routine in the hallway just prior to their entrance and dazzled everyone.

Dancin', Dancin', DANCIN'! They’re a dancing machine! As the years have passed, dancing moves have crept into marching band routines, dipping and swaying to the music, and I'm quite certain BHS had a lot to do with that! Adding a special pizzazz where no other groups could, the BHS Dance Squad has always been the only one of its kind and spectators throughout the stands are always impressed! This years’ rolling line of splits were greeted enthusiastically with cheers from the crowd!

BHS Flags: The Fabric of Our Lives! The BHS Flag Corps has always provided flash and backdrop with their twirling athleticism on the field. Snapping and twirling with the rhythms on the field, their colorful displays are the accessory to the music, like the loveliest of jewelry on a beautiful garment.

Something to aspire to. There is no question that our marching band students have been part of a remarkable event at the Salem Invitational. Their participation has always given them an opportunity to see what and how other schools are performing. Not only have they seen peers from other schools, they have also been given an opportunity to see how the colleges perform when the UMass Lowell and the University of New Hampshire alternate performance years.

The pin I purchased at the Salem Marching Band Invitational pretty much sums it up:


One day football will be played at half time!


Vanessa Ovian

Saturday, October 8, 2011


This evening at precisely 6:00 pm the Salem (NH) Marching Band Invitational will commence, a much anticipated event for all participating bands. The Burlington High School Marching Band will take the field as the fourth band on the program, with an estimated time in the 6:45-7:00 range.

The Salem Invitational has been a much anticipated favorite for years, giving our students the opportunity to see what and how other marching bands are performing, thus nurturing the creativity of every member. From the smallest groups of perhaps 30 members to the largest of over 300, it is a lovefest for officiandos and an evening of pure talent, innovation and entertainment for all.

Salem High School is located at 44 Geremonty Blvd. Salem, NH.

Directions: 93N to exit 1, Rockingham Blvd. Bear right, road name changes to Veterans Memorial Parkway. Cross over Rte 28 and continue to Geremonty Blvd, turn left. Continue down Geremonty Blvd, high school is on your left. Parking at high school fills up fast, you can park across the street at town offices, too.

WORD OF WARNING! In order to find parking and secure a good seat, plan to arrive early…5:15-5:30 is about right. There is an admission price, programs and concessions are available for purchase.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Burlington Red Devils vs. Reading Rockets

This week's varsity football match-up will see the Burlington Red Devils take on the Reading Rockets in another much anticipated game on home turf on THURSDAY, September 6! Following last week's victory over Woburn, the team is pumped up for another!

The BHS Marching Band will be light up the field as they perform their half-time show. Don't miss their exciting performance on the field just two days prior to their participation in the Salem (NH) Invitational on Saturday.

Note to BHS: We love the new scoreboard! Thanks go out to Goochis Insurance!

Friday, September 30, 2011

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Burlington Red Devils vs. Woburn Tanners

The age old rivalry between Burlington and Woburn is about to commence!

Under the beautiful September evening sky, the Burlington Red Devils will take on the Woburn Tanners at 7:00 pm at Burlington's Varsity Field.

Plenty of concessions available....don't forget to purchase your Boosters scarf and seat cushion, too!

Arrive extra early because this is the biggest game of the season!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Decade of Remembrance

As members of the Burlington High School music program joined the local community this morning on the common to commemorate September 11 during “A Decade of Remembrance,” we were filled with pride for our community, coming together with a show of love and support for the families of the innocent victims near and far who lost their lives, as well as our local first responders and troops who still serve and protect.

Community events like this provide an opportunity to collectively share in the moment of remembrance. As we stood under a crystalline sky early this morning, we did just that, calling back the memories we had of that day 10 years ago. It was an opportunity to “never forget” by relating our own personal stories of where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news.

Music brings special meaning to events such as this by providing the opportunity to reflect on the moment, much the same as it does in worship. Punctuating the prayers and speeches during today’s event were musical performances by the Liberty Belle Chorus, Stuart Highland Pipe Band and our own members of the BHS Marching Band Drum Line and first trumpet section.

