WESTFORD -- Two students at Nashoba Valley Technical High School became the first ever from the school to be accepted to perform in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association's Eastern District Junior Festival in March.

Margaret Mescall of Chelmsford and Benjamin Marinelli of Harvard, both freshmen at Nashoba Tech, were selected after auditioning on Feb. 1 at Needham High School.

They are the first two students from Nashoba Tech ever to qualify, and the only two students from a technical school selected to perform at the festival, which will be held March 29 at Lincoln-Sudbury High School, after a day of rehearsal on March 28.

More than 1,000 students from grades 7-9 auditioned for the Eastern District Festival.

Mescall was one of 85 students selected in the soprano vocal category, scoring a 101 of 124 possible points. Ben Marinelli was one of 32 selected for clarinet, scoring 142 of 159 points.

"Generally, only programs that have long, well-established histories are able to get students in District Festivals," Nashoba Tech music instructor Laura Lamore said.

Nashoba Tech's music program started in 2008, and Lamore took it over in 2009.

"This is a very proud step, not only for the music program, but for Nashoba Tech as well," Lamore said. "I am incredibly proud of the students that have come through this program and started to pave the way for the program to grow, and for every student that not only chose to believe in the music program, but to believe in each other and in me to lead them.



Lamore said it is considered to be the most difficult district festival for which to qualify.