EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 8, 2013

Timberlane band brings friends full circle

Friendship forged at Timberlane comes full circle

By Alex Lippa
alippa@eagletribune.com

---- — PLAISTOW — Jane Roberts says life has truly come full circle for her and childhood friend Susan Jette.

The two friends, both now 53, met in high school when they were members of the Timberlane Regional High School marching band in 1977.

Now, they live on opposite sides of the country. Their friendship has lasted. The two women get together every year or two — on one side of the country or the other. This month, the band will unite them once again.

Jette’s and Roberts’ nephews both play in the Timberlane marching band, which is going to Disney World to perform during April vacation. The childhood friends will be there, too.

“We were talking late last year and she mentioned that she was going to Disney World in April,” Jette said. “I told her I was thinking of going to Disney World around the same time. I was on the fence about it, but that convinced me. We had no idea it would be for the same reason.”

Jette, a California resident, and Roberts, who lives in Reading, Mass., met at Timberlane. Until a few months ago, they had no idea their nephews shared the same bond they did.

“My husband and I go to Disney every two years,” Roberts said. “Coincidentally, this was the year we were going. Then we found out after the fact the Timberlane band would be there and that both of our nephews would be playing.”

Jette’s nephew, senior Daniel Main of Danville, plays percussion. Roberts’ nephew, freshman Andrew Gallant of Plaistow, plays the trumpet.

“This was just such a delightful surprise,” Roberts said. “Music has meant a lot to our friendship, so this is going to be great to see.”

The families have planned the whole trip around the bands. Jette said she is looking forward to seeing Roberts’ parents, whom she hasn’t seen in a decade.

“My sister will also be coming down and we’re all arranging these meetups,” she said. “It has become a pretty big deal.”

Jette also played percussion in high school, and is proud that her nephew has decided to follow the same path.

“We’ve been playing together since he was a little kid,” she said. “He’s a budding rock star.”

Jette, meanwhile, is a rock star in her own right. She has moved on to play with the Santa Rosa Symphony and continues to play drums with her band “Birdz of Play.”

Roberts doesn’t regularly play the clarinet and saxophone as she did in high school, but she still has music in her life as she sings in her church choir.

But watching, rather than playing, will be on their minds later this month.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Roberts said. “It’s a great family tradition that they started and I’m glad they were able to continue.”

For Jette, she is still in awe of the similarities of the nephews to her own friendship with Roberts.

“It’s pretty cool that our lifelong friendship was based around us being in the band together,” she said. “ Now, we are super excited to go see our alma mater, and especially our talented nephews, play in the band.”