Category Archives: Music

My first letter to the editor

Hi Pete – I was one of several music parents that signed a letter to the editor that appeared in the paper today. But for some reason, this fact: that 1/3 to 1/2 of Dale Street music students are missing from ensembles, was removed from the letter prior to publication (real data exists to back the statement up). Members of our Medfield community need to know how that the Dale Street music program – which feeds into our award-winning Blake and MHS music program — has already been negatively impacted by the pilot that was hastily rolled out this year. If the rate of music students missing from Dale Street ensembles continues, the future of our award-winning Medfield Music Program is at risk. If you can help with setting the record straight, I’d appreciate it. Thanks, Chris McCue Potts


Preserving our musical legacy – a letter to the editor: 

Since the days of Lowell Mason, the father of music education born in Medfield, generations of music educators, performers and professionals have followed him and called Medfield home.

In addition to our award-winning school ensembles, today Medfield has alumni and residents associated with prominent institutions like Metropolitan Opera, American Repertory Theater, Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory and Boston Ballet.

One can compare Medfield’s rich musical legacy to a historically significant home that needs to be protected from neglect so that it continues to contribute to town pride and character. But that’s easier said than done. Our music program was decimated about 25 years ago after music was pulled out of the school day – to the point that our MHS marching band had just 18 students (vs. 70 today). It took a Herculean effort to put music back in the school day, followed by 12-15 years of teacher dedication, volunteer efforts and community fundraising to restore the program to an acceptable level.

It’s not coincidental that Medfield’s high academic rankings and musical success have been on parallel paths since the full rollout of MCAS in 1999. The combination of strong academics, the arts, athletics, citizenship and cultural initiatives, has been providing the well-rounded education that families want, and is sought after by top colleges and employers.

But surprisingly, history is beginning to repeat itself. This past September, a pilot was launched under the radar that pulled 4th and 5th grade band, chorus and orchestra ensembles out of the school day impacting more than 320 children. The students now need to show up at 7:30 a.m. 1-2x a week placing a burden on many children and parents. On any given day, 1/2 to 1/3 of students are missing from their ensembles, and many children have dropped out entirely from the music program because of the early-morning start.

If Medfield continues to lose music students at the current accelerated rate, five years from now we will not have a sufficient number of children in the program to justify current levels of staffing, and future generations will be deprived of all the benefits that a Medfield music education now provides. Parents who only have elementary school-aged children (or younger) don’t know what’s truly at stake.

We know from research and alumni feedback that ensemble practices give children a greater sense of acceptance and community, help to relieve stress, teach students critical thinking, and improve students’ ability to focus and retain information. The ensembles also allow students to see that music could be a serious endeavor – even something they might pursue professionally one day – just like Lowell Mason, and everyone else who has followed after him.

A Boston College emeritus professor and three consultants (all associated with Sudbury schools) have been hired to conduct an evaluation of the Dale Street music pilot at a cost of $6,000, but the evaluation plan does not include capturing input from the community at large.

Town leaders, long-time residents, veterans, realtors, and many others have all said that the Medfield Music Program is a source of great community pride, yet it will continue to decay if something isn’t done soon to address the loss of student participation from music ensembles. Please join us in helping to protect Medfield’s rich music heritage at the very place where it takes root:  Dale Street School.

The easiest way to voice your support is by sending a note to by May 20 and it will be forwarded to school administrators, staff and consultants involved with evaluating the music pilot.


Medfield Music Parents:

Chris McCue Potts

Maria Baler

Sherri Goldman

Fran Pericles

Kathy Loranger

Marybeth Wagenseller

Barb FitzPatrick

Holly Mahoney

Moxie Strings concert 3/19 at MHS

From the Medfield Music Association –

The Moxie Strings to perform in Medfield


The nationally known music of The Moxie Strings is coming to Medfield for a special performance from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 in the MHS Lowell Mason Auditorium.


Tickets for The Moxie Strings are on sale at Park Street Books — $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens; they are also available online at


The trio – known for its “electrifying combination” of a fiddler, cellist and drummer/percussionist – will travel from Michigan to perform for the Medfield community and conduct day-time clinics for Medfield orchestra students.


“This is a unique opportunity to see a nationally known music group right here in Medfield. Fans of live music will not want to miss it. Prior to the concert our music students will be treated to valuable hands-on learning from the nationally acclaimed act,” said Brenna Hayden, Orchestra Director for Medfield Public Schools.


The Moxie Strings consists of fiddler, Diana Ladio; cellist, Alison Lynn; and drummer/percussionist Fritz McGirr. They are known for their “feel-good melodies and foot-stomping, rock-influenced rhythms”, and their ability to put a fresh and enticing spin on Celtic and Americana music.


Ladio, Lynn and McGirr hold Bachelor of Music degrees in music performance and music education, which have given each the technical foundation to explore the limits of his/her instrument, and helped the group build a reputation for musical excellence. The Moxie Strings write the majority of their pieces, and also arrange traditional tunes from many countries.


