Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence in Music Education
November 11, 2022
Dear Friends of CMS,
As I reflect on the 40-year history of Community Music School, I have a strong sense of gratitude. I am grateful for Martha Maletz and our other founders who envisioned CMS, a community treasure. I am grateful for the many dedicated volunteer Board Presidents and Directors who helped CMS through highly challenging periods and many financial hurdles. I am grateful for our dedicated school leaders who have helped us grow and thrive for over four decades. I am grateful for the many dedicated and talented teachers who have chosen to share their love of music with tens of thousands of engaged CMS students. And I am very grateful for the loyal parents, students, and donors like you who support our mission.
This fall, CMS has experienced phenomenal enrollment growth as we’ve welcomed back former students after the “pandemic pause” and new students who have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to attend in-person music lessons, bands, choirs, and ensembles. We are delighted to serve more students, but we have so many new families in need that we’ve already committed more than 100% of our budgeted financial aid. CMS students need your support to allow them to enroll in individual and group music lessons and pay what they can afford. In short, our students need your support, now more than ever. Click here to learn more about all the new developments at CMS.
In this season, please consider a generous gift to CMS that will help us help others in need by giving the gift of music education. Please make an online donation or mail a check to CMS at 1544 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18102. On behalf of our students, teachers, staff, and Board of Directors, I thank you for supporting quality music education at CMS!
How Will You Give?
- Give online with a one-time or monthly gift
- Give through your IRA
- Give with a matching gift through your employer
- Include CMS in your Estate Planning
- Create a Named Scholarship Fund
- Volunteer on the Board of Directors
- Attend a Student Recital or Event
- Shop AmazonSmile to support CMS
- Like & Share CMS on Social Media
- Get your CMS 40th “Ruby” Anniversary Mug
What’s Happening at CMS?
The 40th “back-to-school” season at CMS has been a very busy one! Here are just a few of the happenings in our last fiscal year. Watch our monthly email newsletter or check out cmslv.org/news for the latest news and events.
Teachers In August 2021, we welcomed Dr. Annie Tindall Gibson, who teaches piano and offers accompaniment. In March 2022, Dr. Andrew O’Connor, double bass and bass guitar, joined our faculty. As the pandemic waned, in June 2022 we welcomed several new teachers to meet increased student demand: Anthony Sharp, voice; Griffin Woodard, piano, clarinet , bass clarinet, and composition; Kelly Hooper, piano; and Ellie Pruneau, piano (online only).
Staff In September 2021, we welcomed Pam Adamson and Jasmine Adamson to the CMS administrative team. In August 2022, our Program and Development Coordinator, Laura Burcaw was promoted to Operations Manager. Kelly Hooper joined CMS as a piano teacher in July 2022, and added a new role as part-time Program Coordinator in August. Kelly is responsible for developing and coordinating new and existing group classes, programs, events, and recitals. We continue to leverage technology to optimize our operations, marketing, and programs.
Maletz Scholarship Sean Riedy, piano student of Dr. David Saturen, was selected as the first recipient of the Martha Maletz Scholarship. The scholarship honors the School’s founder, Martha Maletz, and funds a full scholarship to a student of impressive merit and extraordinary potential whose family also has financial need. Sean also won the “Outstanding Accompanist” award in the Music in the Parks at Hershey competition for his piano accompaniment work. Sean graduated from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts in June 2022, and is now studying music composition at Moravian University.
Recording Studio Thanks to a generous grant from The Presser Foundation, CMS and the team of specialists from Guitar Center Pro completed the installation of the new state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio at CMS in November 2021. The acoustically treated control room serves as a professional recording space, as well as an education lab, with nine iMac computer stations where students can gain hands-on experience with new classes in recording, editing, and publishing live music, using the latest technology, equipment, and software. In September 2022, under the guidance of our resident sound engineer Joe Wagner, the “Intro to Recording Class,” students wrote and produced the music track for a new television commercial to promote CMS.
Virtual Recitals For the safety of our students, we continued to offer virtual and outdoor performance opportunities for our students throughout 2021-2022. We produced all or part of the 2021 Holiday Recital, 2022 Faculty-Student Recital, and 2022 Spring Recital watch parties using our new recording studio at CMS. This new technology allowed our recording team of Joe Wagner and Lisa Kulp to provide all our students with quality audio and video recordings of their performances for virtual recitals. All our virtual recitals are available on our YouTube channel #cmslehighvalley.
Outdoor Recitals To give our students safe in-person performance experiences, we also offered two outdoor recitals, Summerfest 2021 and the “Year-End” Recital 2022 in the West Park Bandshell. Our annual Musikfest performances were also back in 2021 and 2022, with 33 students performing for enthusiastic crowds at Musikfest’s Plaza Tropical in the August heat. In September 2022, CMS students and teachers made their debut performances at the West Park Civic Association’s 47th Annual “Art in the Park” event. Volunteers also shared our musical instrument petting zoo with the community. It was a beautiful day of music and art!
Event Rentals When not in use for CMS classes and programs, the Hess Lounge and the Dorothy H. Baker Recital Hall are available for private event rentals, such as birthday parties, showers, and meetings. In the setting of the former Lehigh Valley Social Club, both multi-functional spaces provide a unique art-deco backdrop with dazzling ambiance. For more information visit cmslv.org/events/event-rentals, email, or call Laura Burcaw at 610-435-7725 x406.
