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The passion for music has kept the torch burning in Arlington through difficult times.

The week Maura Lynch and Clyde Ford opened the doors of Mo-Co Music/Torch Light Music School, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, had rocked the world. Many small businesses could not make it though the uncertainty of the times.

However, the Arlington business now known as Torch, provided a refuge for their students through a shared love for music between the students and teachers.

Since then, the school has trained students to become professional entertainers, producers, music educators, music-school owners and sound engineers. Torch has also produced several CDs and videos and promoted numerous live events, dozens of them hosted at the Regent Theater, just down Medford Street, near the school.

Celebrate Sunday

To celebrate its anniversary, Torch Light Music School is the host for an open-mic party for the public, with entertainment provided by current and any alumni vocalists. It is set for Sunday, Nov. 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Burren, Somerville.

In 2020, the pandemic proved challenging for performing-arts businesses in the state, but the school remained vibrant and connected to its students and community by offering virtual, online voice lessons.

Most in the local business community were worried. “I was pleasantly surprised that our students didn’t skip a beat when we offered online virtual voice lessons,” Lynch said. “It was a fabulous way to offer advanced technique training while staying in touch with my students personally.

“We have a wonderful community of students and families here at Torch and we look forward to many more years!”

Asked about graduates who have gone on to success, Lynch noted three from Arlington -- Katie Pallotta Waitt was a promotions director at a CBS affiliate, Colleen Nicholas owns her own music school in Burlington; Serge Clivio, an Arlington Catholic graduate, is a professional singer in New York; and Quinnsley Ava Raines was the prom queen for an LGBTQ prom on Buzz Feed.

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This business news feature was published Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.