Blog

Elevating the Arts, Engaging Creatively!

$50,000 Grant Awarded

Jim Canales of the Barr Foundation with Sarah Smongeski, Pakachoag Executive Director

We’re taking the next leap forward, thanks to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation‘s investment in Pakachoag with a $50,000 creative engagement grant. The program, administered in partnership with the Barr Foundation of Boston, will be supporting our work to become a more diverse organization, reflective of our changing world.

The overriding goal of Greater Worcester’s Creative Engagement initiative, in partnership with the Barr Foundation, is to elevate the arts and expand creative community engagement.

Our Pakachoag grant goals will be focused on:

  • Building organizational diversity;
  • strengthening capacity; and
  • engaging more dynamically with the Worcester community.

Below, Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director, has included her informal comments around the GWCF Creative Engagement Grant, as shared with families and guests during our May 2019 Recital weekend.

Learn more about the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and their Barr partnership here.

Learn more about the Barr Foundation’s investment in arts & culture here.

Setting The Stage, For the Future

Why the GWCF Creative Engagement Grant Makes a Difference and Why YOU Are an Important Part of This Project

Gleaned from May Recital Weekend Opening Comments by Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director.

YOUR participation as a current member of the Pakachoag family is VERY important – for the future of Pakachoag, the future of our community, and the future of our world!

A little dramatic?  Perhaps.

You are connected to Pakachoag in some way because you believe in the value of music.  At some point in the past, music likely touched you in a personal way.

But, there are  many in our community, and beyond, who have not yet found the music – in a lasting, personal way.

  • They may never have sung a beautiful folk melody as part of  Music Together class.
  • They may never have had the experience of hearing a live performance of classical music with a 100 member orchestra on stage.
  • They may not have had access when growing up to music making opportunities.
  • Some may never have considered why learning to play an instrument can be valuable as well as enjoyable.
  • Some do not have the resources to buy an instrument and invest in lessons.
  • And, many, understandably, do not know what they are missing.

TODAY we are fortunate in Massachusetts and Worcester to have civic leaders  who get “IT”.

  • They get that music is THE only activity that engages the entire brain.
  • They get that the research shows that youth involved in the arts not only find positive outlets for self-expression, but then those same young people are more likely to become socially and civically engaged throughout life.
  • They get that when you remain engaged in arts activities later in life, you are healthier – and that saves money in terms of the health care system.
  • And, perhaps most importantly, those same leaders, understand that the arts simply bring value to life, regardless of all the side benefits.

This weekend, I am really exicted to share that Pakachoag is the beneficiary of these leaders who get “it”.  We’ve been selected by Greater Worcester Community Foundation, in partnership with Boston’s Barr Foundation, to receive $50,000.    We are one of five Worcester non profits receiving a Creative Community Engagement grant for the coming year.  We anticipate working for two years, even three, to fulfill all of our goals connected to this grant award.

The over riding goal of the of the GWCF Creative Engagement program  through these grants is to elevate the arts and expand creative community engagement.

Our Pakachoag grant goals will be focused on:

  • Building organizational diversity;
  • strengthening capacity; and
  • engaging more dynamically with the Worcester community.

AND THAT is why YOUR participation this weekend – and throughout the year – is so important.  We cannot do this important work without you.

Thank you harmony fund donors and our On The Move donors:  Your gifts sustain the school and make every note we hear sung or played in our studios, performance classes and recitals possible.

Thank YOU – students and families.  You are a critical piece of the future.  As we work to grow, we need you to continue to make music, for yourself, and for the larger community.  As we welcome new families into the school and work to create more diversity, you set the stage for showing others what is possible.  When we share our music and learn together, that is when we create the greatest impact as a creative COMMUNITY, setting the stage for others who have yet to discover the huge powerful impact of music and the arts.

We thank Greater Worcester Community Foundation, in partnership with the Barr Foundation, for investing in arts, Worcester and Pakachoag with this special award to support engagement and capacity building.

Learn more about the  Greater Worcester Community Foundation’ partnership wit Barr here.

Learn more about the Barr’s Foundation investment in arts & culture here.

Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19

2:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Pakachoag Music School
The Sanctuary at All Saints
10 Irving Street, Worcester  01609

60 students will play throughout the weekend in four different recitals. All ages, all levels from all around Central Mass. This is our end of year celebration recognizing hard work and growth.

Each program will last roughly one hour.  We’ll also be acknowledging five and ten year milestones; and graduates.

Recitals are generally best suited for children aged 8 and up (but depends a bit on each child’s comfort in sitting and listening).

Parking available in back lot at All Saints, at WPS Durkin Admin Building next door on Irving Street, as well as on-street. If you have a disability, please call ahead to review logistics.

Adult Guitar Student from Dudley

Maria first came to Pakachoag in 2011 while in High School to take clarinet lessons. We were very happy that Maria stayed with us through the end of High School…. AND…then, Maria came back!

Following graduation from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Maria has returned to take guitar lessons each week with Jeff Dostal.   In addition to her music pursuits, Maria is also pursuing additional studies in library science.

Maria reflects…

I continue to take lessons at Pakachoag because I want to nurture my passion for music in the supportive environment that I grew up in. Through my studies at college, I’ve found that taking music lessons at Pakachoag gave me something else to focus on besides all the school work and helps relax me after a long day of studying.

What I like most about my Pakachoag teacher, Jeff is his openness to just go with the flow and helping me pick what material I want to study as it aligns with my interests. There was one moment at Pakachoag that stood out to me, last year, when I performed in the guitar recital, I ended up sounding the last chord to the song perfectly and letting it ring out. In that moment, I felt alive with the music, and a momentary sense of peace.

