Despite Difficulties, 54 Belmont Musicians Accepted In Northeast Junior District Honors Festival

Photo: Singers and instrumentalists score at Jr. District Honors

Fifty-four students from Chenery Middle and Belmont High schools were accepted to perform in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Northeast Junior District honors ensembles this year, according to Arto Asadoorian, the Belmont Public School’s Director of Fine and Performing Arts. The remote festival took place on May 1, and included students from school districts across eastern and northeast Massachusetts.

The following Belmont students were accepted to Junior District ensembles. The process of auditioning this year was much different than in the past, involving pre-recorded auditions. While we congratulate these students for being accepted to honors ensembles, all of the students who auditioned should be commended for their dedication and the effort they put into their auditions.

  • Joesph Barry Trombone
  • Danielle Bergen Violin
  • Rohan Bhagwati Trombone
  • Claire Boyle Chorus
  • Parker Brookins Trumpet
  • Allison Caputo Violin
  • Brady Chan Trumpet
  • Aidan Chen Clarinet
  • Amy Chen  Violin
  • Ian Choi  Trumpet
  • Joshua Christensen Chorus
  • Mark Chumack Trumpet
  • Quincy Crockett Oboe
  • Caroline Dudzinski Bassoon
  • Bethany Eagar French Horn
  • Allyson Gomez-Martin Chorus
  • Mark Guzelian Trumpet
  • Hank Hicks  Bassoon
  • Elspeth Hulsman Chorus
  • Esther Ji  Violin
  • Nari Kang  Violin
  • Daniel Kim Cello
  • Ethan Kim Trombone
  • Sam Kutsman  Clarinet
  • Ian Lee  Violin
  • Isaac Lee  Clarinet
  • Clodagh Liang Violin
  • William Lin  Alto Saxophone
  • Daniel Liu  Violin
  • Laila Lusis  Trombone
  • Jordan Macarty Alto Saxophone
  • Ali Masoud  Tenor Saxophone
  • Hugh Montana String Bass
  • Sydney Mun  Oboe
  • Katherine Murphy Alto Saxophone
  • Stella Ovcharova Mallet Percussion
  • Arjun Pai  Trumpet
  • Reyansh Parikh Snare Drum
  • Ryan Park  Trumpet
  • Nathan Peck  Violin
  • Rohin Pinisetti Trombone
  • Su Min Pyo  Clarinet
  • Sophia Qin  Oboe
  • Andrew Quinn Cello
  • Maia Redi  Mallet Percussion
  • Jin Roe  Cello
  • Malcolm Stanton Trumpet
  • Andrew Wood-Sue Wing Jazz Guitar
  • Aiden Yang  Violin
  • Evan Zhang  Clarinet
  • Larry Zhang  Clarinet
  • May Zheng  Chorus
  • Emily Zhou  Flute
  • Elizabeth Zuccarello Euphonium

Belmont Farmers’ Market Opening 2021 Season Thursday, June 3

Photo: The Belmont Farmers’ Market

Opening Day for the 15th season of the Belmont Farmers’ Market will occur on Thursday, June 3 at 2 p.m. in the Town Center parking lot, 10 Claflin St. in Belmont Center.

Pandemic rules: The goal is to make everyone feel safe and comfortable at the Market, and has worked with the Belmont Health Department to develop this season’s rules:

  • Masks are encouraged for everyone, especially non-vaccinated people older than five years old.
  • This season, shoppers may select their own produce, but the market is limiting the number of people at each produce stand.
  • Read all of our pandemic rules for 2021.

Food assistance The market will match SNAP and P-EBT benefits, as well as WIC + Senior FMNP coupons to help all families take home great, local food. Most of the produce vendors are in the HIP program. See how food assistance works, or donate to support the program.

This season the market will have six new vendors (in italics), and 17 favorites from previous years. Many are weekly. Some come every other week, monthly or occasionally – get our newsletter so you know each week’s schedule. See what’s growing now on the farms.

