North Andover parents group raising money for band

Meredith Fierro, Cherry Blossom princess

HELPING THE BAND PLAY ON: The Scarlet Knights Marching Band at North Andover High School was the largest ever this year, with 97 students participating.

That number dropped a bit, however, because there weren’t enough playable instruments.

Now, the North Andover Music Association has stepped in with a goal of raising $30,000.


“We have taken the initiative to repair and replace large instruments that the school department, because of budget constraints, cannot,’’ said Sue Baylies, vice president of the association.

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The money would “make a significant contribution to the purchase of marimbas, tubas, and drums,’’ she said.

“Most of the instruments and equipment being replaced are more than a decade old. Ten years may not sound like much, but these instruments see constant use,’’ said percussion instructor T.J. Kelly.

“Band members are practicing and performing on their instruments nearly seven days a week, 10 months of the year or more. And many students take their instruments home during the summer to keep practicing.’’

As of last week, $14,000 had been collected through fund-raising events and donations.


As part of its fund-raising campaign, the association - a nonprofit, parent-run organization providing support for music programs, staff, and students throughout the school system - is hosting a 5K road race in downtown North Andover on May 12.

Registration is $30. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome. There will be music, refreshments, T-shirts, and more.

To register for the race, visit Donations to the fund can be made online at

HISTORIC ROCKPORT: The Rockport Council on Aging is inviting people to view a video and photographs of the town - as well as share their own photo collections - Friday evening.

Gil McCarthy, a member of the town board, made the video, “Rockport: Historical Photos, Then & Now.’’


“This will be an excellent opportunity for Cape Ann residents to attend an enjoyable evening with friends, and to share refreshments and exchange experiences of living in the beautiful town of Rockport,’’ said Michelle Talisman, chairwoman of the Council on Aging.

The event takes place at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Senior Center. The evening is also an opportunity to view recently restored oil paintings, originally placed around the border of the building’s ceilings in the late 1930s.

PETTENGILL FUND-RAISER: The Thomas Machine Works Band will perform at Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury on April 27 to benefit the Pettengill House.

The evening will include music, dancing, appetizers, and live and silent auctions.

The Pettengill House is a nonprofit community agency that provides services to more than 3,100 men, women, and children, 523 of whom are homeless, in Amesbury, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury. Its mission is to support and empower children and families by providing education, extensive case management, family stabilization, and serving basic needs. The event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50. Visit

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Yvonne Garcia of Melrose is one of five individuals being honored at the YWCA Boston’s 18th annual Academy of Women Achievers celebration luncheon in June. The women are being recognized for demonstrating excellence in their careers, dedicating themselves to promoting the role of women in society, and acting as mentors for younger generations. Garcia is director of marketing and distribution strategy at Liberty Mutual. As part of her many activities in the community, she is the national vice president of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, the largest Latino professional organization in the country. . . . Meredith Fierro of Ipswich was selected by the National Conference of State Societies as this year’s Massachusetts Cherry Blossom Princess. She is a 2009 graduate of Ipswich High School and attends Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. She recently participated in the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C., as well as in a range of educational, cultural, and charitable activities with princesses from other states and countries. . . . Protection of Animals in Wakefield Society Inc. won first prize in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ nationwide Share the Love shelter incentive contest. PAWS was awarded a $20,000 grant that will be used to assist it in promoting and protecting the rights and well-being of domestic animals and wildlife.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at