Classical at the Beech: Belmont Festival Orchestra in Concert Thursday, June 1

Photo: Pianist Sasha Beresovsky and conductor Nathaniel Meyer.

The Belmont Festival Orchestra marks its return to the Beech Street Center with a concert of classical music standards on Thursday, June 1 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Led by the group’s founder, Belmont’s own Nathaniel Meyer (Belmont High Class of ’09), the all-volunteer orchestra will be joined by the brilliant, young Ukrainian-American pianist, Sasha Beresovsky, in a performance of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto in G major.

The concert’s program also features Glinka’s “Overture to Ruslan & Lyudmila” and Wagner’s magnificent and uplifting “Tannhäuser” Overture.

The concert is free and open to all residents in Greater Boston.

Meyer said Beresovsky has a truly incredible story. Born in Moscow to a Ukrainian family, they became refugees after the fall of the Soviet Union before coming to the United States.

“Throughout his harrowing, often difficult journey, he has been inspired by his deep passion for music, and particularly that of Beethoven,” said Meyer.

Beresovsky received his Master’s in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Ind. Sasha’s ongoing passion for music is fueled by his love of literature, history, the natural sciences and nature in particular.

The video shows Beresovsky performing Prokofiev.

Damp Conditions Did Not Deter Memorial Day Parade, Ceremony

Photo: At Belmont Cemetary, Memorial Day

The forecast of steady rain held off long enough for Belmont to remember the residents who gave their lives for the country as residents came out to march and attend the annual Memorial Day Parade and Commemoration Ceremony at Belmont Cemetary on Monday, May 30.

Despite the forecast, a good number of residents gather along Trapelo Road, Belmont and Grove streets to see and cheer on veterans, color guards, representatives from the police and fire departments, the mixed marching bands from Belmont High and Chenery Middle schools, boy and girl scouts and lots of kids riding on a flatbed truck who traveled the 1.1 miles from Cushing Square to the corner of Grove Street and Huron Avenue.

At the cemetery, the commemoration of the day was celebrated by a proclaimation from Bay State Gov. Baker read by State Sen. Will Brownsberger and a speech by Belmont Board of Selectmen Chair Jim Williams, a Viet-nam Era Navy veteran.

“… [W]e honor our dead, not as fallen heros instead as warriors who sacrificed all defending our precious freedoms which are truely universal. timeless and inspired, as Emerson so poetically declared, “that waft the breath of grace divine.”

The day’s main speaker was Col. Mike Callanan, USMC (ret.), a Belmont native (Belmont High class of 1988) who served as the leader of a combat engineer battalion which made several deployments to the Middle East.

Callanan honored all those Belmont residents who took up arms as volunteers or those drafted into the military and died fighting for the country since the Civil War, serving in all branches of the armed services. He asked that every resident speak to a child about the meaning of Memorial Day, especially since “they are just one generation” away from possibly serving themselves. 

“I ask that each of you rededicate your efforts to focus current conversations not on what divides us but what actually unities us. And that is we are all Americans,” he said.

Noting the noise of children playing in the Grove Street Playground across from the cemetary, Callanan said “that’s what freedom sounds like. That’s worth defending. That’s what we will loss if brave men and women don’t continue to stand up and defend it.”

“Believe me, there are a lot of bad people out there that want to take that very sound away from us at every opportunity.” 

Girls’ Rugby In State Finals Sat. June 10; Boy Ruggers in Semis

Photo: The Belmont High Girls’ Rugby team in action.

The teams were known for weeks and now they have a date to battle it out for the state crown as the number one seed Belmont High Girls’ Rugby (3-0-1) takes on Algonquin Regional (2-1-1) for the first-ever MIAA Girls’ Rugby state championship on Saturday, June 10 at Endicott College in Beverly. 

The time of the historic match will occur on the same day as the first MIAA Boys’ Rugby title contests in Division 1 and Division 2. According to the MIAA, the game schedule will likely be 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., the final schedule to be determined early next week.

The Belmont Girls’ have met Algonquin twice this year, drawing 12-12 at Belmont and then defeating the T-hawks, 20-10, on May 17.

Belmont High Boys’ have made the semi-finals finishing the regular season at 5-2, 4-2 in the league. The only public school in the final four, the third seed Marauders will visit second-seed St. John’s Prep of Danvers at a date to be determined. Belmont lost at St. John’s, 19-10, in May. 


Super Belmont: Marauder Baseball in Elite Eight State Finals

Photo: The Marauders with the silverware.

After defeating one-loss Lynnfield High, 5-2, to defend its Brendan Grant Tournament title on Saturday, May 27, the 17-3 Belmont High Baseball team was eager to discover Tuesday what seed they would receive in the upcoming Division 2 North sectional playoffs.