Full-Time Vendor List

Produce: C&M Farm, Dick’s Market Garden, Giant Gorilla Greens, Hutchins Farm, Joyberry Farm, Nicewicz Family Farm
Meat, dairy & fish: Lilac Hedge Farm, Hooked (Red’s Best Seafood + Boston Smoked Fish), Round Table Farm cheese
Baked goods: Hearth Artisan Bread, Mariposa Bakery
Prepared foods: Del Sur empanadas, Drew’s Stews and More, Just Hummus, Mei Mei Restaurant, Tex Mex Eats tamales, Valicenti Pasta FarmAnd more: A-Butter almond butter, Flores de Café coffees, Hillside Harvest hot sauces, House Bear Brewing mead, Humble Bones Granola, Merton’s Maple Syrup

Opening Day Vendors

Produce: C&M Farm, Dick’s Market Garden, Giant Gorilla Greens, Hutchins Farm, Joyberry Farm, Nicewicz Family Farm
Meat, dairy & fish: Lilac Hedge Farm, Hooked (Red’s Best Seafood + Boston Smoked Fish), Round Table Farm cheese
Baked goods: Hearth Artisan Bread, Mariposa Bakery
Prepared foods: Drew’s Stews and More, Just Hummus, Tex Mex Eats tamales, Valicenti Pasta Farm
And more: House Bear Brewing mead

What’s Open/Closed On Memorial Day in Belmont; Trash/Recycling Delayed A Day

Photo: Memorial Day at Belmont Cemetery, 2019

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It’s observed in 2021 on Monday, May 31.

Belmont will commemorate Memorial Day with a ceremony at Belmont Cemetery off of Grove Street at 11 a.m.

What’s Closed:

  • Belmont Town offices and Belmont Light are closed. They will officially reopen to the public on Tuesday, June 1.
  • US Postal Service offices and regular deliveries.
  • Banks; although branches will be open in some supermarkets.

MBTA: Operating buses and subways on a Sunday schedule. See for details.

Trash and recycling collection: There will be no collection Monday; trash and recycling will be delayed ONE DAY

What’s Opened:

• Retail stores

• Coffee shops: Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are serving coffee all day

• Supermarkets

• Convenience and drug stores (CVS) open regular hours

• Establishments that sell beer and wine are also allowed to be open.

Everyone’s Invited! Restrictions Lifted For HS Graduation Ceremony At Harris Field


In partnership with the Belmont Health Department, Belmont High School is lifting restrictions on the commencement capacity and opening up the graduation ceremony to all individuals interested in attending. 

The 2021 Belmont High School graduation ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. at Harris Field.

Previous planning had limited attendance to graduates and two guests per graduate. Now, the school is able to welcome more family members, friends, and community members to this event.

Please note: on-field seating will still be limited to graduates and their two guests. Graduates will be seated together and their two on-field guests can access the additional field seating. To access field seating, guests must arrive with their graduates. Because of previous restrictions, we are not utilizing a ticket system: the graduate is their guests’ “ticket” to enter onto the field.

All other guests are invited to sit on the bleachers or to access the standing room only areas.

Graduates and their two on-field guests should plan on arriving at 2:15 p.m. We will stage students for a procession and assist guests in accessing seating. All other guests are welcome to arrive between 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is limited. You may access parking at the high school, the Wellington School, and on Concord Avenue. 

Set, Game, Match: School Committee Won’t Commit To Bring Tennis To West Of Harris Field Campus

Photo: No tennis courts West of Harris Field.

William Lovallo didn’t mince words: “Respect the process.”

The Chair of the Belmont Middle and High School Building Committee came to the Tuesday, May 25 meeting of the Belmont School Committee to provide context to the nearly four year give and take on returning tennis courts to the campus of the new Middle and High School after they were written out of the new facility’s blueprints back in 2017 due to the growing footprint of the new school.

To Lovallo, the continuing campaign to construct five courts – the minimum required to play a tournament varsity match – ignores two previous decisions in 2017 and 2020 by the building committee, school committee, select board and the school district resulting in exiling the varsity sport to courts nearby the Winn Brook Elementary School.

Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan and Lovallo said they retrieved public meeting minutes and reviewed broadcasts of the Building Committee to counter statements by the tennis community that public comment was not fully accomindated.

“For the benefit of Belmont, as a whole, we have to move forward through the process and not keep going back and unpacking and reevaluating things that were decisions that we made that have such a tremendous impact on the project,” said Lovallo, who said that while there’s always a time to review some aspects of the project, [B]ut certainly there has to be some respect of the process” especially after material, dialogue and data were provided at eight joint meetings that informed their vote.

“It was well-vetted, it was well discussed and the school committee approved [the site plan] back [in 2017],” said Lovallo. The effort to secure votes on the “whole site” by committees and boards was “because we understand that boards and committee [members] change and people have different opinions and will want to start to unpack this,” said Lovallo referring to the entire building project which is ready to open the high school and administrative wing in September.