The melancholy melodies of the bagpipes and drum as they drew near, the steady beat of the BHS Drum Line as it processed and recessed leading honor guards from the armed forces and our local police and fire departments, the singular voice of “Taps” delivered by members of the BHS trumpet section, and the voices that sang in tribute to our country and troops had a profound effect on all those present this morning.

The BHS Music Boosters and the entire high school community can be proud of our young musicians and their director Matt Lovell. Their service at events like this combined with their musicianship, honor and reverence for the day is an extraordinary experience that stretches far beyond the classroom.

The lyrics of our national anthem rang ever-so-poignantly today as the flag was raised to half-staff:

Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

We will never forget.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


It's hard to believe that the football season at BHS is once again upon us. Following some hot summer days of marching band camp, the BHS Marching Band will take to the field for their first half-time show of the season at Billerica.

The game on Friday will take place at the Marshall Middle School, 15 Floyd S. From Burlington drive approximately 6.5 miles north on Cambridge Street (becomes Boston Road in Billerica. Turn right on Route 129, Floyd Street.

This is an age old rivalry so prepare to arrive early! The game starts at 7:00 pm. The bus for marching members departs at 6 so students need to arrive early to change into uniform and pack the bus.


Middleton-Cox honors 9/11 victims in Shanksville, at Pentagon and Times Square

This Sunday as all Americans remember the tragedy of 9/11, the World Memorial Patriot Flag project will continue on its mission to travel to 50 states in 50 weeks crossing the country and travelling nearly ninety thousand miles honoring the fallen.

Transporting its 30 x 56 foot flag to honor the first and second responders, 9/11 families and the fallen of the attacks on America, the Patriot Flag will make its Ten Year Anniversary stops at the sites that have become a part of that tragic day.

Travelling with the Patriot Flag to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, The Pentagon and Times Square will be local musician and music educator John Middleton-Cox of North Andover, Massachusetts, a gifted tenor who has accepted the invitation to perform “The Star Spangled Banner” as the flag is raised at these sites.

Middleton-Cox has already felt the humility and pride that go with a performance of this type, having travelled alongside the Patriot Flag to five other venues across New England.

In his own words, Middleton-Cox explains the significance of his performance.

I don't need the attention, it is more a point of pride. I am honored to just be among these people, namely retired FDNY Lieutenant Joe Torrillo who survived both towers of the World Trade Center falling on him. As a survivor he has dedicated his life to lifting up the memory and the sacrifice these brave men and women gave. It is a way to draw attention to the first responders, to say we are paying attention and we remember; the ones who gave their lives, the families they left behind, and the current emergency teams serving today. Thank you for risking your lives for our safety.

Middleton-Cox has been with Burlington Public Schools as a music educator and the Coordinator of Music since the fall of 2000. As a performer he has taken the stage as the leading man in operas and musical theatre. He serves as music director and is a member of the trio, The New England Tenors, and is Music Director for the North Parish Church in North Andover.

A man who has performed in concert halls and dinner theatres, his performances this Sunday will be the most humbling of his entire career. A solitary voice in a lonely field in Pennsylvania, at the headquarters for this country’s Department of Defense and at the “crossroads of the world” in New York City, Middleton-Cox will perform a capella to honor all Americans, resting on the final and profound phrase, “Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” as the flag, a symbol of pride, unity and resolve, is raised high.

Sponsored by local fire departments and American Legion posts, the goal of The Patriot Flag is to send the message “United We Stand, We Have Not Forgotten.” For more information on the World Memorial’s Patriot Flag event, including the complete schedule of stops on its 50 state tour, visit their website at

Friday, August 12, 2011

BURLINGTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS presents "The Last Five Years"

There is something fresh and exciting on the arts scene in Burlington that has arisen from the thriving programs at Burlington High School. Former BHS students have taken their experience and love for music, theatre and the visual arts, combined it with the momentum in our town to grow the town center into a flourishing community space, and created Burlington Center for the Arts.