But the call they got from the MIAA – the organization that oversees high school sports in Massachusetts – came a day early with news that came as a surprise not just to the Marauders but to many highly touted Bay State teams.

On Monday, the selection committee of the Baseball “Super 8” playoffs made Belmont the eighth and final squad selected to compete in the elite tournament with seven of the best teams in the state.

“I’m very happy for the seniors, they’ve earned it,” said Belmont’s long-time head coach Jim Brown in the Boston Herald.

The reward for Belmont being selected to play with the big kids is a first-round meeting Wednesday, May 31 against the consensus number one team in the state, 19-3 St. John’s Shrewsbury. The game will be played in the central Massachusetts town that straddles Worcester at 4 p.m.

Belmont leapfrogged over teams such as 19-1 Lynn Classical as well as Methuen and Andover which pundits believed had the edge over the Marauders, a Division 2 squad which has not faced any of the other seven teams in the playoffs this season.

While familiar to hockey, the double-elimination Super Eight playoff is a recent addition to the state tournament, first introduced in 2014 with Newton North taking the title. The past two years Braintree has won the crown.

BHS Principal Pens Explanation Of Friday’s Student Protest

Photo: Principal Dr. Dan Richards with Barbara Joseph. BHS student organizer.

[Editor’s note: Below is a letter sent to students, parents and staff from Belmont High School Principal Dr. Dan Richards concerning the protest rally and march by students on Friday, May 29.]

Dear Belmont Students, Parents, Guardians, Faculty, and Staff,

I am writing to inform you and provide clarity about the student march on Friday, May 26, 2017 around the pond at Belmont High School.

At 7:00am on May 26, one of our students brought to my attention that a racial comment was posted the night before on Snapchat by a student who does not attend Belmont High School. The post was discovered by a Belmont High School student who forwarded it to our school’s Black in Belmont student group, which mainly consists of African-American/Black students.

I then met with students representing Black in Belmont to gain a better understanding of the situation. They explained the details of the incident and shared with me the Snapchat post. Throughout the course of the discussion, the students shared their feelings about the incident and the need to continue the conversation with the school administration and other staff members to help process the situation and discuss how best to respond to it.

Throughout the better part of the day, the Belmont High School administrative team and a group of teachers met with students to process the incident and to strategize short and long-term proactive solutions. Together, we agreed that a clear message of solidarity was needed. The message should clearly show unity and that derogatory messages and/or behavior of this nature are not tolerated by the Belmont High School community. After much discussion, a voluntary student, faculty, staff, and community march around the pond was planned for that afternoon.

At 1:30 pm, members of the student body, faculty, staff, representatives of Belmont Against Racism and the Belmont Police Department gathered at the front of the school to hear an inspirational speech by a student member of the Black in Belmont group. The group walked in peaceful solidarity around the pond chanting slogans of unity. The march concluded at approximately 2:00 pm back at the school.

I am proud of our faculty, staff, community members, and especially our students who chose to react to a hateful and hurtful situation in a peaceful and productive manner. Their decision to come together and support our African-American/Black students by marching together with one voice, is a symbol of our strength, values, and steadfast commitment to equality. 

I am continuously impressed with the maturity, emotional strength, and positive spirit with which our students respond to such incidents which can only serve to undermine the inclusive culture at Belmont High School. We remain committed to the important work that lies ahead of us to ensure that everyone is a welcomed, respected, and valued member of the Belmont High School community.

Daniel E. Richards


Belmont Juniors Krafian, Perkins Take Home EMass Division 3 Track Titles

Photo: Belmont High Anoush Krafian in action earlier this outdoor season.

A pair of Belmont High juniors will be heading to this week’s All-State Meet as Eastern Mass Division 3 champions as Anoush Krafian and Calvin Perkins sprinted home to take individual victories on Sunday, May 28 at Burlington High School.

Krafian cruised to the 100-meter hurdles title in 15.33 seconds, beating Pembroke High senior Julieanne Watts by nearly half-a-second.

Perkins powered to an impressive 49.13 to defeat Burlington High senior Ben Piotti by more than half-a-second on his home track. The time was just a second back from the EMass D3 record of 48.1.

Belmont High junior Calvin Perkins during the 2016 Cross Country season.

It’s been a busy week for Krafian who on Thursday, May 18 shattered the school’s 100 meter hurdles record (which she already held) with a 14.95 second effort during the Division 3 state Pentathlon, a five-event competition that includes the 100 meter hurdles, the long jump, the shot put, 800 meters and high jump. The time broke the best-ever time in the hurdles portion of the event by more than a second.

At the All-State meet, Krafian will meet the only other athlete under 15 seconds in the hurdles, Plymouth South’s senior Madelyn Sessler who has run 14.91. 