After an hour and 35 minutes of , the School Committee couldn’t coalesce behind a single strategy to bring back the courts to the school, allowing the debate to simply peter out through its inaction and putting to an end nearly a year-and-a-half of at times emotional pleas to bring back the only varsity sport without a campus venue.

“The School Committee effectively killed off any potential plans for tennis courts west of Harris Field … last night by declining to intervene in any way,” said Belmont School Committee’s Mike Crowley.

Since January 2019, the town’s influential tennis community and parents of and players of Belmont High School girls’ and boys’ tennis teams have been lobbying the School Committee and the greater community to return the varsity sport to the new campus. Currently, the teams play on four town courts at the Winn Brook, a location tennis supporters note is without restroom/changing facilities or a water supply. The $190,000 cost to construct a fifth court at Winn Brook will come before Town Meeting next week via a Community Preservation Committee request.

After the school administration and then Athletic Director Jim Davis recommended in January 2020 that the tennis teams could play effectively at the Winn Brook, tennis campaigners this year hitched their chances to construct five courts onto the town’s latest plan to replace the town’s dilapidated skating rink on the MHS campus known as West of Harris Field.

The location’s program includes the rink, three overlapping playing fields for junior varsity baseball and softball and soccer/field hockey, and approximately 100 student parking spaces required under the Site Plan agreement hammered out with the Planning Board. Tennis supporters believed the five courts could be included in the mix by either reducing parking by 80 percent or taking the space of the JV baseball diamond.

But Lovallo recalled that the parking component – which includes approximately 400 spaces on the main campus, on Concord Avenue and west of Harris Field associated with a new rink – is part of the Site Plan Review process with the Planning Board. A dozen public meetings with abutters, residents, the town and determined everything from plantings to parking and the location of the buildings (including moving one wing of the high school section a few feet away from Clay Pit Pond).

“The Planning Board has the final say, basically the final approval that allows us to proceed with the building permit on the site plan,” said Lovallo. While the building committee will need to return to the Planning Board for final designs for West of Harris Field, there is an understanding that parking and the fields are the main components.

The 100 student parking slots west of Harris is to segregate beginning and inexperienced drivers from the main campus which will house 7th and 8th graders by 2023, said Lovallo. While the total number of spaces is far more than what is likely needed on an average school day, the additional spaces will accommodate overflow community and school events such as graduation, athletic events, plays and musical performances and Town Meeting.

Saying that there should always be an opportunity to reexamine past decisions, Crowley presented the most comprehensive action plan to support tennis on the site with six options which included the possibility of taking by eminent domain the service station abutting the West of Harris Field and allowing for student and event parking on many of the adjacent side streets.

“I just think that we should exhaust all these options. I don’t want to completely [block] the process for going forward on this site, but I do think it’s worth thinking about constituting a small group or committee … to take a few months and go through these options in depth and see if there is … some form of a compromise that allows us to cite tennis courts on the site,” said Crowley.

Others believed the continuing review of past decisions could have long lasting ramifications. “I don’t think that this is not a particularly good precedent to have. We have a plan that has been evaluated, consulted on, and thoroughly talked through. At some point, you have to say, ‘This is enough,” said Andrea Prestwich.

For tennis supporters, this lost opportunity will be felt years down the road. Katherine Stievater, who has two sons playing varsity tennis, told the School Committee its decision on the fields alignment will have ramifications for the high school tennis program for the next 50 years.

“[Placing tennis courts] can’t be done again if it’s not done now on the campus,” Stievater said, pointing out that the school’s softball program is not suiting up a JV team while cuts were made to the number of players trying out for the boys’ tennis teams.

“I urge you to create realistic field configuration that accommodates five or six tennis courts for our student athletes … who are just as important as every other student athlete at Belmont High School.”

Breaking: Belmont Town Hall, Offices Set To Open Tuesday, June 1

Photo: Belmont Town Hall is ready to open on June 1

The return of normalcy after 15 months of COVID restrictions continues as Belmont Town Hall and offices will be open for business on Tuesday, June 1. The opening comes as the Massachusetts intends to lift its COVID-19 restrictions, though masks will still be required in schools, at transportation hubs, and at health care facilities.

Town Administrator Patrice Garvin made the announcement during the Belmont Board of Health’s Monday, May 24 meeting. While the town offices will be open to the public, anyone who is unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask.

