Banners color community

By: Claire Kitzmiller

Beautiful banners will wave on Massachusetts Ave. in May o greet pedestrians and drivers. The banner were created  by students in Arlington. High school teacher, Annie Rebola, describes them as “A really nice burst of color”.

In January ninety-five students from all over Arlington, submitted art to be hung around Arlington center. Of the ninety-five, twenty submissions were chosen to be turned into banners six feet tall and four feet wide. Students were encouraged to use any media as long as it stayed two-dimensional.

The theme this year was Compassionate Community. Students, ages 12 to 18 living in Arlington, were asked to submit art encompassing this theme. Rebola commented, “It couldn’t have been a better theme for the climate right now.”

Art director, David Aditto, said, “It ties into the communities response to hate…Arlington won’t stand for that.”

The contest began in memory of Gracie James. Gracie James was a student at AHS  years ago, when she died in a car accident. Her family wanted a way to celebrate her life. In remembrance of Gracie’s love for art, the banner competition began.  The bottom of each banner  will read “This project was funded by the Gracie James foundation”.

When asked about the projects and its origin, Aditto, said, “It’s a wonderful way to commemorate her life.”

Martina Tanga has been the key organizer of the project for the past two years. Tanga spoke at a reception for all of the artists who submitted to the project. Matina helped to chose the theme.

The judges of the contest were Selectman Joseph Curro, Graphic Artist Jill Manca, and the chair of the Public Art Committee Adria Arch.


Art Raises awareness

By: Lauren Murphy

Ian Miller, a junior at AHS, is using art to battle mental health issues within our school. He is organizing young artists to come together and create a mural that will offer support to students struggling with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

Andrea Razi and Jessica Klau are the social workers at the high school who are available for students in need of extra support with mental health issues. The guidance department is another resource which can help students.

Miller wants to present the resources of AHS in a visual way that will inform students as well as promote creativity.

The inspiration for this project came during a student council meeting back in the fall. Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition discussed the mental health issues students often battle  and how the community can better support them. As the discussion wore on, “we found that  awareness of resources in the school and throughout the community were severely lacking,” Miller says.

Trying to find a way to effectively inform students of the mental health resources available, Miller says the group “tossed around a few ideas and the mural is the one that stuck”.

From there, the project has been put into motion. If all goes according to plan, the mural should be executed in the Links hallway by April vacation and “feature resources in our community that can help students [with] a variety of issues”.

Miller is hoping that this mural can be a positive and engaging way to promote dialogue about mental health while creating a piece of art for all students to enjoy.


Bands Battle Saturday Night

By: Maya Pockrose

The 11th annual Battle of the Bands will be Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Regent Theatre.

The six bands performing are Giulia and Caroline, Haley Wood & the Greater Good, Error 404, Saturn VI, Star-67, and Insight. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door.

The STAND Club organizes the event, which is a fundraiser. The money will be donated to the  organization Save the Children.

Paul McKnight,  teacher and advisor for the STAND Club, says,“The situation in Syria and the Syrian Refugee crisis are issues on people’s minds as well as the millions of displaced people, especially kids. We want to support and recognize them this year.”

McKnight says,“We’re calling this the 11th annual event. We have done at least 11.”

To audition, bands had to fill out a form and submit a CD or links with 3 songs. There was no cost to submit audition material.

In addition to the band performances, there will be a raffle. “The Arlington businesses are very generous,” says McKnight, in their donating raffle materials.

Last year, the prizes were assembled into baskets to raffle off. This will likely be the situation this year, as well. The raffle helps to generate more money for the cause.

Each band gets 20 minutes to perform. Although there is no intermission, there will be about five minutes between each band. The event usually ends between 10:00 and 10:30pm.

For McKnight, who plays music and was in a band during high school, playing in the Battle of the Bands was the first time he got to “show [his] classmates what [he] did in [his] spare time,” in high school. For him, aside from the fundraising aspect of the event, giving bands the chance to play is the best part.

Each year, there are typically students who may never have played on such a large scale. “They’ll come up, and they’ll be really thankful,” he says. That’s the part that is “most rewarding” for McKnight..