Ovian, Parker and Cook collaborate on  staging
The inaugural event for Burlington Center for the Arts will take place on Friday, August 19 with the production of Jason Robert Brown’s award winning musical drama, The Last Five Years, a remarkable work and favorite from  contemporary musical theatre. The story follows an ambitious and headstrong writer, and an aspiring but not so successful actress through their  relationship in a chronological/counter-chronological narration that offers a level of depth to this painfully sad and, at times, hilariously silly, piece of award-winning theatre.

The two-person cast stars Zaven Ovian and Jamie Cook, both by-products of Burlington High School musical theatre productions. Cook graduated from BHS in 2009 and is currently studying at Hofstra University in New York. Ovian will be entering his senior year at Burlington High School with his sights set on New York City. Both actors have a number of impressive credits and possess a charismatic stage presence.

The directing team features Brad Jensen (BHS 2008) and Kevin Parker (BHS 2010).

Burlington Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of arts in Burlington. Educating youth in the arts is a primary aim of the organization with a long-term goal to create and maintain a venue for educational arts groups, regional theatre companies and dance troupes, and local artists to rehearse, perform, or showcase their skills.

The performance of The Last Five Years will take place at the UCC Congregational Education Building at 6 Lexington Street in Burlington at 7:30 pm. A silent auction will also take place during the evening's event including items from The Huntington Theatre and Beacon Grille.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens and can be reserved at 866-936-4354, by email at or purchased at the door. For more information about Burlington Center for the Arts, visit their website at

Friday, July 8, 2011

WILLY WONKA JR: B.E.S.T. Candy Man Around!

Burlington Educational Summer Theatre (BEST), a program of the Burlington Public Schools, returns to the stage of the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center for its third summer season with performances of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Jr.“ on July 23 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm.

Based on Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir, the BEST production features more than 60 students from Burlington schools ranging in age from seven to thirteen. Adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy A. McDonald, the memorable score features songs from the original movie, including “The Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination,” “Oompa Loompa” and “I Want It Now” by Academy and Grammy award winning composers Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

Starring in this year’s production of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Jr” are Patrick Creedon as Charlie Bucket, Rachel Czerwinski as Willy Wonka, Sydney Matai as Augustus Gloop, Erin Hanafin as Grandma Josephina, Amanda Weigreich as Grandma Georgina, Shane Manfredi as Grandpa George, Rachel Seeley as Grandpa Joe, Lindsay Corbett as James, and Sara Cannalonga as Matilda. Also featured in the cast are Timmy Sullivan as Mike Teavee and Emily Frost as Mrs. Teavee; Emma Saltsman as Mr. Bucket and Kait Brine as Mrs. Bucket; Ivy Saltsman as Veruca Salt, Zachary Glantz as Mr. Salt and Andrea Murray as Mrs. Salt; Jessie Goober as Violet Beauregard and Cassidy Cummings as Mrs. Beauregard; Jade Gordon as Mrs. Gloop; Elana Schlansky as Phinious Trout; and Gabrielle Corsino as the Candyman.

Cast and ensemble members are also cast in, among other roles, Oompa Loompas, Cooks, Squirrels, Video Game Children, Candy Man Children. They are Maggie Allen, Elizabeth Amaral, Elizabeth Bond, Isabel Bowen, Madison Carter, Lindsay Corbett, Scott Czerwinski, Megan Doherty, Carly Frost, Marlea Gainley, Shaylinn Gainley, Mari Gedick, Julia Gelin, Julia Gillis, Mikaila Gnerre, Elisa Gonzalez, Mary Hanafin, Jenna Heffler, Kailee Heffler, Nicholas Heisler, Lilly Hovasse, Kellsee Lynch, Krista Magnarelli, Chloe McGonagle, Amanda Melin, Angela Melin, Glen Middleton-Cox, Samantha Murphy Heather Murphy, Jillian Murray, Juliana Nigro, Stephan Nigro, Jordyn Nobrega, Nicole Noonan, Cameron Noonan, Sarah Owens, Annalisa Petrizzi, Christina Raposo, Kacey Ridley, Rachel Schlansky, Michael Seeley, Caitlyn Shea, Julie Surabian, Erica Van Stry, Joseph Viscione, Joyna Wallus and Claudia Webb.

