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Rock the Castle Benefit Concert

Mary Stanton, Entertainment Editor

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On December 11 at New Milford High School, the Musical Boosters held a rock concert ,“Rock the Castle,” which will help with the continuing renovations of the James Africano Auditorium. The line up included The Balloon Knots, Frontline, The Neverends, and special guest Kelly Norton.


In August 2014, the James Africano Auditorium received a makeover with the help of the Musical Booster President and Vice President, Mr. Mark Flores and Mr. Yamen Yambao, alumni, parents, and students. Over a year later, the auditorium is still in need of funding for various fix-ups and replacements. The most recent replacement is the ceiling and lights underneath the balcony and the sound system.


The show started at 7 P.M. with opening statements from NMHS principal Mr.Louis Manuppelli, and New Milford School District Superintendent Mr. Michael Polizzi. Opening the show were “The Balloon Knots” which was fronted by NMHS Special Education and English teacher, Mrs. Wendy Mackey. The band also included Rashid H. Rashid (lead guitar), Dave Krausa (bass),JJ Reilly (guitar), and Jimmy Reilly (drums). Their set included the songs:

Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)

Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin)

White Rabbit (Grace Slick)

What’s Up? (Four Non Blondes)

Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)

Me and Bobby McGee (Janis Joplin)


Next was Kelly Norton, NMHS’s Secretary to the Athletic Director. She performed various covers and two of her own songs. The setlist was:

All Fired Up (Pat Benatar)

Mind Games (Kelly Lynn – available on iTunes)

Hello (Adele)

Hotel California/Umbrella Mashup (The Eagles/Rihanna)

Tame the Beast  (Kelly Lynn – available on iTunes )

Heartbreaker/Ring of Fire Mashup (Pat Benatar/Johnny Cash)


If you are interested, you can ask her about free download cards for her songs on iTunes.


Next up was Frontline, and the band included George Giannoulis (guitar/vox), Chi On Soo Hoo (drums), Ray Vega (bass), and Steve A.Hodge/Stefan Becker (pianist). Their setlist included:

Clocks (Coldplay)

The Loner (Gary Moore)

Fields of Gold (Sting)

Bach Prelude (D-Major)

Still got the Blues (Gary Moore)

Ray’s Theme (Frontline)

Sara Smile (Hitters)

Take Me With You (Frontline)

Frontline (Koinonia)


Finally, The Neverends took the stage, which includes bassist and NMHS alumni Jeremy Giannoulis,lead singer and guitarist and NMHS seniors Myles Yambao and drummer Tyler Becker, and guitarist, Steven Pale. Their setlist was:

Crop Tops and Cherry Pops

Lemon Juice

Lack of Structure

Temporary Motion

Chill Song



52nd Parallel

Bangra Bhangra

Cocktail Bababar


The band released their newest EP “Monkey Man” last Friday which includes songs off the setlist.


The night was an overall  success. Be sure to look out for upcoming renovations and the Spring Musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone” coming to the auditorium in March.

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Rock the Castle Benefit Concert