Certificate of Musical Achievement in Piano Program returned in person! This is a wonderful opportunity for students to receive written comments on their performances and to note their progress from year to year. Dr. Annie Tindall-Gibson and Rebekah Graver served as adjudicators.
Gala Auditions and Scholarship program returned in person! Those students who scored highest in the auditions had the opportunity to perform at our 40th anniversary Spring Brunch, and received merit scholarships to continue their music study at CMS: Muriel I. Frank Scholarship: Jenna John, piano; Jerome & Martha Markowitz Scholarship: Isaac Sharma, flute; Joseph Maletz Scholarship: Maanya Gope, voice; Great Expectations Scholarship: Shira Bach, piano; Rising Star Scholarships: Alexis Gabay-Ratner, voice; Diya Soman, piano; Harmony John, piano; and Madeleine Barnett, piano; Schadt String Scholarships: Ananya Gope, violin; Shriya Chitta, violin; Rene Kim, violin. This year’s judges were Dave Matsinko, retired educator and folk musician; Patrice Kidd, retired Director of Music, Moravian Academy Middle School; and Kaylee Santanello, Director of Middle School Orchestras, Parkland School District.
40th Anniversary Spring Brunch & Silent Auction After a 6-week delay due to the Covid pandemic, CMS held its 40th Anniversary Spring Brunch on Sunday, June 12, 2022. 180+ guests gathered in person for the event, which featured fine buffet dining at Lehigh Country Club, an exciting silent auction, and impressive musical performances by our faculty and most accomplished students. It was truly an inspiring afternoon, as we celebrated 40 years of excellence in music education at CMS. Thanks to the generosity of local individuals, businesses, and sponsors, the Brunch raised over $30,000 to support programming and scholarships at CMS. We thank our teachers and students who performed, and our many volunteers who helped to make our 40th anniversary Spring Brunch a success! We send special thanks to our Brunch Committee: Julie Macomb, Esq. – Chair, Laura Burcaw, Carmen Flosdorf, Lisa Kulp, Jodie Hourt, Greg Kuhn, Carol Macomb, Jeff Reed, Dail Richie, Ellen Roberts, and Mary Warfel.
Summer Programs New in summer 2022, CMS partnered with the Lehigh Valley Arts & Cultural Alliance and the Fine Feather Foundation to provide music instruction in violin, guitar, piano, and recording technology to Allentown students in July and August. At the City Arts Camp, Allentown middle school students learned art, music, dance, and theater with professional instructors from The Allentown Art Museum, Allentown Symphony Association, The Baum School of Art, Civic Theatre, CMS, and Repertory Dance Theatre. We thank the Harry C. Trexler Trust for underwriting the entire cost of City Arts Camp. The camp was held at CMS, and three longtime CMS students worked as counselors for the 2022 camp: Melody Herrera and Ty’lei Singleton, who worked with our faculty members, Joe Wagner and Griffin Woodard, and counselor-in-training, Ceiran Magee. We also introduced our new week-long Intro to Violin Camp, led by teacher Carolyn Gaul, which concluded with a mini performance for family and friends.
Board of Directors In September 2022, Michael Yeager was elected President of the Board of Directors. Yeager recently retired as CEO of Community Insurance Company, and assumes the role previously held by Carmen Flosdorf, VP, Commercial Banking at Peoples Security Bank & Trust Company. Flosdorf served as President for two years, and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. The Board also elected two more community leaders to its ranks: David Yeager, who recently retired from Guardian Life Insurance Co., and Elyse Pillitteri, Attorney at Fitzpatrick, Lentz, & Bubba P.C. The Board also extended its sincere appreciation to Board Member and Brunch Committee Chair, Julie Macomb, Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Lehigh Valley Health Network, for her longtime service to CMS.
Group Classes & Ensembles Return After a two-year hiatus during the Covid pandemic, all our group classes and ensembles returned in September 2022 and are welcoming new members! Our groups include Kindermusik, Intro to Piano for Homeschoolers, Intro to Piano, Intro to Recording, Kids Choir, Modern Band, House Band, and Big Band. This fall, private lesson enrollments surged back to pre-pandemic levels, with 80% of students studying in-person at 1544 Hamilton Street or Studio 561 at Goggleworks. As a hybrid school, CMS will continue to offer online-only private lesson options to those students who prefer that option.
In-Person Recitals Return Our Monster Concert returned in-person! On October 30, we held our first in-person recital in our building since the pandemic began in February 2020. It was wonderful to hear over 50 students perform in person again and to see all the amazing costumes at our Monster Concert. Save the date for our Holiday Recital, on Sunday, December 18, 2022, at 4:00 PM, in the Dorothy H. Baker Recital Hall at CMS.
New Programs Check out our new Open Mic on select second Fridays each month in the Hess Lounge, and save the date for “Get Jazzed Day” at CMS on February 11, 2023, as CMS hosts “Jam on the Road,” in partnership with Berks Arts.
Thank you for your support!
Tax ID #23-2201343 – Community Music School (CMS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is registered as a Charitable Organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The official registration and financial information of Community Music School may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
CMS does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, age, creed, color, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, gender identity, disability, or level of family income in its education programs and admission, employment, and financial aid policies.