Burlington Educational Summer Theatre offers a professionally produced educational theatre experience for students. The program is under the guidance of BEST Executive Director John Middleton-Cox, a highly regarded theatre professional and music educator in the Burlington Public Schools.

Returning to BEST this year are Jeanne Coroniti as Artistic and Music Director and Leanne Reardon as Choreographer, along with professional set designer Peter Waldron and award-winning costume designer Maureen Krebs. Joining them will be Beth Pendery as Production Director, Jill Keaney as Assistant Choreographer, Kevin Parker as Company Manager and Sammie Ellis as Production Assistant. BEST staff members also include a number of high school students and graduates, all veterans of Burlington High School productions, in roles as crew members and counselors, providing a unique mentoring opportunity for all the young students.

Due to an overwhelming response for its summer theatre program Burlington Public Schools has also created a brand new program running in tandem with the theatre production. The BEST Workshop provides an opportunity for its students to focus on performance skills that encourage self-esteem while building self-confidence. Directing the workshop is Endicott College educator and composer/performer Nanette Perrotte. Students are taught voice, acting and dance skills, monologue and audition prep and imagination skills. The workshop students will showcase their new skills in an exciting final performance on July 15 at 1:00 pm.

The BEST performance of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka, Jr” will take place in the 800-seat, air conditioned Fogelberg Performing Arts Center located at 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington. Reserved seating tickets are $10 for students and senior citizens, $15 for adults; tickets can be purchased at For more information please call 781-A-FUN-TIC. Fogelberg Performing Arts Center is handicapped accessible.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Miss the Music: SPRING SING! TONIGHT

The Class of 2012 has officially graduated . . . finals are on their way. Take some time out for this year’s final music department performance, SPRING SING! Relax in the air-conditioned comfort of the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center and enjoy a performance showcase that highlights the vocal music department. From freshmen to graduates, solos to ensembles, you will love the range of talent and performances at this year's show. Also included will be a selection of songs by the BHS Chorus and a final farewell to our seniors.

Don’t miss the music tonight at 7:30 pm. BHS SPRING SING! is free!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The World School, Schools Supporting Schools: BHS Students Perform Benefit Concert For Humanitarian Trip

The World School, Schools Supporting Schools, a local student-run aid organization, is pleased to announce a fundraising Talent Show to benefit their planned humanitarian aid trip to Mexico and Belize for two weeks this summer. The performance will take place at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 15, 2011, in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of Burlington High School.

The benefit performance will feature Burlington High School students who will donate their time and talents in vocal, dance, improv and rock band performances. Performers include Face the World, Emerson, Eric Leva, Julianne Fitzgerald, Katie Pustizzi, Patrick Hanafin, Theo Brierley, Samantha Goober, Zaven Ovian, the Burlington High School Idle Hands Improv and the SDC Dancers.

The World School is a student-run service group that was created in 2008 when three local area students brainstormed following mission trips to Chuburna, Mexico. Appalled by the Chuburna facilities and the conditions the children faced on a daily basis, they came to the realization that the foundation to helping the impoverished on a long-term basis lies in education, and the best way to help a school was through a school.

Adopting the old proverb, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a night, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime,” the young students travelled to a school in the Yucatanian fishing village to improve its appalling conditions by refurbishing classrooms, setting up a library and providing two generously donated laptop computers. That school, La Escuela Primera 373 Salvador Alvarado, became the pilot school for this dedicated group of young American students. This year's students who will make the journey are Jenna Frank, Cameron Frank, Christyl Skelton, Stephen Jefferson and Sarah McAnespie.

Tickets for The World School Talent Showcase benefit performance are $6 for students and senior citizens, $8 for adults, and can be purchased at the door or by calling 781-272-9724. Fogelberg Performing Arts Center is handicapped accessible. Burlington High School is located at 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA. For more information on this student-run aid organization, visit

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Beauty and the Beast" set to open this weekend!