The Moxie Strings have taught enrichment clinics in over 60 schools throughout the U.S., and have also presented on their research and methodologies to many teachers at music education professional development conferences. Through their clinics Ladio and Lunn aim to create equipped creative well rounded musicians.


The Moxie Strings event is supported in part by a grant from the Medfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. The Medfield Music Association is also helping to sponsor the program.

Free concert at UCC Saturday at 7PM

Email today from David Domeshek –

Wanted to let you know about a fun concert in Medfield this Saturday at 7pm, featuring some really good musicians playing an “eclectic” program of pop, R&B, “great American songbook” standards, gospel and blues. Heidi Willson, a wonderful singer, will front a 9-piece band comprising professional musicians — oh yes, and me (the amateur who’s in way over his head!) — many of whom Heidi knows from her days in the U.S. Navy Band (no slouch outfit).


The concert begins at 7pm sharp in the sanctuary at UCC Medfield (496 Main Street – Rte. 109), and will run about an hour. Best of all, it’s FREE.


If you’re around and available, hope to see you there!


-David Domeshek
(508) 873-7068

Spaghetti with Santa tickets on sale

From the Medfield Music Association –

Tickets are now on sale for the Medfield Music Association’s Spaghetti with Santa fundraiser at the high school on Dec. 10. This is the 41st year for the event making it one of the oldest fundraisers in Medfield providing a beloved holiday tradition for hundreds of families. Two seatings are available: 5:15 and 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at Park Street Books. Spaghetti with Santa has sold out for the past two years, so families are encouraged to buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment.


You can now find the MMA on Facebook:

Jazz at Dwight-Derby House tonight

This from the Cheryl O’Malley –

Hi everyone,


Don’t miss tonight’s October Festival at the Dwight-Derby House from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. You will experience the best Medfield has to offer with music, food,beer and wine tasting in a very historic setting.


Shane Wood, a Medfield resident and well known jazz musician, will bring the best in Jazz to your ears which is brought to you by a grant from the Medfield Cultural Counsel. 


Tim Larkin of Larkin’s Liquiors will tantalize your taste buds with a selection of wines and beer that will be sure to please your taste buds.


Last but not least, there will be an amazing spread of food from Roach Brothers for the Brother’s Market the newest venue in Medfield. The evening will start with wine and cheese, then move to the main course of Beef Stroganoff or Chicken Parmesan and Broccoli & Cauliflower Au Gratin or Thyme Roasted Carrots and finish with European Pastries.


Our store will also be open for your shopping convenience. We have lots of new products for all your gift giving needsd.


Don’t let the rain keep you from enjoy this wonderful evening for only $25 at the door. All proceeds will support the on going maintenance, preservation, restoration and operations of the Dwight-Derby House a significant historic structure of Medfield which is managed by the Friends of the Dwight-Derby House a non-profit organization.


I hope to see you there!


Cheryl O’Malley


Friends of the Dwight-Derby House

P.O. Box 527

7 Frairy Street

Medfield, MA. 02052


The Pianos Are Coming! The Pianos Are Coming!

Calling all piano players!  This today from cultural instigator Jean Mineo –



An update – the two pianos are due to arrive in the two parks tomorrow afternoon, Friday Sept. 19. I’ll be there for the installations and hope you’ll come check them out and help spread the word inviting people to play. My home and cell phone are below if needed (not for public distribution, please), I’ll be around on Medfield Day to keep an eye on them. Starbucks and Larkins have agreed to help un/cover the piano in the Straw Hat Park daily, and the library and Zullo will do the same for the one in the gazebo. I welcome any and all “eyes” on them during their stay, they will be going to new homes at the end of the project during the weekend of Oct. 4 – 5. If you get to enjoy an impromptu performance during lunch or a break, please post phone photos on the Facebook page!

Thanks everyone, for your support on this exciting project!


H 508-242-9991

C 617-877-5158


Pianos In the Parks

(Medfield, MA): The Medfield Cultural Council is pleased to bring two pianos to two parks in the Medfield Cultural District for public play for two weeks beginning Sept. 19. The pianos are located in the Straw Hat Park and under the gazebo. They have been generously donated by two local families and will be covered overnight and in the event of inclement weather. They are available for anyone to play otherwise.


“The idea is based on the wildly popular Play Me I’m Yours project that installed 75 pianos in Boston and Cambridge last year,” says Cultural Council member Jean Mineo. “I was lucky enough to experience several impromptu performances and each one was amazing. This past summer, I heard local musician Tom Duprey playing outside on the Zullo roof deck one afternoon and thought we could do something similar here.” The Council encourages families, friends and others to share their talents either solo or in ensembles in these unusual venues. “Lots of people can play,” said Mineo, “we hope to entice them to play in public a little bit.” The pianos will be available through Oct. 4.
The Council invites everyone to post their photos and share stories and videos of performances on its facebook page: For more information about the Cultural Council, visit


“This program is supported in part by a grant from the Medfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.”



Young men in the news

Couple of recent nice articles about young men from Medfield, Matthew Aucoin on his music in the Wall Street Journal, and Gehrig Schilling on his baseball in the Globe West Weekly (searches just now at produced no returns for that one) –