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Brockton city councilors harmonize to help Charity Guild

The Council Chords (from left): Todd Petti, Thomas Brophy, Tom Monahan, William Conlon, and Timothy Cruise.

The Council Chords (from left): Todd Petti, Thomas Brophy, Tom Monahan, William Conlon, and Timothy Cruise.

POLITICIANS AS PERFORMERS: Finding politicians of various affiliations in complete harmony is rare, if not impossible. But seven Brockton city councilors are singing the same tune, and hope to snag a prize while raising money for charity.

The Council Chords, seven councilors of various political stripes, are among the finalists in “The Voices of Champions,” a singing contest put on by the Charity Guild social-services agency in Brockton. The groups compete for top honors (prizes include recording time in a studio), based on audience voting, at the Guild’s Harvest Gala Thursday at the Shaw’s Center in Brockton. Ayla Brown  of “American Idol” will sing and be an honorary judge for the event, which benefits the guild’s food pantry.

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“We get together, practice just before a show, and just have a lotta fun,” said Tom Monahan, second-term councilor and more-or-less official spokesman of the group.

The core group is Monahan, Thomas BrophyTimothy CruiseTodd PettiJass StewartPaul Studenski, and Robert Sullivan. All sing, some play instruments. The lineup shifts from time to time and can include state Representative Michael Brady, former Brockton Police Chief William Conlon; School Committee member Anthony Donegan; and Jim Larkin, host of “Sounds of the Emerald Isle” at www.live365.com.  

“We first started doing it my first term, a few of us had gone to the Council on Aging St. Patrick’s Day party, told a few jokes, and one of us sang a song — and he wasn’t that good,” Monahan joked.

From that sprang more regular get-togethers, and it was Conlon “who got us into this Charity Guild event,” Monahan said, which meant “we had to practice more. We never practice that much, and even then had to bribe the members with beer and food.”

As the preliminary contests unfolded for the guild competition, “we tried to put a little harmony into it,” Monahan said. “We came in second. That’s what practice will do, I guess.”

If it appears self-deprecating humor is a specialty of the group, it is, he said. But they can’t be all that bad: 45 performers auditioned for the contest, 20 made the preliminary round, and 10 are in the finals. Those finalists include Gerard Burke, former president of Massasoit Community College; Nicki Draves, development coordinator of Catholic Charities south; and students in college, high schools, and middle schools from six South Shore towns.

“We have six or seven songs, and the best thing we did was pick up Larkin, he plays banjo and 12-string guitar, and makes us all sound a lot better,” Monahan said, adding with a laugh, “I play guitar too, and so does Donegan, but we try to drown him out.”

“We are very pleased to have the Council Chords among our singers because they’re fun and fine musicians, too,” said Michael Molyneux, executive director of the Charity Guild. “The judges gave them second place among our 20 semifinalists. You might think this would be just a lark to them, but they really put on a good show.”

Tickets for the show are $75 and reservations must be made by calling 508-583-5280 or visiting www.thecharityguild.org.  

“We’re not professionals, we make fun of ourselves, laugh, tell some jokes,” Monahan said, “and no one takes it seriously.”

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Susan Sartini Perry  of Lakeville was promoted to senior vice president/senior trust officer at Plimoth Investment Advisors in Plymouth, a portfolio management company. Prior to working for Plimoth Investment, Sartini Perry worked for the trust/investment departments of several banks, including Plymouth Savings and Rockland Trust Co.  Also promoted was Brenda C. Schleicher  of Norwell, to first vice president/relationship officer. Schleicher has more than 30 years experience in the trust and investment industry, and previously worked at Rockland Trust, where she administered more than 250 trusts and estates.

Pat Villani  of Hingham, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England, was named one of Banker & Tradesman’s Women of FIRE, an annual award honoring women in the local finance, insurance, and real estate sectors.  

Kimberly Stoloski  of Plymouth was named principal of Sacred Heart Elementary School in Kingston, said Pamela Demarais, president of Sacred Heart School. Stoloski, who grew up in Scituate, was previously principal of Bethlehem Elementary School in Bethlehem, N.H.

John R. Power, a certified financial planner in Walpole, was recognized by the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts as a 2012 Heart of Financial Planning Award winner. Power was recognized for his work in creating a pro-bono program for military veterans chosen by Homes for Our Troops, a Taunton-based nonprofit that builds home for veterans wounded in fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Power will receive his award at a convention this fall in San Antonio.

Paul Kandarian can be reached at pkandarian@aol.com.
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