VOLUME 13, NO. 1 DEC 1999
A little night music--and a wedding march
Ned and Missy Lefferts, whose love of music led to a lifetime commitment.
It would not have been surprising if some members of WPI's Summer Band needed a tune-up by the end of July--not to sharpen any rusty musical talents, but for their vehicles. The 30 players came from as far away as New Haven, Conn., and Manchester, N.H. They arrived after a full day of work and miles behind the wheel. They drove to campus to enjoy a major love of their lives: making music.
For the past several years, Summer Band has offered camaraderie and a creative outlet to students, alumni, faculty and staff. "About five years ago, I saw some of my students hanging around during the summer and I thought it would be fun to get a band together," says Douglas Weeks, administrator of applied music.
Ten student musical groups are active during the academic year. After the end of D-Term, Summer Band keeps the beat going. For alumni, it provides an opportunity to play with a high-quality ensemble while maintaining school ties. Dennis Jackson '97 of Manchester, N.H., was a member of Weeks' Concert Band during each of his years at WPI. "I love to play horn, and when Doug said he was going to start a summer band, I said, 'I'll be there.' That was three summers ago." His classmate Greg Krueger '97 lives in Lowell, Mass. "It's a nice break to play in Summer Band," he says. "There are a lot of good memories here."
Flutist Maureen Mullarkey '86 of Hudson, Mass., was a member of the Pep Band during her college days. "It's nice to be able to see some of my old friends in Summer Band, and it's nice to be able to keep music in my life," she says.
Trumpeter Kevin Dickson '00 has played with Summer Band for two years. It's kind of a stress reliever," he says. "It's added a lot to my life. You make a lot of friends through band."
Kyria Prevost '00 of the WPI Music Association President, took up the oboe as a freshman at Weeks' request. "Summer Band helped to make sure I could keep in shape and still play in the fall," she says.
Love extended beyond music for Edward L. "Ned" Lefferts '86 and his wife, the former Melissa "Missy" Briggs, who graduated from Worcester State College a couple of years before. They met when he played trombone and she played French horn in the Brass Ensemble--one benefit of the two schools' membership in the Colleges of Worcester Consortium.
"Melissa stayed with the orchestra after she graduated and began teaching at nearby Doherty High School. The couple, who now lives in Palmer, Mass., began dating at that time and married after Ned graduated. Doug Weeks played at their wedding and reception.
"Summer Band is the perfect chance to keep up our love of music," says Ned. And it's added more than music to their lives. On Oct. 28, they welcomed their daughter, Cassidy Tyler Lefferts.
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