There will be a prize for the winning band, but it has yet to be determined. A cash prize is a possibility, and, of course, “bragging rights,” says McKnight. In years past, music store gift certificates have been given as prizes.

McKnight will “very possibly” be performing at the event this year. The Educated Guests, a band comprised of AHS teachers, will “definitely be performing,” for about 10 minutes towards the end of the event.

Battle of the Bands is open to the community. Although he realizes that $15 can be a lot, McKnight stresses that the event is a fundraiser and that this year’s bands are a good bunch. It’s a family-friendly event and is open to students from other schools besides AHS.

Dressler Fiddles Her Way to Awards

11390244_1399513247045237_529244418891521311_n                                           Caroline Dressler playing the fiddle at the competition on September 10th.        Photographer: Samantha Fleishman                                                                                                      By: Claire Kitzmiller

On Saturday, September 10, 2016, Caroline Dressler won first place at the National Junior Scottish Fiddle Competition. At the competition Dressler also won Best Strathspey and Best Reel, both types of tunes.

In addition to the title of First Place, Dressler won a trophy, medals for the other awards, one hundred dollars and a scholarship to a summer fiddle school.

Winning the national competition means that Dressler will automatically get to return to the competition next year without winning her regional competition. Instead of going to her Regional competition, Dressler plans on attending the adult competition, an incitation she received as a result of winning her junior tournament.

Dressler also plays in many groups in and outside of Arlington High School. She has released an album with Giulia Haible, also a junior at AHS, called Dragonfly. Dressler’s other group, Scottish Fish is working on releasing their first album. Dressler plays with various other groups, The Shenanigans, a group in her church, the AHS honors and full orchestras.

Dressler learned to play the fiddle when she was only five. Inspired by her mom, Dressler started taking lessons. She studies at the Crescendo Music School in Bedford with Carlough Faulkner-Carroll.

Outside of fiddling, Caroline is a runner on the AHS Cross Country and track teams. She is also an active member in her church’s youth group.



‘Most likely to take over the world’ exits with flare

By Olivia Bonardi

Photo taken by David Gordon Caption: Jacob played at a community tree lighting in December.

Arlington High School senior, Jacob Deck, was crowned “most likely to take over the world” by the senior class this winter, and he continues to exhibit the unique spirit that had him recogni

zed in the first place. In his last months of high school, Jacob has embraced new opportunities, challenges, and passions, all the while creating an unmistakeable reputation for himself. I caught Jacob backstage at the school’s musical, Hello Dolly, on of the busiest weekends of his year. Between costume changes and dance breaks he chatted with me about his past, present and future.

Olivia: Is this the first musical you’ve ever been in?

Jacob: Yes, it is. I’m kind of surprised by this fact. I was in the band in  A Christmas Carol, and I had so much fun with everybody then, being around the theater people in their natural environment, I felt like I had to come back.

Olivia: What has been your favorite part about being in the musical?

Jacob: Every day when I come home, I have a new story about what happened that day. Honestly, everyone here has started to feel like my family up on stage. It’s been really special and now I’m thinking, ‘Where has this been all my life’?

Olivia: What other extracurricular activities have you done this year?

Jacob: Well, pretty recently I won the South Shore Folk Music Club youth ballad contest. I sang a Scottish border ballad called “Jock O’ Braidislee”,  and I played my harp. It was fun.  There’s a video of my performance somewhere on Youtube.

Olivia: When did you learn to play the harp?

Jacob: Well, I wanted to learn for a while, but last summer I actually got a job, so I was able to make enough money to buy one that I found at Wood and Strings in Arlington Center. One afternoon in October, my parents looked out the window and saw me and my friend, Nate Wright, hauling a harp up our hill in a wagon. I’m not the best player, but I’ve been teaching myself with things I found on the internet and from books. I’m lucky because it’s really hard to sound bad on a harp. I’m so glad I picked it up.

Olivia: Do you see yourself pursuing music as a career in the future?

Jacob: Yes, right now I’m looking at small liberal arts colleges with music programs.

