Doherty staging ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ 

More than 80 Doherty Middle School students are preparing to bring the comical version of “The Princess and the Pea” to the stage this weekend in the school’s production of “Once Upon a Mattress.”

The story, narrated by a merry minstrel band, takes place in a 1400s kingdom ruled by a domineering Queen Aggravain and her mute husband, King Sextimus the Silent. By the queen’s royal decree, no one in the kingdom may marry until a “Perfect Princess” is found for his highness, Prince Dauntless the Dull and Drab. Many suitors vie for the prince’s hand, but none are able to pass the queen’s outrageous test for a genuine, certified princess.

“Circumstances” demand that a princess be found straight away, so Sir Harry, reigning Knight of the Kingdom, embarks on a quest to find a suitable bride. He returns with Princess WinniFRED — a feisty, fun-loving and disheveled girl from the swamps who manages to turn the kingdom upside down with her playful antics. And of course, Dauntless is smitten,

The show will be performed Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 29, at 1 p.m. in World War I Auditorium at Doherty Middle School on Bartlet Street. General admission tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door or before the show at Doherty’s main office. 

Round of applause for ‘Dancing Hands’

West Elementary School music teacher Valerie Peters organized and presented the “Dancing Hands” recital featuring 12 piano students performing with their teacher on March 15 at Memorial Hall Library in Andover. 

After the students’ performances, Peters and fellow pianist Dayla Umans treated the audience to four-hand piano pieces of several works from Brahms, Beethoven, Debussy and Dvorak.

Those attending were impressed by the “well-trained and well-behaved children confidently stepping up to the piano and performing their individual selections,” according to a press release.

ACE readies March Madness celebration 

The Andover Coalition for Education presents its March Madness fundraiser on Saturday, March 28, from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Lanam Club, 260 Main St., Andover.

Guests are invited to watch some college basketball while raising money to support Andover Public Schools. There will be an open bar from 7 to 8 p.m., hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. The “Elite-8” NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games will be on screens for viewing.

Cocktail attire in the colors of guests’ alma maters is encouraged. Tickets are $50. College and university pennants are also being sold for $25 to display at the event.

Proceeds support ACE’s continued work for Andover schools. The organization has raised more than $500,000 over the last decade to support local educational programming.

For tickets or more information, visit www.aceandover.org.

2015 Congressional Art Competition now open

U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas is accepting submissions for the 2015 Congressional Art Competition.

The annual competition promotes artistic talent and achievement among high school artists, providing them with the opportunity to have their artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year.

Over the years, hundreds of students from across the Third District have submitted artwork to be judged by a panel of area artists, based on a platform of criteria. Winners receive two complimentary airplane tickets to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national awards ceremony in mid-June.

The artwork guidelines and submission information is available online at http://tsongas.house.gov/congressional-art-competition/. Submissions are due to Tsongas’ Lowell office at 126 John St., Suite 12, by April 17.

An artists reception will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at Mill #5, 250 Jackson St. (fourth floor), Lowell, when Tsongas will announce the overall winner and runners-up.

For more information, call Tsongas’ office at 978-459-0101.

NECC hosting open house in Lawrence

Northern Essex Community College will host a special open house at the new Dr. Ibrahim El-Hefni Allied Health and Technology Center at 414 Common St. in Lawrence on Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Prospective students and community members are invited to tour all sites of NECC’s Lawrence campus, explore the college’s available degree and certificate programs and attend financial aid workshops. Representatives of more than 30 campus organizations and departments, including Student Engagement, Financial Aid, Admissions and Career Services, as well as faculty members will be on hand. Several popular transfer colleges will also be represented.

The Lawrence campus houses the majority of NECC’s health care programs. For more information, contact Enrollment Services at 978-556-3700 or admissions@necc.mass.edu, or visit www.necc.mass.edu.

Andona Scholarship deadline March 31

The Andona Society of Andover, a charitable organization of mothers who have been helping the youth of Andover to learn, grow and achieve since 1952, is accepting applications for its annual scholarships to graduates of the class of 2015.

Five, $2,000 scholarships will be awarded. Eligible applicants must be ranked in the upper 50 percent of their class and have plans to continue their education after graduation. One of the five scholarships will be awarded to a senior who receives special education services.

The application deadline is March 31. Applications are available online at www.andona.org. They must include a college application essay, teacher recommendation; personal recommendation from a community service director, employer, coach, club adviser or other non-relative; and a high school transcript.

Completed applications should be submitted to Andona Scholarships, in care of Renee Poor, 4 Arundel St., Andover 01810.

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To submit an item for the Education Notebook, email townsman@andovertownsman.com.

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