♫  Help deserving students in Need access the life-long benefits of music education

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Dear Friend,

I thank you for supporting the mission of Community Music School. CMS is a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) charitable education organization, and supporters like you help provide all our students with access to the life-long benefits of quality music education, regardless of their background, age, ability, or family need. One of our parents cited some of these benefits:

“CMS is an amazing place. They accommodate special needs and low-income families, their outreach program is excellent, their teachers are highly trained and great at inspiring young and old. My son has mild special needs, but a huge desire to play, and a natural talent. I can’t praise them enough for how they came through for him.”
~ Michelle D., CMS Parent

With your help, CMS can continue to meet the increased demand for high-quality music education and performance opportunities. Each week, we welcome over 350 students for private lessons, group classes, and performing ensembles in Allentown, Reading, and online. 25 dedicated music teachers create safe spaces for our diverse body of students. Together, they learn a variety of musical styles, nurture their musical interests, and connect with like-minded people. I hope you will make a generous gift to help us make it possible for these engaged children to enroll at CMS and enjoy the benefits of an excellent music education.

55% of CMS students under age 18 are from low-income families. They are able to come to CMS only through our need-based financial aid program. In 2024-2025, we expect to have to fund over $85,000 in financial aid for these children. However, a CMS foundation funder recently told us they will not accept any grant applications in 2024, so our budget will be short $30,000. Thus, more than ever, we need more support from individual donors to help us close this gap and fund financial aid for our students.

Whether you are a longtime or new donor, CMS will be a careful steward of your generosity. Please know that we will use your designated gift to directly support education costs for young students from low-income families. To see the impact of your support, I invite you to explore this newsletter below and learn more about our students, teachers, and innovative programming. We also showcase our many summer music camps and workshops in musical theater, piano, violin, ukulele, percussion, & music production.

Please make a generous gift online.  If you would like to discuss including CMS in your estate plan or creating a named scholarship fund, please contact me directly, at jeff@cmslv.org or 610-435-7725 x403.

On behalf of our students, teachers, staff, and Board of Directors, I thank you for supporting quality music education for all at Community Music School.


Jeff Reed
Executive Director
Community Music School
1544 Hamilton Street | Allentown, PA 18102
610-435-7725 x403 | jeff@cmslv.org

Help deserving students in need access the life-long benefits of music education

How Will You Give?

🎶  Give online with a one-time or monthly gift

🎶  Give through your IRA with a Qualified Charitable Distribution

🎶  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 or with a Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo” in the community

🎶  Attend a Student Recital or Event

🎶  Have Your Next Event at CMS

🎶  Like & Share CMS on Social Media

🎶  Leave us a review on Google

🎶  Purchase a CMS Car Magnet to show your CMS spirit

Area of
Greatest Need
Financial Aid
& Scholarships

What’s Happening at CMS?

2022 annual appeal giving season community music school
2024 Community Music School Gala Scholarship Recipients
Carolyn Gaul from Community Music School Sharing the Healing Power of Music at Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley

Here are some of the highlights of 2024 to date. Subscribe to our monthly email newsletter, and get the full story at cmslv.org/news.  

2024 Gala Recital & Donor Reception 

Each spring, CMS faculty recommend their highest performing students at all levels for an audition before an independent panel of judges.   This year’s judges were Kaylee Santanello, former Director of Middle School Orchestras, Parkland School District; John Leiderman, Band Director & Music Teacher, Catasauqua Middle School; and Patrice Kidd, retired Director of Music, Moravian Academy Middle School.  Students with the highest scores in the auditions performed at the Gala Recital on May 11.  New this year, prior to the recital, we hosted a donor appreciation reception for our most generous supporters and recital season sponsors.  It was wonderful to see so many of you and share this special recital with you!  

Watch all the full-length Gala Recital performances anytime on the CMS YouTube Channel

We congratulate all our students who qualified for this year’s Gala Recital and our scholarship awardees:  Jerome & Martha Markowitz ScholarshipHarmony John, piano, student of Kelly Hooper; Joseph Maletz ScholarshipLiam Pammer, piano, student of Marissa Amphay; Muriel I. Frank ScholarshipIsaac Sharma, flute, student of Elaine Martin; Joseph P. Schermerhorn ScholarshipSolomon Trotter, piano, student of Abigail Zuckert; Rising Star ScholarshipsMaanya Gope, voice, student of Julia K. Walsh; Paul Mansour, piano, student of Evan Nelson; Great Expectations ScholarshipShira Bach, piano, student of Kelly Hooper; Great Expectations ScholarshipNaina Dey, classical guitar; student of Joe Wagner; Schadt String ScholarshipsSiddharth Chitta, violin, student of Linda Kistler; Abigail Dodd, violin, student of Linda Kistler; Rene Kim, violin, student of Carolyn Gaul; Shriya Chitta, violin, student of Linda Kistler; Martha Maletz ScholarSamuel Truong, piano, student of Kelly Hooper; Amaranth ScholarNaomi Herrera, piano, student of Kathy Anthony.  

