Community Music School Celebrates 40 Years of Excellence in Music Education | The Valley Register
Photo caption: Community Music School teachers Linda Kistler, violin and Carolyn Gaul, violin perform at the 2019 CMS Brunch at the Lehigh Country Club. The non-profit Allentown will mark its 40and year of operation with its annual Spring Brunch fundraiser on June 12, 2022, the first in-person event since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Allentown, Pennsylvania (May 11, 2022) – After two years of virtual events, the Lehigh Valley & Berks Community Music School (CMS) plans to return to an in-person event for its annual fundraiser this spring. On Sunday, June 12, 2022, the Allentown nonprofit will celebrate 40 years in business with its annual Spring Brunch & Silent Auction fundraiser at Lehigh Country Club, Allentown. The event, originally scheduled for May 1, has been postponed due to Covid pandemic precautions.
In 1982, Martha Maletz and four music teachers, Beatrice Allen, Jean Fox, Judith Moyer and Marilyn Pinschmidt started operations of the Community Music School in the educational building of St. John’s Lutheran Church on Fifth Street in Allentown. Their mission was to provide quality music education to underserved children in Allentown. In its first year, CMS had 7 teachers and 38 students enrolled in piano and voice and provided $5,604 in scholarships and financial aid. In 2022, 40 years later, CMS has provided over 25,000 student services in the Lehigh Valley with the benefits of lifelong music education. Now located in the former Lehigh Valley Social Club at 1544 Hamilton Street, Allentown, CMS offers private lessons to over 200 students in piano, strings, brass, wind, percussion and voice to students of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly. Over 50% of students under the age of 18 can only study with financial aid funded by generous local individuals, businesses and foundations. CMS is proud to fund over $60,000 annually in financial aid, scholarships and outreach. In the fall of 2021, the school received a generous grant from the Presser Foundation to help fund the construction and technology of a state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio. In addition to private instrument lessons, students can now gain hands-on experience with industry-standard recording technology through a variety of new CMS recording classes. During the pandemic, the school shifted to remote operations, online-only music lessons, and continued to offer free performance opportunities to students through their YouTube channel. In-person classes resumed on Hamilton Street in the fall of 2021 and new summer camps, show sets and performance opportunities are planned for the summer ahead.
The CMS Spring Brunch has been held at Lehigh Country Club for over 20 years and regularly attracts over 200 guests for an afternoon of fine dining, silent bidding and music by CMS faculty and students. “Funds raised through this event are crucial in helping to maintain CMS’s programming and student opportunities, enabling all students to access the lifelong benefits of a quality music education, no matter regardless of background, age, ability or financial situation,” said Brunch Committee Chair Julie Macomb, Esq., “I invite all of our arts supporters to join us as we gather safely – in person – to celebrate 40 years of excellence in music education at CMS, bid on great auction items, and enjoy amazing food and of course, music!”
Musical selections include classical and contemporary pieces, such as Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano and Grand Duo Concertante, Mvt. III, op. 48 by Carl Maria von Weber. CMS faculty members who will perform are Linda Kistler, violin, Carolyn Gaul, violin, Elaine Martin, flute, Joe Wagner, guitar, Lou Czechowski, piano, Daniel Gonzalez, drums, John Schwartz, clarinet and Dr. Annie Tindall -Gibson, piano.
New this year, the gala recital will be integrated into the brunch and will feature the school’s most accomplished young musicians. According to Executive Director Jeff Reed, “Students get the best results at our gala auditions. The best of the best CMS. They must be recommended by their teacher and perform in front of an independent jury that evaluates their musical performance according to predetermined criteria. Students with the highest scores also receive merit-based scholarships to continue their studies at CMS.
A week-long online silent auction kicks off the event on Friday, June 3 at 12:00 p.m. Closing of the auction on Sunday June 12 at 2 p.m. The auction features a variety of items donated by local businesses and individuals, including works by local artisans, local restaurant gift cards and themed baskets for all budgets. Auction highlights include a collection of music-themed children’s books, tickets to the US Senior Open at Saucon Valley Country Club, a handmade scarf from Loon’s Loom, a quilt set and music-themed bedspreads, gift cards to the downtown Allentown Market, IronPigs Baseball tickets, and a week’s stay at a vacation property in Block Island, Rhode Island. You do not need to purchase an event ticket in person in order to browse and bid in the online auction. Auction winners who are unable to attend the event in person can arrange to collect their items from CMS after June 13.
Silent auction item donations are accepted until May 27th. Donations can be submitted using the online silent auction item donation form at https://bit.ly/3Ez1uKz. Auction donors will be recognized in the printed brunch program book, on the event website and, post-event, on our list of supporters at cmslv.org.
CMS thanks the Amaranth Foundation for supporting the Brunch as a “Sponsor of Excellence” headlining event. CMS also thanks the following “Opportunity Sponsors”: Allen Organ Company, CF Martin & Co., Klunk & Millan Advertising, Norris McLaughlin, PA, Peoples Security Bank & Trust, St. Luke’s University Health Network and Truist. Support is also provided by Julie Macomb & Scott Cressman, Carmen & Peter Flosdorf, Vance & Michele Powers, Tom & Fay Fenstermacher, James & Mary Warfel, Kathleen Matthews, Dail & David Richie, Tom & Shari Noctor.
The brunch committee is chaired by Julie Macomb, Esq., and includes Laura Burcaw, Carmen Flosdorf, Lisa Kulp, Jodie Hourt, Greg Kuhn, Carol Macomb, Jeff Reed, Dail Richie, Ellen Roberts, Mary Warfel.
About CMS: Lehigh Valley & Berks is a non-profit charitable organization that provides inspiration and opportunity for all members of our diverse community to achieve excellence in music education and appreciate the transformative power of music. . CMS employs over 25 professional musicians who provide high-quality private and group instruction to students of all ages and in nearly every instrument, voice, and recording technology – in person and online. Through the support of our philanthropic community, for more than 40 years, CMS has provided more than 25,000 student services in the Lehigh Valley with the benefits of lifelong music education. CMS is proud to fund over $60,000 annually in financial aid, scholarships and outreach. In the fall of 2018, CMS moved its operations from Allentown to historic 1544 Hamilton Street, the former Lehigh Valley Club. The renovated space offers 12 classrooms of varying sizes, a unique parent lounge, early childhood room, music library, administrative offices and a 150-seat recital hall. Introductory group lessons, such as Kindermusik (0-4 years) provide the basics of music in a fun group environment. In the fall of 2021, CMS received a generous grant from the Presser Foundation to help fund the construction and technology of a state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio. This project leverages the unique aesthetics and acoustics of the school’s Dorothy H. Baker Recital Hall, the former dining hall of the Lehigh Valley Social Club, to create a live recording space for individual and ensemble musical performances, both instrumental and vocal. An acoustically treated control room and recording isolation room serve as a professional recording space, as well as an educational lab and classroom, with nine iMac computer stations where students will gain hands-on experience with technology industry-standard registration through a variety of new CMS Registration Courses. Learn more or donate at http://cmslv.org/.
Information provided to TVL by:
Lisa Hopstock Kulp, Deputy Director
Lehigh Valley & Berks Community Music School