, Gloucester, MA

May 25, 2013

Rockport Ramblings: Beard benefit targets students' music trip:

Rockport Ramblings
Times Staff

---- — There are shaves, close shaves, and now long shaves.

What each requires is a beard, and that’s where the long shave comes in, because the facial hair in question is going to be removed in sections over three consecutive days.

The beard, a thick and fulsome one eight months into cultivation, belongs to Rockport music teacher Nathan Cohen, who is raffling off the beard’s removal to raise money for a trip to Ireland next year by Rockport High School music students.

The raffle winner will design a plan for the shave, and Cohen said he would follow it to the letter, even if letters themselves are sculpted into his face. While the blueprint for the shave will be in another’s hands, Cohen said, he’ll do the cutting himself: “I’m not letting any student of mine get near me with a sharp instrument.”

The raffle will be conducted from now until June 6, when the winning ticket will be drawn. Beard removal, in private, will commence on June 9 and conclude on the 11th. Cohen’s evolving facial shrubbery will be on classroom view the whole time.

Tickets for the raffle are $10 for adults, $3 for students, and can be purchased from any eighth- to 12th-grader in the music department or by emailing Cohen at

Cohen, who directs the Rockport schools’ orchestra and chamber music programs and teaches fourth- through 12th-graders, said the Ireland trip, scheduled for April vacation, will cost $3,669 per student, and fund-raising will be ongoing. In addition to the beard removal, music students are raffling off a three-night trip to Paris for two, including airfare and hotel. Those tickets are $20 each or three for $50. Students will also be offering a car wash at the Rockport DPW today, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Car wash patrons will have the opportunity to purchase beard or Paris raffle tickets as well.

Participants on the Ireland trip will include both voice and instrumental students. The itinerary, planned with Encore Tours by Cohen, band director Anthony Covelli, and choral director Patti Pike, will include performances and master classes in Limerick, Cork, and Dublin. The objective, Covelli said, is “to enrich the musical lives of our students and to open their minds in a lasting and memorable way.”

Cohen’s beard, so to speak, is but one leg of the trip.

Quiz team in nationals

The Quiz Bowl team from Rockport Middle and High School left bright and early yesterday for Atlanta where the students will compete this weekend.

Team members are attending the National High School Quiz Bowl at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta this weekend

Anyone interested can follow the action at and follow the official blog HSNCT 2013 Blog.

Rockport Ramblings is usually compiled by James Niedzinski, who returns Monday. If you have a news tip or an item for Town Talk, please contact him at 978-283-7000 x3455, or at