Amazing how music can do that!  Alive with music, but peaceful and so much  more.  We’re really happy Maria is back at Pakachoag!  May all your music-making and enjoyment continue, for life.

Open Office / Open School

June 20 and 21, 2019:  4 to 8pm

If you are new to Pakachoag and visit us during Open Office/Open School days on June 20 or June 21, 2019 between 4:00 and 8:00 pm and we’ll offer you 10% savings on a summer program or class; or register for fall lessons, and we’ll waive the registration fee.

Please let us know when submitting your registration on June 20 or 21 that you are requesting the discount.

This offer can only be made available if request is made at the time of registration.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

At The Worcester PopUp
20 Franklin Street, Worcester, MA  01608

Join Pakachoag Music School for a relaxed evening of guitar music at Worcester’s PopUp! We’ll be featuring students aged 8 to 18  playing a little of everything, electric and acoustic; folk, pop, rock, and perhaps a classical selection too.  The program serves as our end-of-year wrap-it-all-up performance with the students of faculty members Jeff Dostal and Josh Goldman.

#MakeArtEverywhere, #WorcesterCulturalCoalition #TheWorcesterPopUp 


Disclaimer:“The Worcester PopUp is a creative co-working space of the Worcester Cultural Coalition in partnership with The Barr Foundation. This event is not sponsored by, nor does it necessarily reflect the views of the Worcester Cultural Coalition.”

Learn more about arts in Worcester at WorcesterCulture.org

 

Music Together Spring Session 2019 Open Registration begins March 1st. We’ll be preparing for the Triangle Song Collection. All new song book, with CD, included as part of your tuition. Choose from five locations: Worcester, Auburn, Sterling, Sturbridge and West Boylston.
Classes also available at the Hanover Theater Conservatory.

Visit our Register Page to register online with credit card.
Visit our Music Together section for information on schedules, locations and more.

 

Supporting Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Development Through Music and Movement Activities

Coming up on March 12, 2019, join Music Together National for a free edWebinar.

Healthy social-emotional skills in early childhood can have a profound impact on a child’s overall development and learning. In fact, many early childhood experts see positive social skills as the most important factor for school readiness and later school success. Developmentally appropriate, participatory, group and dyad music and movement activities have special characteristics that not only support young children as they develop socially and emotionally but also support group cohesion in the classroom.

In this edWebinar, Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz will introduce participants to the important dimensions of social and emotional development and demonstrate fun and accessible songs and other music activities that support a range of social and emotional skills, including self-regulation, self-confidence, leadership, social competence, and emotional intelligence. You’ll leave this edWebinar with a deeper understanding of the ways in which music can naturally support children’s social and emotional development in the preschool years!

This presentation will be of interest to educators working with toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. There will be time for questions after Dr. Levinowitz’s edWebinar.

You can register here, at edWeb.net

Come ‘Experience The Harpsichord’

Harpsichord Masterclass, Demo and Concert
Saturday, March 16th, 2019 Harpsichord made by Robert Goble
3:00 pm Class & Demo
5:00 pm Concert, Sponsored by The All Saints Music Series

Come hear why the harpsichord is still alive and plucking. 

Ian Watson, Associate Conductor with the internationally respected Handel & Haydn Society and featured harpsichordist for the 1984 ‘Amadeus’ movie soundtrack, will lead us in learning about the instrument’s history and different types of harpsichords.  He’ll coach one or two pre-selected students, and conclude our time together with a spirited demonstration of the instrument.

Attendees are invited to stay for the 5 pm concert featuring Mr. Watson, Harpsichord, and Guy Fishman, principal cellist with the Handel and Haydn Society.

The Sanctuary at All Saints Church
10 Irving Street, Worcester, MA  01609

Handicapped accessibility available but please call us ahead – 508-791-8159  – to review logistics.

Learn more about Ian Watson.

Information about All Saints Church Music Series.

Read about Pakachoag’s Annual Special Events.

 

From beginners to high schoolers, this concert is energizing and inspiring as all of our Suzuki violin and cello families come together to share music – as part of an array of small groups.

The program will run from 6:30 to about 8:15 pm.  We begin with our littlest ones (around age 5 and 6) and proceed all the way up to our high school fiddle band.  The program closes out with everyone playing together!

If you are considering violin, viola or cello lessons in the future, this can be a fun way to introduce younger children to what it feels like (and sounds like) to be a string player.  If you are not enrolled with Pakachoag and would like to attend, please call ahead or email Sarah@pakmusic.org so we can confirm building entry, parking, and disabled access.

We’ll be in the Sanctuary at All Saints Church.

Star Musing

Saturday, March 9, 2018
2:00 pm

A Pakachoag Faculty Special Event

Join us for music with friends and colleagues.  Our relationships at Pakachoag are tightly anchored around our love for music and teaching.  A cluster of faculty are pairing up to present this concert featuring Four Hands Organ, Violins with Harpsichord, Soprano & More.

This will be our first official performance that includes the Goble Harpsichord donated in 2014 and recently repaired.  The All Saints Church organ, made by Aeolian-Skinner, is also included in this program.

Music by Debussy, Holst, Mozart, LaGrenzi and other surprise selections.

  • Victoria Bartolomeo, Soprano
  • Amy Matherly, Laurie Knorr, Janeen Baker:
    Violins with Harpsichord
  • Sheila Reid, Violin & Debby Sedgwick, Piano
  • Curtis Smith & Kristjon Imperio: Four Hands Organ

The Sanctuary at All Saints Church
10 Irving Street, Worcester, MA  01609

If you need special disabled access, please call ahead so that we can review logistics.  A ramp is available from Irving Street coming into the Sanctuary at front of Church.