Tale as old as time...True as it can be
Barely even friends...Then somebody bends...Unexpectedly

Burlington High School’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” opens this Friday and it will have just as much excitement and buzz in the air as a Broadway opening. The production is filled with fabulous sets, costumes bursting with creativity and color, a full professional orchestra and a huge cast of tremendously talented kids who have spent hours in rehearsal to bring this show to life!

It's safe to say that this is one for the books as we are breaking records with each day that passes. Can you believe that there are over 120 students in the cast and crew and over 20 parent volunteers and staff members who are providing support behind the scenes?

Ticket sales are ahead of any show ever produced at BHS, resulting in the addition of a sixth performance. In just a few short years we’ve stepped it up so our total audience capacity will now be over 4800! It's pretty safe to say that the BHS spring musical is the “social event of the year!”

Finally, this production will include some special surprises that will break through the imaginary fourth wall of the stage without using one ounce of technology! It is a production that will go down in Burlington High School history!

The students who are participating in “Beauty and the Beast” are terrific kids who come from every grade level and ability just to be part of the spring musical phenomenon. The cast members are Kerry Alexander, Nicole Barnard, Kayleigh Barrucci, Teresa Belmonte, Emily Bertolami, Genevieve Brown, Sarah Burnham, Danielle Calder, Allie Campbell, Allison Cassidy, Natasha Chatterjee, Cecilia Chiang, Chris Coe, Gina Conti, Marissa Cote, Scott Czerwinski, Jill Daniels, Stephanie Desrochers, Bianca DiGregorio, Cassandra DiGregorio, Daniel Feldman, Giovanna Fernandes and Julianne Fitzgerald. Also, Sarah Fleischmann, Geoffrey Fong, Michelle Gouveia, Jenna Frank, Michael Garcia, Eddie Gelberg, Stuart Gelin, Katrina Gilstrap, Gabriella Gonzalez, Samantha Goober, Christina Grattan, Jennifer Gregorio, Meghan Groom, Christina Hanafin, Patrick Hanafin, Amanda Harrigan, Justina Hiney, April Hooper and Samantha Hovasse.

Cast members also include Sarah Jamal-Eddine, Ashley Jones, Dora Kadish, Jill Keaney, Erin Kelley, Andrew Kolifrath, Becki Krupp, Michelle Lee, Katie Mackey, Kristin Markuson, Emily Martin, Alissa Mastracci, Yitzhak Maurer, Mikayla Merrill, , Krisi Miller, Nicollette Moodie, Jessica Morey, Emily Murgo, Rachel Murgo and Kayla Nadir. Finally, cast members include Krutika Nayak, Paul Neves, Allie Nille, Zaven Ovian, Kalpita Patel, Sabrina Pereira, Maria Perfetti, CC Pouche, Laura Reale, Hayley Ridley, Catie Riggs, Sam Rollins, Meaghan Roper, Amanda Roth, Maya Russell, Shane Ryan, Danielle Schissler, Kylie Scott, Rebecca Scott, Gabrielle Semeraro, Lexi Sheldon, Futaba Shioda, Andrew Silva, Nick Silva, Laura Simon-Pearson, Kelly Spinali, Stephanie Swiszcz, Adam Tigges, Sharleen Varghese, Jessica Villalta and Nick Zenkin.

The production crew members take their jobs seriously both backstage and in the booth, managing the sets, props, sound and lights. They are Victoria Carrabino, Jamie Cahoon, Edward Chilliest, Sam Cote, Priyanka Deb, Jonathan DiRusso, Christopher LaRocque, Devin LaRocque, Joe Nosack, Jess Olin, Sarah Parker, Jacinda Pederson, Sabrina Pederson, Joe Sateriale, Daryn Starkey and Nick Stewart.

It goes without saying that the creative team for this production is incredibly talented and they have such vision that it makes a monumental task look like childsplay! Leading the team and celebrating ten years of both musical productions and teaching at BHS is John Middleton-Cox (Producing Director, Co-Music Director). He is joined by Stephanie Diozzi (Assistant Director), Amanda Potts (Co-Music Director/Production Manager), Leanne Reardon (Choreographer), Peter Waldron (Set Designer), Chet Maguire (Crew Chief), Kate McMahon (Box Office Manager/Program Designer) and Maureen Tierson-Krebs (award-winning Costume Designer/Coordinator).