Olivia: Are there any that stand out to you at this point?

Jacob:  My top choice is this place in Appleton, Wisconsin called Lawrence University. I’m visiting there soon. It’s going to be a great time.

Olivia: What is the biggest draw for you at that school?

Jacob: The music culture. It’s not completely a music school; no one has to do music 100% of the time; you can still have fun, but there definitely is an emphasis on it. Over 50% of the people there are official involved in some sort of music.  When I go, I’ll be visiting the Lawrence Fiddle Club.

Olivia: I know you play harp, but around school you’re more well known for playing recorder in the hallways. When did that start?

Jacob: I’ve always really liked the instrument. I picked it up because I needed something to play for a LARP (live action role play) event. I started playing it, then I figured out I really liked playing it. Also it seemed to make people happy. I kept playing once I discovered Irish music,  Scottish music, and  Breton music, leading me to realize I love it all to bits.

Olivia: It seems like since your recorder is so portable, you’ll play anywhere. Where’s the craziest place you’ve played?

Jacob: Oh, this is a really good story. I was just coming back from this event called “Pipes in the Valley”, which was substantially lamer than it was cracked up to be. It was just a bunch of bagpipe enthusiasts gathering around and listening to people playing really bad covers of electric pipe band songs. It was so lame that my dad found another pub, and we went there instead. I walked in, and I was wearing a checkered vest. I had two little tin whistles in my belt. Someone pointed them out and said, “Oh, you were at pipes in the valley,” and I said, “Yes! yes, I was.” I got into a place where people were asking, “Can you play something?” I said,“Yeah, of course.” There was this girls’ soccer team that had just come off of a game. I think they’d won, and they were really hyped, so when they heard me play, they started clapping and cheering. Someone even tried to step dance. Eventually, I was asked to leave the restaurant to thunderous applause, which I did. That evening was the source of my motto: Why just leave anywhere when you could be politely asked to leave instead.

Olivia: You’re so outgoing, Jacob. To me, it seems all your charisma definitely makes you a good candidate for “most likely to take over the world”. Why do you think you won that?

Jacob: I think it’s because they put the people they don’t know what to do with in that category. I’m kind of surprised; I don’t see myself taking over the world exactly, but I can see myself in a position of that flavor.

Olivia: I could see you taking over the world.

Jacob: Perhaps, we’ll see.

AHS filmmaker works on next masterpiece

By Tommy Barvick

Young filmmaker and high school senior Lorenzo Rugiero is working in his next film entitled The Great Robbing of Randall Cobb. Asa Minter, helped with filming and sound. This will be finished and released through Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) on May 15th, 2016.

The plot of The Great Robbing of Randall Cobb, according to Director Rugiero, is, “A couple of high school underachievers set out to rob a teacher’s pet when they discover that he’s selling illegal substances.“  

The Great Robbing of Randall Cobb will feature Rugiero in a lead role, along with Minter as a supporting actor.

Rugiero and Minter have been working together for much of their teenage lives on movies and other projects.  Films such as The Witness, a tale depicting a humorous and dark side of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Far Gone, another dark, yet humorous tale, in the vain of Fargo, won over crowds at the Arlington Teen Film Festival in 2014 and 2015, respectively.  

I’ve always found the concept of mugging very bizarre and kind of fascinating. At a high school level, depending where you grow up and who you hang out with, it’s not an uncommon occurrence. I have friends, high schoolers, who have been “jumped” by their classmates for things as ridiculous as sneakers and articles of clothing. I, for one, could never see myself doing this to another kid no matter how desperate I was for money or clothing accessories. Even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could ever do it successfully. I thought it would be interesting to make a film (comedy) about two otherwise good kids who decide to commit such an act, merely to see if they’re actually capable of doing it and getting it right. This was my inspiration for the film,” says Rugiero.

The film will be debuting on May 15th at the ICA in Boston.  The film runs approximately 15 minutes, and the screening is free to the public This is not a movie to miss, as Rugiero and crew never fail to impress with their dark humor on the screen.