Best Wishes to our Class of 2024 High School Graduates  We wish all our high school graduates success and happiness as they head off to college and future careers. Even if these students do not pursue music as a career, we hope that music will continue to be an important part of their lives. All three of this year’s seniors have been taking lessons at CMS since middle school, and it has been a joy to see them all flourish as musicians and as young people. We wish these proud graduates all the best and hope they will cherish their excellent music education at CMS.   Ananya Gope, violin student of Linda Kistler, graduated from Parkland High School, and plans to study biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University and continue playing music in a college ensemble. Peter Heckman, piano student of Dr. David Saturen, graduated from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, and plans to study finance at Penn State University Lehigh Valley.  Ceiran Magee, piano student of Kelly Hooper and violin student of Carolyn Gaul, graduated from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, and plans to study violin performance at Kutztown University.

2024 Piano Achievement Certificate Recipients Announced  The CMS Certificate of Musical Achievement Program in Piano allows students of all levels to demonstrate their yearly progress and set goals by performing two pieces (3-15 minutes) & technical studies for a panel of judges.  This year’s judges were Kelly Hooper, Program Coordinator & Piano Faculty at CMS, and Dr. Annie Tindall-Gibson, former Piano Faculty at CMS, Artist-Lecturer at Moravian University, and Director of Music at Allegheny Evangelical Lutheran Church.  We congratulate all the students who earned their certificates (*with honors):  Level 1 – Advaith Prathapa*,Franco Gian Antonio Teotico*; Level 3 – Anaaya Kumar, Connor Felix, Joshua Ruiz; Level 4 – Ethan Lin,Ian Lindmark*, Jessica Lindmark, Mira Dey, Samuel Jones*; Level 5 – Diya Soman, Elena Bernini*; Level 6 – Alexander Bernini, Elsia Schmitt*, Jacob Bernini*, and Naomi Herrera. 

CMS “Pays it Forward” to Music School in Patagonia  As a nonprofit, CMS is fortunate to receive regular donations of previously loved sheet music* and instruments. In December, our newest voice and piano teacher, Evan Nelson, took on the enormous task of sorting our most recent sheet music donations and re-organizing our music library.  We then made any  extra sheet music freely available to CMS students, faculty, and friends.  We are pleased to report that some of this sheet music has found a new home – 5,659-miles away, in Puerto Varas, Chile – in the Patagonia region of South America.  Thanks to CMS Board of Directors member, Kathy Matthews, we were able to “pay it forward” to students of the COMBAS Conservatorio de Música y Bellas Artes del Sur with a donation of sheet music and music books… read the full article: 

New Faces   We are pleased to welcome Ellsbeth Hvizdak to our front office administrative team.  Vicki Ferrence Ray,  Non-Profit Executive & Consultant, and CMS parent; and John Wittenbraker, Ph.D., Social/Behavioral Scientist, joined the CMS Board of Directors.  We also recently welcomed new teachers Evan Nelson, piano, voice, guitar, composition; Matthew Blanchard, tuba, trombone, piano, voice; Leah McCann, violin, viola, piano; and Katie Mitchell,  violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, saxophone.  We are excited to have these experienced teachers join our talented faculty to help meet the increasing demand for lessons in both our Allentown and Berks locations.  We also wish all the best to these CMS teachers who have now moved on to other career opportunities: Dr. Andrew O’Connor, Jess Mitchell, Nick Conti, and Kate Uhler.  

The Healing Power of Music  CMS violin teacher Carolyn Gaul shared the healing power of music with our new friends at the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley in Allentown with a five-week adult group violin class. 

Percussion Workshop CMS drum teacher Daniel Gonzalez led a percussion workshop with students and parents from Reach Cyber Charter School.  Students enjoyed two hours of hands-on experience with a variety of percussion instruments.

Student Selected to All-State Band  Liam Ray, trombone, was selected to participate in the All-State Band concert at the Warner Theatre in Erie, PA in April 2024.  Above, Liam (right) and his brother C.J. Ray (left), tuba, and pose outside Parkland High School with their PMEA medals.  We congratulate Liam, C.J., and all the CMS students who were selected to PMEA ensembles this year:  Shriya Chitta, violin; Abigail Dodd, violin/viola; Maanya Gope, voice; and Felicity Lui, flute.  

Sharing the Joy of Music  This spring, we had a blast sharing our musical instrument petting zoo at LVACA’s Young at Art expo at Penn State Lehigh Valley, the Parkland Community Resource Fair at Parkland High School, and the ASD Hays Elementary Year-End Carnival.  We thank our student and board member volunteers for their help spreading the word about all the fun musical opportunities here at CMS!  To help with a future musical instrument petting zoo, contact Assistant Director, Lisa Kulp, at lisa@cmslv.org.

Kids and teens are invited to embark on an extraordinary musical journey this summer at Community Music School! 

One-day, one-week, and two-week camps in musical theater, piano, violin, ukulele, percussion, & music production begin on June 17.  SIGN UP TODAY!

Reflections on the Renaissance - A recital by Evan William Nelson, voice, and Stephanie Baird, piano at Community Music School on Sunday, June 9, at 3:00 PM
Ceiran Magee senior recital graphic - June 22, 2024
Area of
Greatest Need
Financial Aid
& Scholarships

CMS thanks all the foundations, corporations, and individuals who support CMS and allow us to support so many deserving students.  Visit Our Supporters page to view the complete list.  

Learn more about sponsorship opportunities for your business. 

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.