The one exception to the openings will be the Beech Street Center, due to the large number of older residents who congregate in the building. A set date for its opening will be announced in the future.

Garvin called in to recognize the Board of Health and all in the Health Department for its work during “this crazy year.” “You were so vital with your guidance and thoughtful response to residents and staff,” said Garvin.

“When I look back years from now about this time, that’s what I’ll remember first,” said Garvin.

Moving Time: Parent Volunteers Needed To Pack Up HS Science Gear Wednesday, May 26

Photo: Let’s pack them up ready for the big move

With the High School section of the new Belmont Middle and High School to open in about four months – yes, that’s right, open – it’s time to begin the big move. And you can help.

Belmont High School needs parent volunteers on Wednesday, May 26, to help pack science materials into boxes in preparation for the move. Please sign up to help at if you can.

Volunteers are needed from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. You are more than welcome to sign up for both shifts. Volunteers will be split up into one parent per room. Please meet Tawnya in the main office when you arrive.

Belmont LGBTQ+ Alliance Marks 20 years of Activism At June 10 BAR Meeting

Photo: Belmont Pride Parade 2020

On Thursday, June 10 at 7:30 pm, Belmont Against Racism’s monthly meeting will focus on 20 years of Belmont LGBTQ+ Alliance activism in Belmont by hosting a panel of speakers that includes Janson Wu, director of LGBTQ+ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD); Grace Stowell, director of The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY); and Debra Fowler, co-founder and executive director of History UnErased.

In the past 20 years, the Alliance has brought educational programs and events to Belmont, giving visibility to the LGBTQ+ community and their concerns. From plays to films to speakers’ panels and a performance by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, the Alliance has highlighted issues of relevance to the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals, celebrated the arts, and held community social events. In 2004, when same-sex couples in Massachusetts won the right to marry, the Alliance held its first Freedom to Marry Ice Cream Social followed by a decade of this celebration. The Alliance holds an Annual Fall Potluck and marches in the Pride Parade in Boston annually. As the Boston Pride Parade was canceled last year, the Alliance held its own Belmont Pride Parade, attended by more than 100 marchers. 

This year the Alliance will hold its 2nd Belmont Pride Parade on Saturday, June 12 at 1 p.m., starting at the Wellington Station Town Green on Concord Avenue. All members of the community are invited to join this festive event.

To join the June 10 event, go to:

For more information about any of these events and future Alliance events, go to or email

Belmont Schools Change Mask Policy: Outdoors Athletes Can Ditch Coverings, Indoors Masks Remain On

Photo: Athletes no longer need to wear masks playing their sports outside

Effective Thursday, May 20, the Belmont Schools’ COVID-19 mask policy is being changed to follow newly announced state guidelines where students no longer have to wear masks when outdoors, even if the distance cannot be maintained, according to a joint press release from Belmont Superintendent John P. Phelan and Director of Nursing Services Beth Rumley.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced on May 18 that given the low rate of outdoor transmission of COVID-19, the state has updated guidance applying to recess, physical education, youth sports, and outdoor learning environments.

At this time, adults and students must continue to wear masks in Belmont school buildings. All of the Belmont Schools protocols for contact tracing indoors will remain in place until further notice from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and/or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Students will continue to stay in their class cohorts during recess for the time being. However, with lower case rates, this could change in the next couple of weeks. Adults on school grounds that can not socially distance themselves should continue to wear masks.  

Outdoor sports will no longer be required to wear masks. Sports that play/practice inside will still need to wear face coverings. Although these are minimum standards, face coverings can still be worn. Also, encourage social distancing and hand sanitizing as much as possible. For practices, students will practice in cohorts to limit exposure to each other. 

Adults must continue to wear masks outdoors if distancing cannot be maintained.

Here are the new rules for Belmont athletes:

  • Athletes on spring teams in active play outdoors are not required to wear a mask/facial covering.
  • Athletes when they are on the bench or in a dugout are not required to wear a mask/facial covering.
  • Athletes in low-risk sports when indoors where a distance of at least 14 feet or more is consistently maintained between each participant, are not required to wear a mask/ facial covering.
  • OUTDOORS: Spectators and chaperones, coaches, staff, referees, umpires and other officials who can social distance while outdoors, are not required to wear a mask/face covering.
  • INDOORS: Visitors, spectators, volunteers, and staff while indoors are required to wear a mask/facial covering.
  • Athletes participating in high school sports are considered youth and fall under youth guidelines.

