On January 27, there was much cause for celebration in the Connecticut River Valley area as Essex Ed, a nine-foot tall fiberglass groundhog, made his annual parade appearance in Essex Village dressed as ‘The Music Man’ in honor of the Community Music School’s 30th anniversary year. Patricia Hurley, who founded the school in 1983 on the top floor of Essex Town Hall, served as parade Grand Marshall while members of The New Horizons Brass Ensemble, a CMS group of adult beginners, performed “Seventy-six Trombones”. After the ceremonial activities, well over 100 revelers enjoyed a cupcake and cocoa reception hosted by CMS at Essex Town Hall.
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off our celebration of 30 years of building community through music than with Essex Ed and his long tradition of bringing the town together to make some noise and have fun,” commented Robin Andreoli, who joined CMS in 2010 as Executive Director. “It is a great prelude to the many new and exciting programs and events that we will present this year.”
Now located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook Village, the school has grown from 5 instructors teaching 40 students to 30 instructors teaching 500 students of all ages through private and group lessons, instrumental and voice ensembles, orchestras, music therapy, special events and summer programs covering a broad spectrum of musical interests. As a private, non-profit organization, the Community Music School’s mission is one of enrichment with a focus on public performances and community outreach.
Next up for CMS is the Essex Winter Series Master Class for clarinet, oboe and bassoon on Monday, February 11 at 4:00 pm. Planning is also underway for The Pearl Twirl: A Swellegant Affair, a 30th anniversary gala scheduled for April 20 as well as for Kate’s Camp for Kids, an exciting and new comprehensive summer performing arts camp to be launched this year in partnership with the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center . For more information on these and other Community Music School programs, go to www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.