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is not just another kid’s show… it reminds us about what’s important in life and how the power of love can be transforming. We hope all of Burlington will “Be our Guest” this weekend or next, and find out why audiences around the world have made it a smash hit and an international sensation!

Tickets are still available for all performance but don't wait! Performances will take place in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center, 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA. Performances are on March 25, 26 and April 1 @ 7:30 pm; April 2 @ 2:00 and 7:30 pm; April 3 @ 2:00 pm. Visit For more information phone 781-A-FUN-TIC! Adults: $15, Students/Sr. Citizens: $10. Handicapped accessible.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All-Town Band Concert: Oh What A Night!

A view of the elementary and middle school student performers
 What a fabulous night we had on Thursday, March 10, when every band student in the Burlington Public Schools took part in the 2nd Annual All-Town Band Concert, a concert featuring students in combined performances by grade level from the elementary schools (Fox Hill, Francis Wyman, Pine Glen and Memorial), Marshall Simonds Middle School and Burlington High School.

A capacity crowd of families in the bleachers

The event was held in the gymnasuim at BHS, the only facility in the district large enough to hold over 1400 people, including over 400 student performers and well over 1,000 in the bleachers..
Directors Peabody, Middleton-Cox, Kerley, Napierkowski, Potts,
Bolduc and Lovell.
 Spearheaded by BHS' Matt Lovell as a view of the development of our students and the progression of the program through their public school lives, the music teachers and directors from all schools were instrumental in the planning and also participated in directing the individual groups as well as the combined piece at the end.

The program featured the Combined Fourth Grade Bands, directed by Mark Napierkowski and Lindsey Peabody, in "Mary Ann," "Shoo Fly," "Donkey Round" and "Surprise Symphony" (arranged by O'Reilly and Williams). The Combined Fifth Grade Bands, directed by Mark Napierkowski and Lindsey Peabody, performed "Ayre and Dance" by Bruce Pearson, and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by Weiss, Peretti, Creatore (arranged by Story).
A view of 4th and 5th grade band students (front) and
MSMS students (rear)

Marshall Simonds Middle School was represented by the Concert Band, directed by Amanda Potts, in "La Rajouissance" by G.F. Handel (arranged by Mark Williams) and "When I'm Sixty-Four" by Lennon and McCartney (arranged by Eric Osterling). The MSMS Symphonic Band, directed by Jeffrey Bolduc, played highlights from "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory" by Bricusse and Newley (arranged by Robert Longfield), and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by J.P. Sousa (arranged by Andrew Balent).

The BHS Concert Band in performance

To complete the individual band performances, the BHS Concert Band, directed by Matt Lovell, performed "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" by Stevie Wonder (arranged by Jay Bocook), and "Something" by George Harrison (arranged by Richard Saucedo).

Finally, the evening ended with the combined bands performing "Ode to Joy," by Ludwig von Beethoven (arranged by Jeffrey Bolduc). The performance was a special treat for everyone as it included all grades in performance with all the directors leading the piece in tandem. A spectacular finale, indeed!

Post-concert directors' celebration. Music Boosters hats off to
all the teachers and students!
Thanks to all who support music in our schools. A special thanks to the Burlington Public Schools custodians for their assistance in making the evening possible.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

BHS Hosts 2nd annual All-Town Band Concert this Thursday

A view from the top of last year's All-Town Band concert.

Burlington High School will be the host for the All-Town Band Concert this Thursday in the high school gymnasium. The concert will begin at 7:00 pm.

The performance will feature the entire instrumental music program of the Burlington Public Schools featuring fourth and fifth graders from all elementary school band programs as well as the middle and high school bands. The second annual concert of this type in Burlington, it has been anticipated by parents, students and our music educators as a vehicle for instruction as well as an accomplishment to be long remembered.

Water will be sold by the BHS Music Boosters and student members of the Select Singers as a fundraiser for the trip to Carnegie Hall

We look forward to packing the bleachers to the top!