BHS Jazz Quartet in the Spotlight at Baker’s State of the Commonwealth Address

Sus-4, welcoming guest to Gov. Charlie Baker’s final State of the Commonwealth address ~ Courtesy image (c) 2022 all rights reserved

Did you see Gov. Charlie Baker’s annual State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday night? Did you notice that he seemed a little more buoyant, energized, and hopeful?

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that he has decided not to run for re-election.

Or maybe it was because of a Bedford High School jazz quartet.

The four musicians were stationed at the entrance to the ballroom at the John B. Hynes Convention Center. Senior Colin O’Toole on trumpet, juniors Parker Anderson-LaPorte on saxophone and Eric Zhang, piano, and sophomore drummer Zachary Shen extended a 30-minute gig into almost an hour-and-a-half as people mingled before entering the hall.

Nicole O’Toole, program director for the performing arts in the Bedford Schools, said she handled the transportation for the quartet. O’Toole said she got a call last week about the opportunity. “There were also students from Methuen, Plymouth, Foxboro, and greater Worcester,” she said.

The four BHS musicians played together in the fall musical, O’Toole said, and put together a repertoire of jazz standards for the State of the Commonwealth event. When they finished, the students remained for the speech. “We all showed our vaccination cards going in,” she noted.

“The whole event had a forward-looking and positive feeling,” O’Toole reported. “It was really great for our students to see our state government up close.”

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763

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