Monthly Archives: May 2009

College Planning, Simplified

by Sean Smith

7Books

Photo: student-choices.com

As juniors prepare to plan for their lives post high school, many are struggling to find the school or training they need to be successful after their years here in public schooling. Today, students are given the choice of hundreds of colleges and universities as well as vocational training schools across the country and choosing the right one can be a challenge.

Luckily there are many resources for students to use. The College Board and Princeton Review websites have numerous tools to help any student plan for college based on their interests, grades, and abilities. It helps to know what you enjoy and what you could see yourself doing for years to come whether it be hands on or more of a behind the scenes occupation, finding what you like and what you can excel in is an important part of your life after  high school.

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“Behind The Scenes of “The Pirates of Penzance”

By Rachel Rimm

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As the curtains opened, a huge pirate ship spilling over with grimacing scallywags rolled onto the stage. Clad in their costumes designed and made by the hardworking costume crew, they began to sing loudly and dance perfectly in step. The show “The Pirates of Penzance” is considered an operetta. An operetta is basically lighter version of an opera; a less serious and downscaled version that still consists of a large amount of musical numbers and singing. If you saw the show, you may have noticed that there were very few spoken lines. Throughout the show, one would often hear Sarah Mahoney or Liz Lalor (who both played the part of Mable for alternating performances) hitting high C’s with perfect pitch backstage. At one point, Ryan Bloomquist (who played the part of Frederick with Emmett Cassidy) was interviewed and was asked to sing a bit of one of his songs. Without hesitation he let out few beautiful measures of one of his solos. During intermission, the backstage crew led by Sam O’Neil and Caitlin O’Neil changed the entire set. While exiting the stage in preparation for act two, they were nearly clobbered by a mob of tap-shoed policemen. The policemen marched down the hallway in perfect formation dressed from head to toe in their black and gold police get-ups. Finally nearing the end of the performance, crews had to help swiftly clear the stage and push the ship back on for curtain call. All of the talented cast members bowed and accepted their well deserved applause for a job well done. Congrats Cast and Crews of  “The Pirates of Penzance.”

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Photos:Jamie Kazmercyk

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Plays for the Cure

By Lauren Buckman

   images   Thursday night, April 30, the Branford community came together to support a cause close to our hearts, which has unfortunately affected many of us. Whether it be directly, or through a family member or friend, the suffering that a cancer patient endures is tremendous. This is why we must help in all the ways possible and try to find a silver lining in each and every experience.

      “Branford Plays for the Cure”, a basketball game fundraiser, was set up by Mr. Maloney, a retired BHS teacher. Ironically, he is doing twice the amount of work as before, but all for good causes. A true hero in the Branford community, Mr. Maloney feels that his only motivation to put this fundraiser together was in his heart. He also says he was “ecstatic with the outcome.” Over 1500 people took time out of their busy schedules, to join the fun at this game.

      The games included: 1) WIS Teachers vs. WIS Students, 2) Murphy, Sliney & Tisko Teachers vs. News Channel 8, 3) BHS Teachers vs. BHS Students, and 4) Branford Police vs. Branford Fire Department. All four of the games were a great success. During halftime the crowd enjoyed shows from the WIS Dance Team, BHS Dance Team, BHS cheerleading, and COLOURS. A COLOURS is group of young kids from Maryland, who travel around dancing, singing, and uplifting people spirits. They were a huge hit Thursday evening, as well as on Friday when they performed at different Branford schools. They even mentioned that Branford was one of their favorite places to perform. In addition to these performances, we were fortunate enough to hear from UCONN Coach Geno Auriemma, Branford resident and cancer survivor Erin Kelley, WIS fifth grader Maggie, and of course Mr. Maloney himself.

      One hundred percent of proceeds benefit the Debbie Maloney Memorial Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma society and Geno’s Cancer team. Thank you to everyone who came out to support. We also would like to thank the Cultural Diversity Club for bringing us COLOURS as well as hosting them during their visit.

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Jamming for a Cause

 By Rachel Rimm

n693030176_6802977_1476206On the evening of Friday May 8th several music-loving teens assembled in the school auditorium to support “Jamnesty”. Jamnesty is an event hosted by the Amnesty International club, which runs not only in our school, but in the rest of the world. They raise money to protect human rights and bring awareness to people who don’t know about or understand the injustices in the world. On Friday night, several student bands each played a small set. The featured bands were The Branford Ballers, The Green Team, The Red Tide, All Else Fails, Vincent’s Late Arrival, and Flashbang. They played a variety of different genres ranging from metal, jazz, funk, rock, and alternative. The Branford Ballers did a great job pumping up the crowd with their rendition of “99 Red Balloons” and the audience was surely quite impressed when Matt Schell from The Red Tide played his “keytar”. Vincent’s Late Arrival featured Shane Emery singing the band’s original song “Fading Away” which made it hard for Flashbang’s Tao Markovich’s to compete with his James Bond influenced entrance. Certain songs got everyone dancing, and after a few songs, a few people even danced with the bands on stage.  Cole Freeman, from The Red Tide, was “really pleased with the whole result. We were able to pull together a good show from very little prep time and organization.” It was a great night. Everyone was there to support their friends, support a great cause and have an all around fun time.

