To the editor:

I am asking you to set aside Friday, Dec. 6 for an evening celebration fundraiser for the Salem High Band for its April 2020 concert at Carnegie Hall. 

The Friday night event will also be a celebration of more than 50 years in elective office by Salem city councilors Gerard, Furey, Milo and Peterson and School Committee member Kristine Wilson. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the Carnegie Hall concert. 

It will cost more than $14,000 for buses, hotel arrangements, tours, food and tickets to a Broadway play. The band raised $5,000 by taking part in a recent Adam Sandler movie. I went to see them perform at Carnegie Hall five years ago and it was a very, very inspiring event. I was on the School Committee when our band leader was recommended by then-Superintendent Ed Curtin. The band was very small, even at football games. The student population was higher then. Now, with student populations getting smaller, the band is much larger. It will be a life experience for the band. Carnegie Hall was not on the radar screen then.

Many consider Cindy Napierkowski as our “Music Lady” for what she has done. The band performs year-round at Memorial Day, Veterans Day, the Halloween parade, Community Life Center events, and in competitions around the country. 

We thought it very appropriate to make it an evening of music, food and celebration of elective service. We have invited our congressman, state senator, state representative, police chief, fire chief, mayor superintendent, high school principal, the entire City Council and School Committee, the Salem State University president and more to share a night of musical joy by the band, chorus and Witch Pitch at Salem High School’s M. Ruth Norton Auditorium. We tried to avoid Patriot games, holy days, shopping and parties, so Dec. 6 was our choice. January is always an iffy month of weather.

The fine and performing arts students work hard fundraising via tag day, holiday craft fairs and mattress sales. So this fundraiser will be extra special to help put them over the top. It would be a sin to not have everyone in the band perform at Carnegie Hall. Many of us were raised to think the way to get to Carnegie Hall was practice, practice, practice. Well, many have started in fourth grade and now they are in high school, performing at one of the finest music halls in the country. So please consider making time to celebrate our future leaders and musicians on Friday, Dec. 6.

The event runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $25. For more information, contact Beth Debski at

Thomas H. Furey

City councilor at-large




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