Hello, Dolly wows crowd

Photo taken by Carla DeFord  Caption: Students of AHS performing “Hello, Dolly”.

By: Salome Lefort

As the lights grew dim and the auditorium filled with people, the red curtain, with a light  shining brightly opened slowly and the band began to play.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the students of Arlington High School Gilbert and Sullivan Club, performed their rendition  of  Hello, Dolly!  by Michael Stewart. The director of the school’s musical was Michael Byrne the drama teacher here at AHS.

The story revolves around a socialite matchmaker named Dolly Levi. She is recruited by Horace Vandergelder to find him a wife, although the audience soon learns she intends to marry Mr. Vandergelder.

Rehearsals for the musical began in January, and the performance was the weekend of April 8-10.

Sixty- eight students participated in the musical itself, and five other students worked on the set and managed the students backstage.

The musical this year was in honor of Catherine Malatesta, a student who passed away last summer. She had always been part of the musicals, and this year was the first year without her.

To honor her, a fundraiser called “Catch a Star” was put in place. The goal was to raise money for her scholarship. By paying 20 dollars, audience goers would obtain a star with a prize in it, which varied from a gift card to a discount for a store.

The set was wonderfully painted and built, and the costumes were beautiful and popped with color and variety. The singing and dancing was fabulous, and everyone seemed to leave the musical happy and joyful.

Nick Beutler, junior, said; “It was awesome. I especially liked when Adrian [A performer in the musical] did a cartwheel, very impressive.”

Owen Record, who was in the cast, shared, “I was on the tech crew. I saw all the shows, They were incredible.”

Junior, Will Christmann stated, “It was really good. Best musical I’ve seen at AHS!”

Roels creates unique art

Piglet plush sewn by Roels (Photos by Megan Roels)

By Lilah Vieweg

Arlington High School has become a hotbed of artisitic talent, with students lining up to audition for the spring musical, attending the Mount Vesuviana arts camp in Italy, and rapidly filling the many art classes offered.

One such talented student is freshman Megan Roels who sews amazingly detailed and well made stuffed animals in her free time. She began sewing at age seven, taught by her aunt, and lately she’s been working on some big projects. When asked about her most difficult project so far, she described making “an eight foot long [dragon] plush. It is a stretchy, fuzzy, fabric that was really difficult to sew. In the long run, it took me a few months.”

The average stuffed animal takes about a week, and the supplies cost between twenty and thirty dollars. Of her process, she says, “Sometimes I’ll use a pattern that’s already existing and adjust it, other times I’ll make my own pattern and sew from there.”

Her skill has not gone unnoticed. Friends and family, even strangers, have begun to ask for commissions. “I’ve had a bunch of people ask. My art teacher wants me to make a stuffed hippo for her child,” says Roels. “People I don’t even know, like my neighbors have asked me to make them patterns.”

Currently, Roels is working on a quilt and hopes to begin learning to sew clothes. But she also paints, draws, and sculpts.


Republican Club fundraises for Catherine’s foundation

By Francis Raboy

On March 18, the Young Republican Club will be holding a patriotic themed dance,  named the “Red, White, and Blue Dance” which will be held in Arlington High’s Blue gym from 7:30 to 10:00 pm.

The club hopes to raise funds for the Catherine J. Malatesta’s Scholarship Foundation to memorialize her time in the Arlington High School community.

Scholarships  are aimed to help students pursue careers in the performing arts.

Tickets will be sold ahead of time for $15 dollars. They will not be sold at the door.

Contracts can be picked up in Room 406 and must be signed prior to ticket purchase.

Be sure to dress in red, white, and blue colors.

Band deliver their annual talent

Written by Sam O’Keefe

Pictures and Interview by Francis Raboy

The excitement never waned Saturday, January 30th at Arlington’s Regent Theater, where six bands rocked the stage in a night of music, fundraising, and surprises that attracted hundreds from the AHS and Arlington community.

The Battle of the Bands (BOTB), a yearly winter event organized by the AHS STAND Club, never fails to entertain by putting on a night where bands comprised of youth originating predominantly from AHS and the Arlington community compete to win first or second place, which is chosen by a teacher committee by the end of the night.

