The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Graduating on a high note: seniors host courtyard concert

Samson Maffetore and Trey Hansen
Mandible gathers for a promo shoot in the woods.

Most senior capstones involve internships at workplaces, painting murals at WA, and helping teachers at the elementary schools. However, seniors Sammy Waterhouse, Teddy Nordhougen and Ryan de Mars have taken a particularly unique approach to their senior capstone: organizing a concert in the courtyard that would allow them to do what they love and raise money for the failed override.

Their band, Mandible, will be playing hard rock and metal songs for an hour after school from 5:30 p.m. to around  6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16. While forecasts predict the weather will be sunny, the band has set the rain date to May 22, the following Wednesday. The band members have spent the past few months preparing for the concert. The fundraiser will help the music department get more funds because of the recent budget cuts.

Nordhougen, who plays the drums, was inspired by a similar capstone that he witnessed his freshman year, when a senior band had performed on the football field. After seeing the capstone, Nordhougen was set on finding a band to perform with him by the time he was a senior.

He eventually found de Mars, their guitar player, in July of 2023. In December, Waterhouse joined as their bass player and in February, the band’s last member, Kyle Goucher, another senior, joined and does a little bit of everything for the band. While Goucher is part of the band, he isn’t part of the capstone project, though he has already started working on a different project for capstone.

The recent failure of the Proposition 2 1/2 override at the Annual Town Election on May 7 means that funds for the music department will be reduced. The band hopes to raise money for the department through the concert. Although the cost of admittance is free, there is a suggested donation of five dollars.

“It’s really great because it’s so rare that we get to talk about that process with students [to teach them] how to put it on and all of the other stuff that goes into that was really cool,” Adam Shekleton, the band director said.

According to the band, the whole experience has been very valuable. They feel like they are more responsible since they are planning the concert as opposed to letting the teachers plan everything.

“It really does teach you to be responsible and to be forward thinking […]. It’s really just our initiative that gets things going,” de Mars said.

While looking for bandmates, Nordhougen realized how little musicians, specifically rock musicians, are in Westford. According to Waterhouse, they didn’t know how to play an instrument before joining the band but have found the experience of learning it to be very enjoyable.

“Our genre is a bit more hardcore, but we’re hoping that we can still reach out to a wide audience of people, and connect with them to the music,” Goucher said.

While music is important to all of the members, it isn’t something that they want to do for a career. However, it is something they are interested in continuing out of high school.

“I don’t want to view it as like a job. I don’t want to have to view it as a task. I just want to view it as something I want to do for fun in the future,” Waterhouse said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Marika Kanayama
Marika Kanayama, Staff Writer
Hi. My name is Marika Kanayama, and I am a sophomore at WA. It is my first year on the Ghostwriter staff. I sometimes like to read books, sleep and enjoy snacks. I also like to travel and enjoy learning new things. I am excited for what this year brings.

Comments (0)

All WA Ghostwriter Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *