23 Wall Street, Concord, NH 03301
Phone 603-228-1196   Concord Community Music School on YouTube
Click here to email us.  facebook bug whiteBG

February 2014 Newsletter

A place on the musical podium 

Nathan Smith
photo courtesy of
Concord Monitor

Music and sports have many points of intersection.  Some take place on the world stage like at this winter's Olympics, where there is a virtuoso violinist competing in skiing,  and others happen closer to home.  The Concord Community Music School is delighted to share several podium-level performances of our students, supporters, and friends this month, including two that directly highlight the interplay of music and sports.

Just as "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays for each of Team U.S.A.'s  gold medals at Sochi, the American national anthem is frequently played and sung with aplomb by Music School students at athletic contests throughout the region.  Voice Department Chair Ellen Nordstrom often lends national anthem tips to many of her students, including Nathan Smith, a Concord High School student who was recently featured front and center in The Concord Monitor's Sports Blog.  Kudos to Nathan for his in-demand performances to rally the crowd and elicit national pride through the anthem at hockey, football, and basketball games and pep rallies.  To view the video click here and to read the interview with him from January 29 click below.



Rock what you love
Luke Bonner and David Tonkin

The Rock On Foundation, founded by professional basketball players and Concord area brothers Luke and Matt Bonner, recently gave two new electric guitars and amps, and a starter acoustic guitar to the Music School to promote opportunities for more students to learn guitar. The Foundation is dedicated to providing opportunities for students in artistic, athletic, and academic arenas.  "Everyone deserves the opportunity to rock the things they love," proclaims Luke at the Rock On Foundation web site.   

We at the Music School are delighted that Luke personally has gotten involved with providing instruments, funding, and enthusiasm for what we do here, as he has consulted with our guitar faculty members on what can be most helpful for our students and programs. Luke offered that "The Concord Community Music School is a valuable institution to the city of Concord and the state of New Hampshire. Rock On Foundation is proud to support such a great organization, which exemplifies a relentless commitment to keeping music alive in our community while inspiring future generations of creatives."   

Not long before he attended Jazz in January, Luke posed for the picture above with David Tonkin and the donated instruments.  A warm thank you to the team at the Rock On Foundation for exemplifying how athletics and music come together so seamlessly.

On stage at Carnegie Hall for a
winning performance
Emma Servadio at Carnegie Hall

Nine-year old Emma Servadio, who studies piano with Music School faculty member Anita Yu and began her piano studies at the Music School with Kathryn Southworth, recently made a trip to the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York City earlier this month to perform her original piano piece "Shimmer." In the audience were her parents Ching-Yao Chen and Ilan Servadio and Music School president Peggy Senter, among a packed house there to hear the winners of the Crescendo International Music Competitions.  Emma performed beautifully and distinguished herself as an up-and-coming composer and musician with natural talent and maturity well beyond her  age. 

To listen to Emma's recording of Shimmer, click here or read more about her experiences and preparation in either of these two Concord Monitor articles. 


We are so proud of Emma for her diligent work in preparing for a competition of this magnitude and for representing herself, her family, and Concord Community Music School so well.
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken": Reflecting on the legacy of Pete Seeger and
Bob McQuillen
Click on the Photo to read a recent article from Concord Monitor on Bob McQuillen - "Loss of a Legend"


The folk music world lost two legendary figures this month, both of whom had strong influences on our Music School family and lived our belief that everyone can sing.  

Listening to the tributes for folksinger Pete Seeger, we've been struck by the legacy he left for us as a community music school. As Seeger said, "when people come together, miracles happen," and he often used the power of singing to create those miracles.

Songweavers founding director Carolyn Parrott, also a central figure in the NH traditional music scene as a banjo and fiddle player, remembers,

"At a time when most of my male musician friends wanted to be John Lennon, I wanted to be Pete Seeger. Indeed, his desire to get everyone singing was part and parcel of Songweavers really. And why I always encouraged audiences to join in. It just plain changes the energy in the room."

Just a few days after Seeger passed away, New Hampshire lost its own traditional music legend, Bob McQuillen, known for his rhythmic contra dance piano playing and his corny jokes. He loved passing New England folk music traditions on to young musicians, and he worked closely with Music School alumni Russell, Francis, Sophie and Neil Orzechowski and Katie and Samantha Allman. Carolyn Parrott had close ties with McQuillen, and adds this remembrance:

"I grew up in Peterborough and started contra dancing in 1952 when the band included piano player Bob McQuillen. Fast forward many years, when I came back to NH in 1969 and started contra dancing with the young upstart, Dudley Laufman, who was often accompanied by Bob. The true honor was having him write a reel for me called "O'Carolyn's Parrott." What a sense of humor he had. Loved and missed by all who knew him. "

These song lyrics from Pete Seeger sum up the ideals both he and Bob McQuillen embodied:

And when these fingers can strum no longer

Hand the old banjo to young ones stronger...

Through all this world of joy and sorrow

We still can have singing tomorrow.

We invite you to sing with us, and to enjoy the legacy as it lives on in such upcoming events as the March Mandolin Festival, the Songweavers Spring Concert in April (entitled "Will the Circle Be Unbroken") and student concerts in May that feature outstanding young musicians playing traditional music. The circle is definitely unbroken and we will have singing tomorrow!

Save the Date - March 21 & 22, 2014
Anniversary Weekend & Performathon 
Anniversary Weekend 2012

We hope you will save the date to help us celebrate our Anniversary Weekend and Performathon event. The weekend begins with our Anniversary Weekend Concert on Friday followed by our Performathon event on Saturday, showcasing over 200 student performers throughout the day, an instrument petting zoo, food, raffles, and prizes, etc. 

Interested in helping out with the event? Volunteers are needed in all areas. Contact Deirdre Daigle at 228-1196 x20 or  click here for more information. 

Our Performathon raises approximately $15,000 annually in support of Financial Aid.  Thank you to all who have supported this event in the past! If you'd like to show your early support - click here to donate now. 

Sponsored by:

Merrimack County Savings Bank