BOTB has always been a fundraising event, where money collected goes toward global humanitarian relief efforts. This year ten percent of each ticket sold was designated for Save The Children and its relief efforts in Syria.

Aside from ticket sales, the club was able to raise more funds by offering several enticing raffle prizes, stocked with items donated generously from Arlington businesses such as The Madrona Tree, Retroburger, Wood and Strings, J and L Hair Studios, Arlington Centered, and the Book Rack.

Before the music even started, the night’s lively spirit was given a boost by AHS seniors Cindy Zou and Vignesh Chockalingam took the stage to host the event. Full of corny jokes, creative commentary, and an eagerness to entertain, Zou and Chockalingam who proved the ideal candidates to keep the energy flowing throughout the night, remind the audience of the tempting raffle prizes in between sets, and introduce and welcome each band to the stage.

Zou outgoing and animated, gladly showed the audience some of her sick dance moves while the more tranquil Chockalingam calmed the mood by bringing some of his dry humor.

Once the lights went down, seats filled up, and a lull overtook the room. The audience grew eager to see the battle’s first band take the stage. Poised and anxious to perform, Insight took the stage, a young band with a unique look, comprised of members CJ and Nick Wallace, Liam Farrell, Ryan Murphy, and Emily Campagna. Right from the start, this first band set an impressive precedent for the night, delivering a fresh and upbeat sound with strong and signature lead vocals by confident and comfortable Campagna, who took the spotlight with her own rock look and attitude.

The audience immediately grew engaged when the high-pitched, trilly tune of Britney Spear’s “Toxic” filled the room, as the band proceeded to kill a pop classic with their own rock twist. The band’s subsequent songs, including No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs” and The Heavy’s rebellious and empowering anthem “How You Like Me Now” proved consistent with the exciting, intriguing tone set forth by the first song. Campagna’s wide vocal range and movement, accompanied by her band’s solid players and talent, led Insight to be a real contender in the competition. Campagna said, “I’ve been singing since forever, but only about three years ago did I start taking it seriously.” Undoubtedly the young teen’s talent is innate, only becoming more polished throughout her years of hard work and practice.

After the night’s first band left the stage, it was clear that the audience was in for some impressive acts. It wasn’t long before everyone’s attention was grabbed again when colorful and interesting band Blacklight took the stage, complete with members Julian Carpenter, Chris Madden, Michael Morrissette, Myles Lehman, Nico Holt, Kevin LaFleur, and Owen Kulinski.

With Lehman and Madden, popular AHS juniors, and other band members dressed in neon-colored spandex and accessorized with stylish sunglasses, the group never failed to lose the attention.

Lehman and Madden and their undeniable trombone skills stole the show; they were quick to let everyone in the band exhibit their talent, as their prolonged introductory instrumental consisted of each band member having their own mini-solo. After this comprehensive showcase, Madden took the microphone to provide a cool voice to greet his audience and create a laid back, almost comical mood that manifested throughout their performance, which well-complemented the group’s outlandish clothing.

Proceeding with a few more instrumental classics, Blacklight brought a unique and unconventional BOTB experience, playing exclusive tunes such as “Chameleon” by Herbie Hancock and “Colorful Midst” by Main Squeeze. It was certainly a significant night for drummer Julian Carpenter, a freshman, the youngest player in the competition, who explained, “I was scared, before but I want to do it again next year.”

Subsequent bands Star-67 and Cataracts and Rinclons continued the night’s music by presenting acts that were characteristic of their members and that certainly preserved an unpredictable and exciting mood to the night.

Star-67, composed of sophomores and juniors Jesse Schultz, Calvin McLean, and Tommy Barvick, gave a surprising and entertaining performance with several original songs, one amusingly echoing stories of middle school romances and dramas under the title “Toxic Eighth Grade Relationships,” which gave the teen members of the audience a good laugh and a familiar sense of nostalgia. Setting such a humorous tone, the band gladly proceeded to its next songs.

