Special Events

Our event listings are shown here by posting date – and may not appear in order of event date.  Each posting notes the exact event date.


Join Pakachoag Music School via YouTube for 21 Ways to Harmony, a set of seven conversations accompanied by music, airing throughout 2021.  The School’s first conversation will explore

From Music Lessons to Life in the Sciences: Parallels Beyond the Studio

with music school alumna Julia Nguyen, Ph.D., Chemistry.

Enjoy special music presented by faculty and student musicians.  We will also challenge you, through conversation, to think more deeply than usual about the role of music in life.  Our focus is on creating and uncovering harmony and commonality in music and in life.

Each conversation will be hosted by Pakachoag Director of Programs and Outreach, Kristjon Imperio.

We’ll post a link on this page around February 26/27 so you can find  us on You Tube.

February Feature No. 1

From Music Lessons to Life in the Sciences:
Parallels Beyond the Studio

  • Date: Saturday, February 27, 2021
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Platform:  Facebook/You Tube
  • Special guest:   Julia Nguyen, Pakachoag Alumna
    • Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Washington; Bachelor’s Degree, Williams College.
  • With special music selections with Pakachoag faculty and students.


Pakachoag Music School is entering 2021 with a refreshed commitment to building harmony as part of community – both within and without.

During a difficult 2020, where conflict surfaced all around us – locally and nationally – the School began to receive a different kind of feedback from parents and adult students about the importance of music-making in life and especially for mental health.

The repeated thanks and appreciation coming from School families around the importance of music stood in deep contrast to the divisiveness that was going on externally.

Conversations host and Pakachoag Program Director Kirstjon Imperio writes:  “In conversations amongst our staff and board members surrounding the challenges in our community and nation, we realize that these common ‘music messages’ stand as lasting principles, extending beyond popular and passing narratives.”

“My favorite college course was ‘Arts & Ideas’.  I love how the arts draw from a huge ‘library’ of culture and ideas, spanning time, circumstance and geography,” adds Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director.  “One can find so many commonalities among the arts over the centuries.  Differences bump up against each other but commonality is also present everywhere, no matter the musical genre or style; or artistic medium.   Our goal for Community Conversations is to peel away layers of stereotypes, differences and structures, using the framework of music to inform our understanding of cultural commonality,” says Executive Director Sarah Smongeski.

Throughout the year, Mr. Imperio will lead seven conversations, accompanied by student and faculty music.  With an array of varied conversational partners planned, we will be looking to uncover – perhaps even create — multiple “resolutions” as part of each conversation that can help each of us become aware of commonalities we might not have considered previously.  We want to encourage reflection on how we use those commonalities to create harmony in life, and provide a little inspiration for what it means to make music locally.  We often hear that music is the common language.  We plan to dig deeper to uncover what those commonalities CAN be, for 2021 and beyond.

Upcoming 21 Ways to Harmony:  Feature 2

Chasing Dreams to American Shores

Feature 2, to air in March, will explore commonality of the immigrant experience, using Irish fiddle music and poetry as our launching pad.

  • Date: St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17
  • Time: 6:30 PM
  • Place: Facebook/YouTube (Prerecorded)
  • Special guest: Worcester poet Curt G. Curtin
  • Featuring Irish Fiddle Music with Pakachoag faculty and students.


A New Year, A New Song

Introducing:  21 Ways to Create Harmony in 2021

View Event

Pakachoag Music School will share inspiring music and conversations for the New Year as we look at the many positive ways music and the arts contribute to community.

  • Hosted by Kristjon Imperio, Director of Programs and Outreach
  • Thursday, December 31st
  • 6:30 to 7:00 pm
  • Online via Pakachoag Music School on YouTube and Facebook

Featuring conversations, student and faculty music, & a special mystery guest!

We’ll post a direct link for ‘A New Year, A New Song’ on this page on 12/31/20

Join Pakachoag Music School Program Director, Kristjon Imperio, for conversations and music.  We’ll take a quick look back on how Pakachoag kept music alive in 2020 and share hopes for 2021, including the School’s vision for its new Pakachoag Connect program.  We’ll pause to enjoy faculty and student music, and explore with special guests how we can celebrate individual and cultural diversity, through music and the arts.  Be prepared for some cute/ heart-warming moments as student musicians share some favorites.

2020 has been a tough year, but music remains a strong positive in the life of many.  This New Year’s Eve event will be the first of an ongoing series focused on uncovering 21 Ways to Create Harmony in 2021.