Krafian placed second in the one-day pentathlon with a personal best of 3,040 points, behind the defending champion Hopkinton junior Caitlyn Halloran’s 3,166 points. During the events, Krafian also achieved her best marks in the shot put (26 feet 3.75-inches) and the 800 meters, 2:38.37. 

Not that she isn’t busy enough, on Sunday, Krafian took 5th place in the long jump, leaping 17 feet, 6 1/2 inches.

In addition to his victory, Perkins joined his teammates junior Max Serrano-Wu, senior Aidan Carey and junior Bryan Huang to lead off the 4×400 relay to a second-place performance in 3 minutes and 28.41 seconds behind winners Pembroke which broke the tape in 3:26.41 

Belmont’s tradition of strong relay squads continue as the girls’ 4×400 team of senior Danielle Kelly, junior Emily Duffy, freshman Soleil Tseng and senior Julia Cella placed third with a 4:06.70 effort behind Hopkinton and Tewksbury while the girls’ 4×800 of freshman Olivia Zarzycki, junior Alexa Sabatino, frosh Madeline Kitch and senior Alexandra Bailey broke the 10 minute barrier with a 9:53.51 to finish an impressive 4th.

Over on the boys’ side, Belmont’s 4×800 team of junior Jason Berger, junior Zach Tseng, senior Adam Cronin and junior James Kitch kicked it to the line in 8:17.29 in 4th. 

Also scoring for Belmont were junior Alexa Sabatino placing 7th in the mile (5:22.90) while 9th-grade sprinter Soleil Tseng took 5th in the 400 meters just a tad over the one-minute (1:00.11) mark for the one lap.

Belmont girls’ was 7th in the team event with 39 points with the boys’ in 10th with 23 points.

Rain or Shine: Belmont’s Memorial Day Parade Monday @ 11AM


While the weather forecast is calling for a bit of rain just after noon, the prospects of Monday showers will not stop this year’s Belmont Memorial Day Parade.

After the annual event was postponed last year until June due to expected heavy rain (which did not show up) and the subsequent observance was sparsely attended, the Board of Selectmen decided future parades would go on as scheduled despite any calls for showers. 

This year, the annual parade from Cushing Square to Belmont Cemetary on Grove Street The parade steps off at 11 a.m. will begin in front of Starbucks near the corner of Common Street and Trapelo Road.

Marching bands from Belmont High and Chenery Middle school, color guards and members from the Belmont Police and Fire departments, veteran motorcyclist, marchers from local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops and veterans will all take part 

All veterans and current military personnel are invited and welcome to join the other vets at the head of the parade.

Lining the route – down Trapelo Road before making a left onto Grove Street and continuing to the Belmont Cemetery – will be families and residents cheering the marchers.

At the cemetery, a wreath laying ceremony will take place, speeches will be read, flowers laid at the graves of veterans, the names of Belmont citizens who died for this country will be honored, “Taps” played and a final salute will be given.

Belmont Students Protest Racial Slur On Social Media [Video]

Photo: Campaigners marching around Clay Pit Pond

A racial slur on a Snapchat account by a Belmont High School student that was forwarded by a third party to fellow students resulted in a protest rally and march around Clay Pit Pond at the high school Friday afternoon, May 26, which saw nearly 90 percent of the student body and many teachers and staff take part.

Organized by a group of students led by junior Barbara Joseph, the action according to Joseph and the school administration was directed at the overall climate of racial discourse occuring locally and nationally.

“We are not looking to have the [student] to be punished. He’s affected by society on what he did,” said Joseph. “We are here to say that this is a bigger issue than just one [social media] post. It’s about changing our [view] on what is acceptable.” 

Belmont High Principal Dr. Dan Richards said he met with a group of students early Friday to discuss their concerns and help devise both a short and long term actions that would both bring awareness of issues of race that is effecting students to the greater school community. The march would be the first step in bringing forward a dialouge on the issues, said Richards.

“I support what these students are doing 100 percent because its a message that we need to discuss,” said Richards.


Performing Arts Company’s One Acts on Stage Friday, Saturday

Photo: This year’s poster

The final act of the 2016-17 theatrical season by the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company takes place this holiday weekend with the annual student-directed “One Act Festival.” 

Featuring 10-minute plays directed by PAC members (typically seniors), the One Acts are a mix of comedy, drama and everything in between. 

There are three performances:

Friday, May 26 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 27 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

One Acts are extremely popular and traditionally sell out so get your tickets soon.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be obtained at Champions in Belmont Center and online here: Buy Tickets Online.

CONTENT WARNING: Some of the One Act Plays contain mature themes or adult language, which may not be suitable for children.

26 Years In The Making: Belmont Baseball Captures League Title With Victory Over Reading

Photo: Belmont High’s Max Meier strikes out the final batter of the game for Belmont’s 6-4 victory over Reading.

The wait is over.

