New England Music Festival Association, Inc.
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June 2022 | Volume LXXXVI, No. 3
President's Message
John Deeb

New England Music Festival Association President
(860) 673-0423, ext. 15419
June 2022
President's Letter to the Membership
New England Music Festival Association
June 13, 2022
A Note from Your President
John Deeb
Dear NEMFA Members,
Well, we finally made it through another year and are still wrestling with the remnants of the pandemic. While I do believe that we're finally beginning to see the Covid 19 menace in our rear view mirrors, I’m reminded of that old saying “Never Say Never”. In any case, I am looking forward to a return to normalcy when we begin the 2022-23 school year. I do have to be honest that as I write this message it is June 13, and the last day of school for our district. When I say that I’m looking forward to the next school year, I am in no rush to get there. 

First and foremost, I would like to thank you all for giving my colleague David Miller and I the opportunity to host the 2022 concert festival this past March. Although it was anything but our normal style festival, the most important aspects were that the students were able to make music together again and that our performances were in-person and with a living, breathing audience. While we all had to make some adjustments and be a bit more flexible I hope the experience was a rewarding one for you and your students. That festival in March marks the fourth time Lewis S. Mills High School has hosted our concert festival since 2010. We have continued to do it because hosting has been such an amazing experience for all of us in the district. It brings not only our department together but the entire school and community together as well. It is something I highly recommend to anyone who is considering hosting themselves, I stand ready to assist you in any way I can.

As I take on the responsibility of the presidency of the New England Music Festival Association, I would like to thank you all for giving me this opportunity to serve this organization that I have been a part of for over thirty years and to work with all of you for the purpose of making a difference in our student’s lives. I wish you all a terrific summer break and hope that it gives you the chance to relax, rejuvenate and recharge before September arrives and it begins again.

Musically Yours,


John Deeb - President
New England Music Festival Association
(860) 673-0423, ext. 15419
2022-2023 NEMFA Dress Code Revision - Reported by Lyvie Beyrent
The NEMFA Executive Board recently voted on a revision to the Dress Code for all NEMFA Concert Ensemble as follows:

Dress code - The dress code for all ensembles in performance will be: Dark suit (black preferred, black tuxedos are also acceptable) with a tie, and a collared white shirt, OR black sleeve top (no bare midriffs, shoulders or low neckline) and a solid black bottom (below the knees black skirt or black dress pants), OR a black long gown/dress that goes below the knees. Dark shoes and dark socks or hose. No sport shoes or sandals allowed. All concert dress will be in conservative good taste.
Orchestra Report
Paul Pierce
NEMFA Orchestra Manager
March 2023 Orchestra Conductor
Dear NEMFA Members,

The New England Music Festival Association is proud to present Brian Norcross, Conductor of the Franklin and Marshall College Orchestra, as the conductor of the 2023 NEMFA Festival Orchestra!

Brian Norcross has been the Conductor of Instrumental Ensembles at Franklin & Marshall College since 1986. He directs the Franklin & Marshall Orchestra, Philharmonia, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble and he teaches conducting. A champion of new music he has directed over 60 premiere performances with various ensembles.

To read Mr. Norcross' full bio, please click here .

Paul Pierce is the Orchestra Manager.
Band Report
Anthony Pandolfe
NEMFA Band Manager
March 2023 Band Conductor
Hello NEMFA community! 

I hope that you are having a wonderful end to this unprecedented school year. As the summer begins, I hope you will find time to rest and recharge.

We are looking forward to the 2023 NEMFA Concert Festival. The band will be conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Peterson, Clinical Professor of Music and Associate Director of Bands at the University of Illinois. She conducts the Illinois Wind Orchestra, serves as the placement coordinator for student teachers, and teaches courses in instrumental conducting.

To read Dr. Peterson's full bio, please click here .

I am looking forward to serving again as the NEMFA Band Manager and to seeing you at the Concert Festival in March!