More About A New Year, A New Song

Pakachoag Music School of Greater Worcester presents a New Year’s Eve conversation with music. Presented via YouTube, “A New Year, A New Song” will be the School’s kick-off, with a little holiday flair, for its new ‘21 Ways to Create Harmony’ Series.

Each conversation, presented roughly once a month, remotely and later in-person, will be looking to uncover one of 21 ways we can create harmony, locally and creatively in 2021. Pre-recorded faculty selections (alumna and guests in the future), as well as student performances, including a few cute/heart-warming moments, will be included.

For this first conversation, Kristjon Imperio, Director of Programs & Outreach, will look back on how Pakachoag kept music alive in 2020 and share hopes for 2021, including the School’s vision for its new Pakachoag Connect program.

Mr. Imperio will also be introducing a Pakachoag Music School alumna, a recent PhD recipient living on the west coast, who will speak to her own experience as a Pakachoag piano student and first generation American.

Mystery Guest!  Tune in to meet our January Mystery Guest

Future conversations will explore how we can celebrate individual and cultural diversity, through music and the arts. Mr. Imperio says the ultimate goal of the new series is to look at the many positive ways we can connect with each other, individually, and as participants in the creative community of Greater Worcester.

“I believe that our community has embraced the challenges of 2020 with incredible endurance and strength. While initially wearying, technology has transformed our culture – presenting each of us the opportunity to positively connect with each other in new and creative ways as we move towards a post-pandemic world.”

Mr. Imperio, the son of a South East Asian immigrant, has spent much of his own life reflecting on how cultural background influences so many aspects of life, including how we learn, how we create community and how we approach our life trajectory.

When asked why someone should take the time to tune in to this kick-off conversation, Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director, says: “We’re approaching this new year’s eve as ‘let’s celebrate all of the positives that are happening’ – despite a really difficult year. I would also say don’t under-estimate the cute factor. Seeing young people make music and doing so with such enthusiasm and commitment – it makes you feel good. Our youth are our future, and, when we see/hear others engaging creatively (even online), the outcome can be nothing but positive.”

Pakachoag invites you to spend an hour, via YouTube, on December 31st at 6:30 PM to enjoy the beauty of music and community in harmony as we plunge forward and enthusiastically into 2021.

21 Ways to Create Harmony is made possible, in part, with funding from the Creative Engagement Grant Program administered by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation in partnership with the Barr Foundation.

Check Back Here for a Direct Link on 12/31/2020.

Music Together® Facebook Live

Thursday, September 17, 2 PM EDT
with Dr. Lili Levinowitz and Susan Darrow

Making music as a family brings you closer together and naturally supports your child’s development in so many ways. That’s why as a Music Together® licensee, we say Music Learning Supports All Learning®!

Social distancing and remote work and school mean that a lot of us are spending more time together at home these days, so you might be looking for new family activities that are easy and fun for everyone. (Bonus if they are also educational!)

Playing musically with your little ones checks all the boxes, and Music Together Worldwide is going live on Facebook to give you the know-how you need to make music a part of your day.

Join us live on the Music Together Worldwide Facebook Page (@musictogether) at 2 PM (EDT) on September 17, for a conversation with Dr. Lili Levinowitz, Music Together® Coauthor and Director of Research, and Susan Darrow, Music Together Worldwide CEO. Lili and Susan will talk about the impact of music on early childhood development. They will share lots of family music activities you can try at home to support your child’s learning — plus tips on how music can help YOU through pandemic parenting!

Take a tour, remotely, with Pakachoag Music School and the Worcester Children’s Chorus

Learn about some exciting new program offerings and discounts with the Chorus and Pakachoag.
Hear from parents & teachers.
Learn about remote vs. in-person: how it works;
and more.

Dates: Choose

  • Wednesday, August 12 or
  • Tuesday, August 25

Registration for 8/25 is open until 4 pm 8/24.
Please submit your registration at least 24 hours in advance so we may plan ahead.  Thank you.

Times:  Pick

  • 12 noon or
  • 4:00 pm

Please complete the quick registration form below by the requested deadline, so we can send you a private, secure link in advance of your selected date/time.