Twenty-six years since winning its last league title, Belmont High Baseball will hoist the 2017 Middlesex League Liberty Division championship banner on the wall of the Wenner Field House after the Marauders captured its first league pennant since 1991 with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over defending champions Reading Memorial High with a combination of clutch late-inning hitting and a gutsy pitching performance by the team’s lefthanded ace.

“How about that league championship?!” asked long-time Head Coach Jim Brown to his ecstatic players as the speakers blasted a new version of King Harvest’s 70’s classic “Dancing in the Moonlight.”

“You had a goal right from the beginning of the season. And you accomplished it. You made this town proud,” Brown told the players.

The team – 16-3 overall and 13-3 in the league – will end the regular season taking on one-loss Division 3 leading Lynnfield (17-1) on Friday, May 26 at 3:45 p.m. at “The Grant.” The Marauders will then finish the season hosting The Brendan Grant Tournament later in the week.

The Marauders’ secured the victory with a clutch two-out, two run rally that gave junior starter Nate Espelin the margin he needed to hold on for his sixth win with a herculean 119 pitch performance over 6 1/3 innings.

“I walked too many people, but I didn’t have to worry about striking out people because we made the defensive plays,” said the southpaw, who raised his record to 6-1.

While Espelin could not match his high teen strikeout numbers that he produced against Wilmington, Lexington and Reading the first time he faced them – a 1-0 9-inning loss – he relied on his curveball “which worked a little better today.”

On Wednesday, the Marauders’ bats were working as the top four of the order – junior leftfielder Connor Dacey, junior shortstop Steve Rizzuto, catcher Cal Christofori and junior first base Dennis Crowley – went a collective 8 for 13 with two doubles (both by Christofori) and 5 RBIs.

“I think I’ve seen the ball well lately. It’s just looking bigger and getting a good piece of it and driving it the other way [to right field],” said Crowley.

Belmont got off the mark quickly against Reading’s All-Star starter Corey DiLoreto in the first with a walk, a fielder’s choice and two singles with Crowley punching a single through the infield to bring home Rizzuto. It appeared the Marauders would increase the lead as a sacrifice fly by junior Ryan Noone sent Christofori home, but the plate umpire called the senior captain out for leaving third early.

Espelin had already thrown 40 pitches in the top of the third when he walked Reading’s Joe Bradley to bring up DiLoreto who pulverized an Espelin offering over the deepest part of the center field fence (352 feet) to give Reading its only lead of the game, 2-1. The inning ended with Rizzuto going deep in the hole to throw out the batter by half-a-step.

The Marauders swiftly recaptured the lead in the bottom of the frame, starting with Rizzuto (1-3) waiting on a slow curve to belt it between first and second for a single. Christofori (3-3 with a walk) then smashed a fastball into the gap between center and left that one-hopped the fence for a ground-rule double.

“[Christofori’s] enthusiasm and passion today rubbed off on the entire team,” said Brown. 

Crowley followed by taking a full-count pitch into center for a single, bringing in Rizzuto to tie the score. Junior right fielder/pitcher Max Meier continued the hitting onslaught with his own single to send Christofori across the plate. The Marauders’ final run of the inning came when Crowley scampered home on a Bryan Goodwin sacrifice fly, upping the lead to 4-2.

The title was sealed with two down in the sixth when Reading took out DiLoreto. Belmont quickly pounced on reliever Mike Rainone loading the bases on a Conner Dacey single and walks to Rizzuto and Christofori.

Dennis completed his big day at the plate battling back from a two-stroke deficit to rocket a 2-2 pitch into center to bring in Dacey and Rizzuto to double Belmont’s lead from two to four at 6-2.

“He got me down 0-2 on a pitch I thought was a little low. But what are you going to do? I took the next two pitches to even it up then got a pitch I liked and ripped it,” said Crowley who drove in half the team’s runs and scored once.

“This team knows what to do with the stick [bat] and are selective with their pitches. They work at it,” said Brown.

Those final runs were critical as Reading staged its own late rally in the top of the 7th. DiLoreto walked, and after a sacrifice bunt, consecutive infield errors and a Ben Fischer single that dropped in front of Goodwin saw the Rockets cut the lead in half to 6-4 with the go-ahead run at the plate.

“I was making sure [the athletic trainer] had the heart defibrillator ready because I didn’t know if I could take it,” said Brown.

With nearly 120 pitches in the book, Brown elected to pull Espelin for junior righthander Meier. With Rockets at the corner, Meier relied on his fastball to strikeout the 8 and 9 batters; the final punch out caught the batter looking.

After the celebrations which included running through a “victory tunnel” set up by the Boys’ Rugby team and a bucket of water over Brown’s head, the coach again heaped praise on his team and the eight seniors.

“This is the best group of kids I’ve coached. They know how to battle for the entire game, the entire season,” said Brown.