Those students who feel more comfortable wearing a mask outdoors may do so. “As a community, we will support and respect all individuals,” read the statement. Students should continue to store their masks as they were doing during masks breaks and lunch/snack. Encouraging the student to bring in an extra labeled storage bag may also be helpfuls has been the case throughout the year.

The final decision for a school to partake in a particular sport and/or to follow more stringent guidelines belongs at the local level.

Protected Bike Lanes, New Parking Set Up, And Drop Off Zones Coming To Concord Ave This September [Update]

Photo: A protected bike lane in Portland, Oregon.

Both sides of Concord Avenue will soon have protected bike lanes from Belmont Center to Blanchard Road on the Cambridge city line as part of a new road “striping” design to make the main thoroughfare safer by the time the high school section of the new Belmont Middle and High School opens in mid-September.

With a deadline breathing down the town’s – aka Town Engineer Glenn Clancy – neck to complete the job on-time, the Transportation Advisory Committee voted 7-0 on Thursday, May 13 to approve a revised blueprint delineating the street presented by consultants that will transform travel and parking on the street.

TAC’s recommendation now heads for a final OK by the Select Board which will take up the committee’s endorsement at its Monday, May 24, meeting.

The mark up of the roadway will begin in August to be completed by the opening of school in mid-September.

Bill Schwartz, a principal at the Boston office of Nelson/Nygaard, said the latest plan for Concord Avenue was created with the new Middle and High School in mind in an effort “to see more students walking and … more students biking to campus” while creating a plan that will calm the traffic rising the corridor in cars.

The most significant change to the current setup will be the parking-protected bike lanes located from the curb and separated from the roadway by a buffer zone and parking spaces. In many places, plastic bollards – known as flex poles – located in the buffer zone will delineate the separation between parking and the new path.

“This was a commitment made during the high school planning project stage,” said Schwartz of the bike lane.

The current practice of parking along the curb and the bike lane next to a busy traffic lane “discourages less experienced cyclists from driving” on the street and ends the “big hazard of getting ‘doored’ by someone opening their door from a parked car,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz said the bollards will be needed for a specific time until drivers become familiar with the new arrangement. He noted the bollards can be removed during the winter to allow snow plowing. Clancy said he wants to be “very judicious” in the number of flex poles used.

There are two designated drop-off/pick-up locations at the new school; on the south side just past Oak Street and directly opposite Orchard Street on the north side. Each will have four spots.

The plan calls for the reduction and relocation of some MBTA bus stops, spaced approximately 1,300 feet as opposed to the current 400 to 600 feet “so that the buses are not stopping so often” which makes for “pretty frustrating” travel, said Schwartz. The revisions plan will reduce the number of stops to four along the stretch of street.

The number of parking spaces along the road has been increased from the first plan after comments from businesses located inbound from the Cambridge line who felt too many spaces were being removed affecting the their business. The consultants moved a bus stop on the east side of Trowbridge Road and used parking zones rather than individual marked spaces.

In the most congested residential area from Blanchard to Underwood – the north side of the street from the Cambridge line to the street leading to the new school – the latest version picked up more parking spaces, yet the number of parking spaces have dropped from 31 to 23, a loss of nine total. And that’s the rub for residents along the street who live in mostly two and three-family houses.

Jeff Held of Concord Avenue said the overall reduction of parking will hit home for those who live between Blanchard and Hamilton roads – which will see parking spaces fall from 11 to 7 – as he sees residents competing with construction workers and high school students looking for parking for the next two years as the middle school segment of the project is under construction. Held said the solution is for the protected bike lane to begin at Underwood as the current path “is very generous” and “co-exists really nicely” with the roadway and vehicles.

But Schwartz was opposed to having a “big stretch of the project unprotected” which he believes defeats the point of having a protected bike lane. TAC Chair Dana Miller quickly put a halt to the residents suggestion, instead receiving a commitment from the town and Belmont Police to come up with a parking control plan to prevent those spaces being used all day by students or non-residents while calling Nelson/Nygaard to give more thought on “how we can approach [parking] most constructively.”

Update: A sentence was added after the article was initially published online to clarify that the TAC’s vote was a recommendation that needs Select Board approval before the striping expense can be placed in the fiscal year 2022 Pavement Management contact.