The milestone was significant and the support even greater at the Community Music School's (CMS) 30th anniversary benefit gala April 20. Presented by Landscape Specialties, "The Pearl Twirl: A Swellegant Affair" turned out more than 150 celebrants while raising more than $55,000 to support the school's music scholarships, music therapy services, and community outreach programs.
"Pearl Twirlers" gathered on the lawn of the Lyme Art Association (LAA) to enjoy refreshments, silent and live auctions, and Swing-era music performed by the school's faculty. Later, an Artful Patron Dinner was served inside the LAA galleries and featured a four-course dinner prepared by Jonathan Rapp, owner and chef of the River Tavern restaurant. The wine selection from Angelini Wine was carefully paired to complement each course served.
In addition to ticket sales and auction bids, funds were also raised through a special appeal to support scholarships for the new summer arts program being launched by the Community Music School in partnership with The Kate in Old Saybrook.
"We are thankful for the many friends and sponsors who joined us for this celebratory evening. Their extraordinary support provides a firm foundation for us to continue to expand our programs and community outreach so more people can benefit from the arts in their life," said CMS Executive Director Robin Andreoli.
Event sponsors included Covenant Kitchens & Baths, Inc.; Essex Savings Bank; Essex Financial Services; Bogaert Construction Co., Inc.; Fusco Corporation; Gowrie Group; Grossman Chevrolet Nissan; Kitchings & Potter LLC; Tower Laboratories, LTD; AJ Shea Construction, LLC; Brewer Pilots Point Marina; Cigna; Clark Group; Dime Bank; Essex Marine Group; Guilford Savings Bank; Leonardo & Associates PC; Lewitz, Balosie, Wollack, Rayner & Giroux, LLC; Madison Veterinary Hospital; Periodontics PC; Professional Planning Group; Reynolds' Garage & Marine; Ring's End; and Saybrook Ford. In-kind sponsors included Angelini Wine LTD; Coca Cola Bottling Company of Southeastern Connecticut; Joan Levy Hepburn; Kim Tyler Photography; and Leather Man LTD.
Since its inception in 1983, Community Music School has grown from five instructors teaching 40 students to 30 instructors teaching more than 500 students of all ages through private and group lessons, instrumental and voice ensembles, orchestras, music therapy, special events, and summer programs. Located on Main Street in Centerbrook, its geographic reach goes beyond the Connecticut shoreline with faculty and students from as far north as Hartford and west to New Haven. For more information on CMS programs and special events, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.