Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 14, 2013

Idol 'Dreamgirl'

Lawrence teen crowned Merrimack Valley Idol 2013

A Central Catholic High School student edged out a talented field of vocalists to claim the 2013 Merrimack Valley Idol title on Saturday night.

Nurilys Cintron of Lawrence topped the field of nine contestants at the second annual benefit competition hosted by Quota International of Andover at the Wyndham Hotel in town.

Cintron wowed the crowd with her rendition of “I Am Changing” from “Dreamgirls” to win the $500 prize and a chance to open for the New England Tenors when the group performs in February at the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College in North Andover.

The other contestants and the songs they were scheduled to perform were:

Emma Harris of Andover, “You Lost Me,” Christina Aguilera; Heather Alfano of Salem, N.H., “Beautiful,” Christina Aguilera; Jillian Knopping of North Andover, “Falling Slowly,” from “Once;” Megan Lally of Salem, N.H., “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele; Anna McCabe of Lawrence, “Someone Like You,” Adele; Josef Nocera of Newburyport, “That’ll Be the Day,” Buddy Holly; Dakota O’Driscoll of Dunstable, “At Last,” Etta James; and Jamie Dyan Taker of Haverhill, “If I Loved You,” from “Carousel.”

The judges were Mike Fay, a theater producer-performer in the region and creator of the New England Tenors; Elizabeth Sarantos of Andover, a member of New England Classical Singers and The Choral Majority gospel choir; and Rebecca Farnham, an opera singer and director for Treble Chorus of New England.

The competition was open to area vocalists ages 14 and up. Auditions to select the nine finalists were held in September.

In addition to the competition, the event included dinner, a cash bar, silent and live auctions and more. The audience also enjoyed a performance by the New England Treble Chorus and John Middleton-Cox of the New England Tenors during the evening.

Event chairwoman Elaine Pescatore of Methuen thanked her 28 club members for their efforts to make the fundraiser a success. Proceeds will support the nonprofit Quota International of Andover in meeting the needs of disadvantaged women and children as well as hearing-impaired children in the Merrimack Valley.

Quota of Andover meets the second Tuesday of each month and welcomes new members to visit. Its next meeting will be Jan. 7 at Memorial Hall Library, North Main Street, Andover. Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex Community College, will be a featured speaker. Anyone interested in Quota should contact president Tish Bachmann at

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