Amherst Student Off to NYC to Compete in Music International Grand Prix
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Autumn Fichera

      Local musical theater student is off to New York City to battle for the final prize in the Teen Popular Voice Category in the Music International Grand Prix Competition. As a musical theater veteran with Broadway hopes for her future, her success so far in the competition has the junior from Souhegan High School in the spotlight!

      Autumn Fichera from Amherst, NH has reached the final round of the competition after singing “Carrie” from Carrie the Musical in the Semifinals and

rising in the ranks in her category after singing “Lost in the Brass” from Band Geeks. Autumn’s voice teacher is Carlos Martinez, who runs a private vocal studio in Manchester. He says that “Autumn has been working very hard on her music and this competition placement is well deserved! This is going to be both an educational and exciting experience for Autumn!

      Autumn is a musical theatre student at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, where she receives extensive musical theatre training through acting, singing, dance classes and workshops, as well as audition training and performance experience. Megan Quinn, the Director of Youth Theatre says “Autumn is an immense talent and a joy to have as a part of Palace Youth Theatre.  We are thrilled that she has made it this far in the competition and will be cheering her on from Manchester!”  

       If Autumn wins her category, she will perform in the Winners Concert in New York City at Merkin Hall where all categories included in the competition will compete to be the overall Grand Prix Winner. Categories include Voice (both Classical and Popular), Piano, Strings, Winds & Brass, Ensembles, and Original Composition.  The Grand Prix Winner gets $5000, and first place winners also receive cash awards and scholarships.  The Grand Prix Judges are influential people in the music industry, so it’s a great opportunity for the contestants.

      Autumn’s family will be there supporting her and rooting her on at the Finals in NYC, where she will be singing, “Screw Loose” from the musical Crybaby. Autumn will be at the Finals representing herself, her school, her town, her teachers, and her family in NYC on May 19th & 20th. Break a leg, Autumn!

      For more information about the competition, visit

RSEC’s Sunrise Children’s Center Breaks Ground on New Outdoor Playground and Classroom

(L to R): With children assisting, Lorraine Greer and Michele Terlizzi celebrate the groundbreaking for a new playground and outdoor classroom at RSEC.

      AMHERST – As preschoolers grabbed their plastic shovels and donned construction hats – and in several cases bunny ears to showcase the Easter theme – the ground was formally broken on a new playground that, once completed, will bring joy and great memories to the children for decades to come. The Sunrise Children’s Center, an early childhood education center that is a program of the Regional Services and Education Center (RSEC), is moving forward on this ambitious new project and welcoming the support of many community members during the event, which was held on Friday, April 8.

      Special guests joined dozens of children and their family members. Adam Steele, SAU 39 Superintendent, welcomed the attendees. Other speakers included State Senator Gary Daniels, Michele Terlizzi, community member of the RSEC Board of Directors and Lorraine Greer, director of Sunrise.

      “We are so pleased to formally begin creating a brand new, high-quality playground and outdoor experiential classroom for our kids that will enhance their learning and enjoyment. We’re so appreciative to everyone who has supported this effort so far and will help make what was once a dream into reality,” Greer said.

      Sunrise received a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Care Stabilization Program that will provide partial support for this special project. An active fundraising effort is currently underway. Those interested in supporting the effort should contact Lorraine Greer at

      Sunrise Children’s Center is a place for children to learn and grow in a caring environment. Located in Amherst, N.H., Sunrise is a home away from home for children ages six weeks to 10 years old (or fourth grade) through infant and toddler programs, full-day childcare services, preschool education and school-age programing. The center’s approach is developmental in nature. The curriculum is based on the fact that all children grow at their own pace and learn best by doing. Sunrise has brought together the best practices from early childhood education and special education to provide the best curriculum possible for children in the program.