When Cataracts and Rinclons took the stage, the night was well on its way to being an outstanding night, with so many different sounds and performances that were all a success. Cataracts and Rinclons, comprised of mostly seniors, such as lead vocalist Jacob Kiely-Song, bassist Alexander Franzosa, guitarist Ben Boyajian, guest Jeremy Weaver, and also junior Tommy Barvick, represented Ace Hardware, flashing the store’s sweatshirts as they took the stage to present a diverse array of songs including heavy metal jams, fantasy themed tunes, and current pop ballads. Starting with an intense, bold and forceful rendition of Tool’s “Sober,” Kiely-Song emerged as a dynamic and passionate vocalist and performer, belting out the song’s famed notes and stealing the stage, with powerful Jeremy Weaver who emphatically tore through the song’s lyrics.

In between songs, the band gave familiar and fun transitions with the ominous theme song of Harry Potter, which they used to help segue into their next songs. Proceeding with popular song “The Hills” by the Weekend, they were sure to incorporate some contemporary tunes. One of the most intimate and captivating parts of the entire night occurred with senior Mina Burton, who emerged from backstage during the Cataracts’ performance to sing a touching and beautiful duet with Kiely-Song in the form of Justin Bieber’s currently well-known “Love Yourself.” The two voices were apt for the song’s raw and warm sound, as they intertwined to bring the night’s loudness and energy to a more relaxed and meaningful moment. Burton gave the Cataracts a unique touch that distinguished them from the rest of the bands.

The final student band of the night certainly did not fail to grab attention, with Baked Beans, a band that has performed at the BOTB for several years and wanted to leave the event with their own personal mark. Comprised of seniors such as Michael Morrissette, Andrew Peterson, Michael Dillon, Lorenzo Rugiero, Myles Goldstein, JJ Hassler, and Kevin LaFleur, the band knew it would be their last year together and planned for a memorable performance, complete with songs such as “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar and “Killing In the Name” by Rage Against the Machine.

A diverse group with many different talents, such as those of Peterson in the form of his signature saxophone skills, and those of Dillon and his impressive percussion skills, having developed over years of extensive practice. With lead vocals by Goldstein and Rugiero, the band’s performance was certainly more than just a musical progression.
Many members of the audience now stood up near the stage in anticipation of a grandiose finale. As the music started to play, the room’s energy revved up, until reaching a climax with Rugiero entering on a dolly dressed in a Mummy costume, tearing it off as the act progressed. Screaming foul language in claiming their own autonomy, the band filled the room with profanity and laughs as the song evolved into a chant reiterating the group’s yearning to express themselves however they wished. The nearly shocking performance went out with a literal bang when Rugiero boldly and confidently smashed a guitar on stage, ending the song.

Certainly, the night’s events saw many different performances complete with a vast array of songs, melodies, and acts that never bored the audience or left the room feeling unenthused. Yet, Baked Beans’ particular and dramatic finale turned out to not be the end of the night’s music, as another band with some familiar faces took the stage to give the night one last bout of music and enjoyment.

AHS English teachers Paul McKnight, Lianna Bessette, Tim Marten, and Justin Bourassa (and Glen Fant, in spirit) took the stage to rock some old and contemporary classics, such as Brad Paisley’s country hit “Me Neither” and the well-known Taylor Swift jam “Shake It Off,” which was proudly and impressively belted out by Bessette. For both students and the performing teachers, the final performance was a time filled with the celebratory air of successful fundraising and an undoubtedly enjoyable night for all.

When all was said and done, the still-energetic MCs took the stage once more to announce the lucky winners of the raffle prizes, each a basket with an eclectic collection of items ranging from Starbuck’s thermoses to restaurant gift cards.

Campagna remarked at the end of the show that, “[I] love performing shows with the band because we’re a family pretty much.” Insight’s drummer CJ Wallace echoes this, describing his fellow band members by explaining, “We all come from different backgrounds.” It is this acceptance and friendliness that the BOTB exhibits which parlays into the meaningful and generous work the event’s organizers do to reach out a hand to those in need around the globe.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


        Photos taken by Francis Raboy