By Kathryn Korostoff, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – Public schools everywhere struggle to
provide adequate support for the arts, including music, these days. The towns of Northborough and Southborough are no exception. Luckily, the communities have a volunteer organization that delivers much-needed support, helping students continue to make beautiful music.
The Northborough Southborough Music Association (NSMA) is a parent group that supports music programs in the two towns” middle schools and the regional high school. The members volunteer at events and raise money for scholarships and awards. NSMA's work pays off – it gives $100 Music Enrichment awards to recognize students for their talent and dedication each year. Last year, approximately $5,500 in enrichment awards was distributed by the organization, plus $7,500 in senior scholarships. Fund-raising is never an easy task, so these levels of giving show how significant NSMA is in supporting local student-musicians.
Approximately 12 people participate as NSMA board members, and additional volunteers are involved in the schools” various music events.
Northborough resident Laura Ellis is not just a volunteer, but is also membership director of NSMA.
“This is my second year on the board,” she explained. “It's wonderful to support the incredible music programs we have in our middle and high schools.”
Ellis knows the importance of supporting music programs first-hand, as she is a parent with two students at Algonquin Regional High School.
“It's fantastic to see some of the students who participate in these programs actually go on to college either for performing arts, teaching music or related majors,” she said.
Some of the student participants have gone on to study at well-known music programs including Julliard and Ithaca College.
The rewards of participating in NSMA include seeing successful music events that bring together musicians with fellow students and the broader Northborough and Southborough communities.
The Pops extravaganza is held every June.
“Our big event each year is Pops Night,” Ellis said. “All of the Algonquin vocal and instrumental groups perform at the event, and it is really inspirational.”
NSMA encourages local residents to sign up for membership. Membership dues support scholarship programs, and members get free admission to all concerts including Algonquin's choral and instrumental concerts and Jazz Night, Trottier and Melican middle school events and Pop's Night. Membership is $50 per year.