Framingham Online News

Framingham Blazers Summer Band

Filed under: Arts / Culture by Randy Harris at 3:48 pm on June 17, 2011
Bass drum from the original Framingham Blazers Band

Bass drum from the original Framingham Blazers Band

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Under the direction of Mr. Brian Cervone, band director at Framingham High School -- and in association with the Performing Arts Center of Metrowest, The Blazers Band is being revived as the Framingham Blazers Summer Band.

Participation is open to musicians in grades 8-12 as well as adults. Those who play wind instruments, percussion, and string instruments are encouraged to sign up.

Rehearsals will be at PAC, on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and occasional Tuesdays, starting June 22nd, 2011. There's still time to register, and it's free!

History of the Blazers Band

Founded in 1960 in conjunction with the Framingham Parks & Recreation Department, The Blazers Band was Framingham's hometown band throughout the 1960's, 70's and 80's .

Mr. Paul Bordeleau - Founder of Framingham Blazers Band

Mr. Paul Bordeleau, Framingham Blazers Band, Founder and first Musical Director, (1980's photo)

Founder and first musical director, Mr. Paul Bordeleau, was a teacher at Framingham's now-defunct Lincoln Junior High School and wanted a way for Framingham kids to continue practicing and playing their band instruments after the school year ended.  In 1963, when the newly constructed Framingham North High School was built, Mr. Bordeleau became the school's first band director.

The Blazers Band was a family oriented organization -- a group of Framingham ladies sewed the red and white striped blazers that band members wore, and decades of Framingham families supported the band and participated in band activities.

The organization grew to include the marching band, a color guard, jazz band, a stage band that performed "Big Band" style,  and of course -- The Blazeretts, a troupe of baton twirlers in matching red and white striped costumes who marched and twirled ahead of the marching band in parades and twirled at other public performances.

The Blazers and Blazerettes drilled and practiced outdoors at Bowditch Field and performed all over town -- in parades, at sporting events, at store's "Grand Openings" and in special performances for Christmas, Easter and other holidays and events at Shoppers World -- and many other local venues.

The Blazers Band, Framingham, MA

The Blazers Band, Framingham, MA

Within a few years the band developed into a well oiled machine, and would travel to play at out-of-town events. In the 1960's they traveled to the Seattle World's Fair, the New York World's Fair, and to Expo '67, the Montreal World's Fair and at the newly constructed Walt Disney World, Florida in the early 1970's.

During the early years the band practiced in a Concord St. storefront in Downtown Framingham and would run Bingo games in the store at night to raise funds to pay for instruments and travel expenses.

In 1985,  The Blazers celebrated their 25th year and held a special Silver Anniversary concert.  At some point in the 1990's, the Blazers disbanded, (pun intended) ...although nobody seems to know exactly which was their last year.

In 1996, members of The Blazers performed onstage during the first Concerts on the Green series at Framingham Centre Common.

In 2008, former band member Parker Kenyon started a Blazers Band group on Facebook which now has 70+ former members including two children of band founder, Paul Bordeleau.

While the new Framingham Blazers Summer Band may never replace what was started over 50 years ago, it will at least support Mr. Bordeleau's original vision of giving Framingham's band kids a place to practice and play their instruments when the school year ends.

For more information, or to register, visit the PAC website, www.PACMetrowest.com, or contact The Performing Arts Center of MetroWest, 140 Pearl St, Framingham, MA 01702, or send email to: pac@pacmetrowest.org, or phone Mr. Cervone directly at (508) 620-4963 ext. 27536, or the PAC office at 508-875-5554.

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  1. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am that Mr. Cervone is making this happen!
    –Jan Bordeleau
    (former Blazerette and Blazer Stage Band pianist)

    Comment by Jan Bordeleau — June 17, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  2. Hi Jan, Nice to have you visit http://www.framingham.com

    Your Dad’s idea for the Blazers really added a lot of community spirit and improved the quality of life in Framingham. I can remember watching you guys in Flag Day parades and other local events when I was a kid — in those hard-to-miss peppermint striped uniforms.

    Trivia question: Did the name “Blazers’ Band” have anything to do with the striped blazers?

    Randy.

    Comment by Randy Harris — June 19, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  3. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Mr Bordeleau’s picture. The best of times. Mr Bordeleau was my flute and piano teacher. In junior High and senior High years, my band director. I was in the original Blazers. We were Blazers before the jackets. Our first Memorial day parade in 1960 we were all in white (no jackets yet). I think of him often. I don’t know Mr. Cervone. I will look forward to their first concert.

    Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Barrows — June 23, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  4. I am glad to hear the Blazers Band is back in business!. Please send an updated info for the summer season. Bravo Blazers Band!

    Bob Haggerty, Callahan Advocare and Intermin Host: “Conversation & Humor”

    Comment by Bob Haggerty — June 24, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  5. I am a proud Charter Member of the Blazers Band (originally called the Park & Recreation Band) and was its first tuba player. Director Paul Bordeleau converted me from a below-average drummer into a tuba player when he was a teacher at Lincoln Jr. High. I went to the Seattle World’s Fair with them after grade 8 and aged out of the band after 4 years. Mr Bordeleau was the first band director at the new Framingham North HS and I was his tuba player. With his help, I played tuba throughout my years at the Boston Conservatory and then I became a choral director (barbershop harmony) and have been doing so for the past 45 years. Paul taught us all how to play, but he also showed us how much fun you can have performing and going to “fun” venues. I owe so much to Mr Bordeleau. He’s been my hero for many years. It is great that the Blazers are back. I wonder how many Charter Members are still around?

    Comment by Leo Larivee — July 15, 2011 @ 12:40 am

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