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Photos: Rachel Rimm

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BEF Fundraiser

By Madeline Alden

On a rainy Wednesday, the atmosphere inside Lenny’s Restaurant was anything but dreary. The mellow sound of “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson could be heard in the background sung by a local artist, Don Fillian, who provided the entertainment for the crowd of 50 or so people. The evening’s festivities were part of a fundraiser for the Branford Education Foundation, which is trying to help support public education in the town.

The BEF was founded in 2004 and has since raised more than $87,000 for educational programs that couldn’t be funded by the Board of Education, according to BEF organizers. The BEF’s latest fundraiser was the silent auction at Lenny’s on April 22 which raised approximately $8,000. Programs such as the Solar Energy Program and Earth Week/Arbor Day Initiative Projects have been awarded $2,500 and $1,800 to Branford High School in 2009. All program proposals have been reviewed by a board of teachers and about 95% of the cases proposed go through and are funded by BEF. BEF also awarded $3,700 to Branford High School principal Lee Panagoulias and social studies teacher Joel Hinrichs for a trip to China as part of Shandong Principal and Teacher Shadow Program.

BEF was founded by Bob Babcock. He also founded the Cheshire Education Foundation in Cheshire, Connecticut. BEF is an organization that “raises private funding for public programs that funding wasn’t granted to by the board of education,” Bob Babcock explains, “I feel that the better a public system is in a community the better the community is as a whole and having a fund allows us to support public education.”  There are about 70 EF’s in CT.

For the silent auction, many local restaurants and companies donated items to bid. These items included a bike from Zane’s, an Owenego club membership, spa and restaurant gift cards and much more. All proceeds profit BEF, which in turn profits Branford’s education. The sponsors of the event were happy to contribute to BEF; one of them was Guilford Savings Bank. “We always contribute scholarships to Branford and the surrounding area to give back to the community,” said Salvatore Mancuso, the Branford Branch Manager of Guilford Savings Bank.

“I think that it is fabulous that we have BEF in the town; it is the people of the town who want to support us and they do,” says John Prins, a board member of BEF

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Dr. Rocktopus and the Nunks

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Inspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

Meet Dr. Rocktopus and the Nunks

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Photo Credit: Madeline Alden

They are a local band from Guilford with an unusual sound and I got a chance to interview Jesse the singer from Doc Roc.

-Madeline Alden

What towns are the members from?
We’re all from Guilford, CT
Jesse Duran Crelin- Bass and Vox
Dave Vitola- Guitar
Dalton Patton- Drums
Will Gratz- Sax
Mat Auretta- Trumpet and Synth

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Photo credit: Zach Elston

When did the band form?
Freshman Year so ’07ish. We got together to play 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago.

What genres/bands does doc roc sound like?
I always say we’re Acoustic Electronica (impossible)–> but no one seems to laugh. I guess you could say we sound like Alt. Rock with horns. I can tell you that though we have 1 ska song and 1 reggae song, but that we are not “ska”. Though when people see horns they like to say it.—don’t get me wrong I love and respect ska it’s just not us—- we have probably too many influences. Rx Bandits are defiantly a key one; The Beatles are gods of melody so they continuously inspire me, and everything else. I’ve listened to everything from The Beatles to BigE Smalls to Miles Davis to Tower of Power to Enter Shakari to The Mars Volta to The Cold War Kids, today. So it’s hard to say what we sound like, or where the music we play comes from.

Does Doc Rock have any claims to fame, which is the best artist you’ve shared the stage with

Claims to fame: hair, horns and volume

We have won a few Battle of the Bands(es) and played some decently large shows.
Best artist we’ve shared the stage with would have to be Great Ceasar and the Go Getters cause they’re awesome

Also its really fun to play with our friends From Dark To Dawn!

Anything new such as CDs, Merchandise or tours/shows?

5 song EP coming VERY SOON !!!!
Merch is the usual- t-shirts and stickers
Many many shows:
*May 16th Battle of the Bands Final Round The Space in Hamden.
*May 23th Amity Teen Center (pending)
*May 24th The Playwright New Haven(pending)
*May 29th Lawrence Long Island BOTB(pending)
*June 5th – Toads Place YAYY!! – New Haven
* June 6th Town Of Guilford BOTB
*June 12th ARTS BARN MADISON CT–with GCGG
*June 13th Waterford B.O.M.B Fest

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Photo Credit (from Left to right): Laura Robinson, Madeline Alden, and Lucas Cecchetto
If you are interested in more about Doc Rock check out their myspace

For more interviews with local artists check out our interviews with:

Great Caesar and the GoGetters

The Smyrk

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