Rockin’ the Boroughs reignites an obsession with music for a local resident

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Rockin’ the Boroughs reignites an obsession with music for a local resident
Marlborough resident Gerry Boland rehearses one of his solos for an upcoming concert in June. Photo by Cindy Zomar

REGION – Music has come full circle in the life of Gerry Boland, a lifelong Marlborough resident and current member of several local senior choral groups.

“I started pretty young with a love of music, I was in the band in elementary school, junior high, and high school. While in the Army, I auditioned for the Army Band and attended the US Naval School of Music, then spent years touring as a drummer with various bands until live music went the way of the covered wagon,” explained Boland.

Faced with finding a new career, he sold off his musical equipment and became an insurance broker. At 70, he still works part time but saw an ad in the paper for the senior chorus, Rockin’ the Boroughs, which rehearses in Northborough.

Manoj Padki is the choral director and has two other local choral groups, Reharmonix in Hudson and a Barbershop group in Berlin. Before he knew it, Boland was a member of all three groups.

“Manoj has been instrumental (pun intended!) in building these groups from ground zero,” Boland laughed. ‘I never planned on doing any dancing, but the power of peer persuasion is real.”

Padki is quick to praise Boland for his contributions.

“Gerry jumped in with both feet, singing, dancing, and doing solos. He works hard and is usually the first one off the papers, [having memorized the lyrics and sheet music],” he said.

Currently the Northborough group is preparing for their second live performance, this time being held in Shrewsbury at The Flanagan Theatre at Southgate on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. and then a 2 p.m. matinee on June 16.

Rockin’ the Boroughs reignites an obsession with music for a local resident
Manoj Padki leads the choreography as Rockin’ the Boroughs rehearses for an upcoming live performance. Photo by Cindy Zomar

They have just added a band to accompany them, Crusty Rock. In typical fashion, Padki recruited a neighbor, Ken Porter, who gathered a few other musicians, and the new band was born.

“We do 50s, 60s and 70s rock, well-known tunes, so it’s pretty easy to work with us,” Boland added.

Boland will be featured as a soloist in several numbers.

Padki is pleased that Rockin’ the Boroughs has increased the membership to 25 singers, although he still laments that there are only four men. The median age of the members is 71.

Anyone interested in becoming a member can join in at the Northborough Senior Center Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. Sally Wilson is the Managing Director, taking care of the business and marketing ends of their endeavors.

“Manoj has a couple of goals for our group. He would love to have us be the opening act for the Young at Heart choral group in North Hampton, and also have us sing at Mechanics Hall. I personally would love to have us perform on the plaza at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland,” said Wilson. “That’s my lofty goal!”

To reserve seats for the Shrewsbury concert in June, send an email indicating for which performance to [email protected]. The concert is supported in part by a grant from the Northborough Cultural Council and the Mass Cultural Council.

General Admission is just $20, with discounts for students and senior citizens. Children under five are free.

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