Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

August 22, 2013

Out & About

The Andover Townsman

---- — Search on for Merrimack Valley Idol contestants

Quota International of Andover is making plans to host Merrimack Valley Idol on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Wyndham Andover Hotel. The event will feature a singing competition between the top 10 talented local singers chosen from an audition next month. Dinner with cash bar, silent and live auctions and a raffle will round out the evening.

Auditions for Idol contestants take place Thursday, Sept. 26, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts on Shawsheen Road in Andover. The auditions are open to vocalists ages 14 and up who live in the Merrimack Valley. Singers at local high schools and colleges along with the general public are encouraged to try out. Judges will be from the local music community.

The finalists will then compete on Nov. 9 for the $500 cash prize.

Proceeds from the event will assist the nonprofit local Quota organization in its efforts to provide financial support to local women and children in need, including victims of domestic abuse, as well as the deaf and hard of hearing. In each of the past four years, Quota has donated between $20,000 and $30,000 to local organizations supporting its causes.

Anyone interested in auditioning should contact Elaine Pescatore, event chairwoman, at or 978-470-3515.

Lockhart returning for NECC fundraiser

There’s still time to catch Keith Lockhart and Friends’ visit to Andover next month. Tickets remain available for the Saturday, Sept. 28, event at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts at Andover High School.

The event is presented by the Northern Essex Community College Foundation, Inc.; the Women of NECC and the NECC Alumni Association. Proceeds will benefit NECC’s Endowment Fund.

Lockhart will present a talk on composer Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,” illustrated by periodic interludes of music performed by a group of seven musicians. The 1918 theatrical Russian parable meant to be “read, played and danced” tells the tale of a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy.

The performance marks a return visit to the Merrimack Valley for the 53-year-old New York native. Lockhart became the 20th conductor of the Boston Pops in 1995, adding his artistic vision to the Pops tradition established by his predecessors John Williams and Arthur Fiedler.

The program starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling the NECC Institutional Advancement events line at 978-556-3870 or by visiting For more information, visit


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