Anthony Pandolfe
Chorus Report
Molly Clark
NEMFA Chorus Manager
March 2023 Chorus Conductor
Dear NEMFA Members,

The New England Music Festival Association is proud to present Dr. David Fryling as the conductor of the 2023 NEMFA Chorus. Dr. Fryling is the Director of Choral Activities at Hofstra University, where he conducts both the select Hofstra Chorale and Hofstra Chamber Choir and teaches beginning and advanced studies in choral conducting, as well as graduate-level studies in choral conducting and choral literature. In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor for the Hofstra School of Education, where he supervises choral music education student teachers during their field placements. To read Dr. Fryling's full bio, click here.

Molly Clark is the Chorus Manager.
Lowell Mason House Report
Interior Renovation and Reconstruction Continues
With the exterior of the Lowell Mason House now mostly completed with the recent addition of new front steps, the focus now is on the restoration and reconstruction of the interior of the Lowell Mason House. The directors of the LMH are now working with the contractor and a structural engineer to develop a clear plan defining the usage needs for each room in the building, and the structural requirements that must be in place so that the building may be allowed to be opened and used by the general public. Once the building goes through a permitting process in the town of Medfield, heat, water, and sewer installation will follow shortly. An examination of the usage of the grounds around the building is now being developed as well, and the group is working with a landscaper to begin addressing some of the immediately exterior grounds needs. Plans have now been established that define the use of every room in the building.

A major financial donation has recently been received that will go a long way to completing the interior of the building. The Lowell Mason House has raised over $500,000.00 up to this date for the purpose of turning it into a study museum and a meeting place for arts education advocates. We are grateful to the 15 music educators associations around the United States that have made contributions towards its restoration, including the New England Music Festival Association. Your continued interest and support in this project is very much appreciated.

Thank you for considering making a tax deductible donation today. Please make checks payable to: The Lowell Mason House, P. O. Box 913 Medfield, MA 02052. If you prefer, you may also donate directly online by going to our website at . Your contribution is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution to the extent provided by U.S. tax
John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band Festival - 2022
The John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band will meet in Harvard, Massachusetts from June 26 to June 30, 2022 with run-out performances in Gardner and Athol, Mass. on June 27 and 28, respectively. The main concert event will take place on Wednesday evening, June 29 at 7:00pm in historic Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. Mechanics Hall is the site of many performances of the original Sousa Band. The National Honor Band will be conducted by Michael J. Colburn, recent Director of the Butler University Wind Ensemble and former Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in Washington, D.C. High school band students from all states and territories in the United States who were in grades 9-12 during the 2021-2022 school year were eligible to audition. Mr. Colburn will also be assisted by Guest Conductor Frank L. Battisti, Founder and Director Emeritus of the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble in Boston. The 2022 Band is comprised of 90 students representing US 25 states coast to coast. Students prepared and auditioned for this band at the beginning of December 2021.

The selection of these sites as performances is significant because all three performance sites were visited by the original Sousa Band, John Philip Sousa’s professional band, between 1892 and 1928. In Athol, the Sousa Band performed 6 times, in Gardner, 2 times, and in Worcester, 27 times. A plaque commemorating the historical significance of Worcester and Mechanics Hall to the original Sousa Band was presented to Mechanics Hall in 2019 by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and is prominently displayed there. In 2022, the Sousa Foundation will present historical markers to the Town of Athol and the City of Gardner as a part of this year’s John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band program. The Gardner performance will be an outdoor event to be held at Monument Park on Monday, June 27 at 7:00pm, just three blocks from the theatre site where the original Sousa Band performed, with a rain location at Gardner High School. The Athol performance will be held in Memorial Hall at the Athol Town Hall, a recently renovated space where the original Sousa Band performed on June 28, at 5:00pm.

The June 29th Mechanics Hall concert will also be opened by a professional-level ensemble from Belchertown, Mass. – The Valley Winds, conducted by Dr. Brian Messier, Director of Bands at Dartmouth College. The Valley Winds is an ensemble, composed of professional full time musicians, music educators, and professionals from other walks of life dedicated to bringing both traditional and new compositions for wind band to the Pioneer Valley.