Published in the January 20, 2016 edition

HIGH SCHOOL students, from left, Jesse Valway, Nick Zhang, Tyler Murphy and Zach Bisconti were part of a percussion ensemble that performed a cover of the 1980’s New Wave classic Take On Me by A-Ha during Lynnfield High School’s Open Studios Jan. 14. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL students, from left, Jesse Valway, Nick Zhang, Tyler Murphy and Zach Bisconti were part of a percussion ensemble that performed a cover of the 1980’s New Wave classic Take On Me by A-Ha during Lynnfield High School’s Open Studios Jan. 14. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield High School media center was transformed into a jazz club during the first annual Open Studios concert and art show Jan. 14.

Open Studios served as an opportunity for high school students to showcase their music, art, photography and mixed media creations to 100 guests comprised of parents, community members, school officials and teachers.

High School Band Director Tom Westmoreland said the origins of Open Studios began last spring when he began discussing the concert and art show concept with LHS Choral Director Doug Hodgkins, art teacher Laura Johnson and photography teacher Liz Hayden.

“Laura and I have been talking about doing something like this for a few years now,” said Westmoreland. “We tried incorporating art into our Coffee House nights but it didn’t really take off. We wanted to devote an entire night to students’ artistic pursuits at the high school, which is how we came up with Open Studios.”

Hayden agreed.

“We wanted to get everybody involved so we can celebrate how creative our students are here at the high school,” said Johnson.

The evening began when a jazz combo comprised of pianist Zach Bisconti, saxophonist Lucas Weaver, trumpeter Nick Colucci, bassist Dom Gravante and drummer Danny Bronshvayg performed a series of jazz covers while the show’s attendees examined different works of art students created while enjoying some light refreshments.

In addition to the jazz combo performance, several percussion groups played during Open Studios. A percussion group consisting of Ashley Kellett, Nick Bisconti, Westmoreland, Chris Kinslieh and Michael Ragusa performed covers of Coldplay’s Clocks and Speed of Sound. A different percussion group featuring Jesse Valway, Nick Zhang, Tyler Murphy and Zach Bisconti performed a rendition of the 1980’s New Wave classic Take On Me by A-Ha.

Additionally, a percussion group featuring Bronshvayg, Zach Bisconti, Nick Colucci, Lucas Weaver, Gravante and Jaret Simpson performed a cover of the jazz classic Cold Duck Time by Eddie Harris.

The choral group Sweet Treble performed a cover of Sam Smith’s La la la during Open Studios. Senior Park Rhode and Westmoreland performed a duet during the show. Andrew Foukas also performed a song he wrote on piano called Money Can’t Buy Everything.

Westmoreland said he was proud of the students’ performance.

“It was a good opportunity for everyone to play,” said Westmoreland.

While the student musicians performed during Open Studios, the show’s attendees checked out the works of art from that were displayed on a white mural in the media center. The art on display included drawings, paintings, photography, mixed media and graphic design.

“Our students work real hard every day creating visual images,” said Johnson. “It can be solitary even though there are other kids in class, so we really wanted to have an opportunity for kids to show off their work and have other people see it, enjoy it and appreciate it here at Lynnfield High School.”

Hayden concurred with Johnson’s sentiment.

“We really appreciate art and what art means for students,” said Hayden. “It helps students grow and become creative but I don’t think the community always gets to see all the wonderful things students do here at the high school.”

In addition to the works of art on display, Open Studios featured a mural created by the high school’s Art Club.

“The Art Club kids are not always in an art class, so it was nice for them to have the chance to participate,” said Johnson.

Over the course of the first annual Open Studios, Technology Integration Specialists Jen Judkins and Sarah Perkins showed off the new Maker Space to attendees.

High School Assistant Principal Kevin Cyr said Open Studios is a great new addition to LHS.

“It was an impressive interdisciplinary event,” said Cyr. “It’s nice to see the department come together. They technically work in isolation but there have been more opportunities for them to come together during professional development. To see all that come together for the kids is very impressive. It was all about the kids tonight and you could see the expressions on parents’ faces and the excitement on kids’ faces. This is what its all about. This is why we do what we do.”

Westmoreland agreed.

“It was nice to do something where we could collaborate as a department because the four of us are in our own little silos of creative pursuits,” said Westmoreland. “This is the first time we have done something as an arts department. It’s been really cool making this happen.”


The instrumentalists who performed at Open Studios were Nick Bisconti, Ashley Kellett, Chris Kinslieh, Michael Ragusa, Jaret Simpson, Neil Arora, Zachary Blacker, Zachary Boone,Jeff Floramo, Qais Hindia Nicholas Miller, Kyle Robbins, Michael Stellato, Parker Rhode, Zachary Bisconti, Alexander Boustris, Kyle Hawes, Tyler Murphy, James Ofori, Jesse Valway, Nick Zhang, Andrew Foukas, Nick Colucci, Lucas Weaver, Dominick Gravante and Danny Bronshvayg.


The students who performed with Sweet Treble were Danielle Colucci, Margaret DiStefano, Katrina Gustafson, Cassie Haas, Annika Han, Lily Keene, Maddie Milne, Katie Nevils, Nnenne Nwangwu, Ally Peters, Rebecca Sievers, Ashley Schumacher, Janna Sokolow, Maggie Weaver and Maddie Yazel.


The following photographers who had their works shown during Open Studios were Eliza Brooks, Jakub Jablonka, Evan Shea, Ludmyla Almeida, Hayley O’Brien, Lauren Kelly, Brianne Yobaccio, Sophia Ellis, Andres Nino Diaz, Abigail Buckley Harrison Drislane, Alex Gildea, Anissa Petrone, Brandon Trafton, Kevin Travers, Michael Vargas Soto, Mallory Rocca, Elena Pototschnig, Brie Giamarco, Christina Albano, Brandon Tammaro, Brian Cardarelli, Aidan Kelly, Riley Comeau, Ken Babine and Chris Areglado.


The following artists who had their works displayed during Open Studios were Sydney Nekoroski, Sabrina Elbach, Annika Han, Molly Smedira, Nicole Davie, Brenna Dineen, Gabbie Munroe, Chris Bartolotta, Jakub Jablonka, Justin McCormick, Gabby DeLisi, Kiley Choi,

Marina McMahon, Malin Gabel, Ryan Bey, Madelyn Johnson, Marianne Oliveri, Camilo Hernandez and Naimeh Safwan.