What to Expect

  • Meet faculty and parents to hear about our fall programs
  • Remote v. In-Person: How it Works
  • Enjoy student performances
  • Tour the Music School and Chorus remotely
  • Ask your questions
  • Learn about discounts and registration

Plan for 30 minutes for our remote tour.  If you have additional questions, we’re happy to set up a follow-up meeting.

Music for Fall Open House

  • Will you have anyone else attending with you?
  • Please submit by clicking below. We'll follow up with a zoom link (your link will include a password as part of the link) in advance of your selected Virtual Open House date.

    When you click to enter meeting, you'll be held in a waiting room until our host confirms entry.

  • If you need any guidance on how to set up zoom, you can let us know here.

Want to know a bit more ahead of time?

Meet the Chorus’ Phil Montgomery, Associate Director, and Pam Mindell, Artistic Director, here.

Meet Phil and Pam

Or, hear a little music from one of Pakachoag’s private lesson students with teacher here.

Enjoy Grieg for Four Hands Piano

COVID restrictions getting to you? Feeling isolated or down? We’d like to invite you to hear the future!

Harmonies From Home will feature over 40 students of Pakachoag Music School in three streamed recitals. And, we’ll have an extra treat with selections by the Worcester Children’s Chorus.

We’re inviting everyone to join us (at home). Bring your tea (or a cocktail), your lunch or supper, invite a friend to join you remotely, and listen for the future.

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

  • 1:00 pm
  • 7:00 pm

Sunday, June 14, 2020

  • 5:00 pm

Each recital will feature roughly 15 students, and last 30 to 45 minutes (we think – information still being compiled at this time).

You do to need to be a facebook user to view the recitals.  When visiting Facebook, you can by-pass the pop up page asking you to join by looking toward bottom page and clicking ‘not now’ or ‘join later’.

Visit our Facebook Page at the designated times to join us.

At Pakachoag, we know that Music is for Life! Every skill learned, every hour of practice accompanies a music student through life, as they work to pursue their dreams in school and beyond.

We’ll be streaming via our Facebook page on Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14. Each performance includes beginners to advancing students, aged 6 and up.   Join us for any one, two or all three of these events.

Harmonies from Home is our way of sticking together, finding inspiration, and sharing music with community, as we move through COVID-19 and beyond.


March 14, 2020

  • Our Spring Session Music Together start date is delayed by two weeks.  We anticipate a start date of Saturday, April 4th.
  • Private music lessons will be on hold for the week of March 16th through March 21st.  Please prepare to Zoom starting March 23rd.  Watch for more information coming from Kristjon or Sarah.
  • Group classes:  Please watch for emails or check in with us at admin@pakmusic.org.
Dear Donors, Families and Friends.
I just wanted to be in touch to let you know that we have cancelled our March 21st Faculty concert. We hope to re-schedule at a later date.
We have been in communication with all enrolled students yesterday.
  • We are pausing all activities this coming week.
  • We have delayed the onset of our Spring Music Together Session by two weeks, with an anticipated start date of April 4th.
  • The office will be on an irregular schedule. We encourage emails. If you need to visit, please call ahead.
  • We continue to disinfect key surface areas at the school and piano keyboards between each lesson.
  • We have updated our Health Policy for Music Together classes where we also disinfect surfaces and all instruments being used after each class.
  • We’ll re-assess at the end of this week our plans for next week with regard to private lessons
  • We’re also asking private lesson parents to become familiar with Zoom (similar to Skype) as a back-up plan should remote teaching be needed. Our teachers will also be practicing zooming this week.
I admit that this morning I feel some anxiety about all that is swirling around us. Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Mass. Cultural Council said it best on Thursday:
…while we know that social isolation is prescribed as the best protective factor now, it is also true that the arts and culture are a powerful source of healing in these times of high stress and anxiety. We want to explore together alternative ways of delivering our essential services in the absence of the human touch and community that is so much a part of our work. …. In unprecedented times, creativity, and innovation lead. This is our superpower.”
This will be a disruptive time for all of us. Let’s keep making and listening to music – because we know Music is for Life! not just today and tomorrow.
As always, we thank you for your support.
Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director Kallin Johnson, President of the Board
Emma Gregory will play clarinet

Emma Gregory, Clarinet

Drop-In Concert

Friday, March 6th
5:00 to about 5:45 pm
Vinton Hall, 2nd Floor at All Saints, 10 Irving Street

On Friday, March 6th, four Pakachoag faculty will present a mini-concert to bring some live music to Afternoon Tunes and Pakachoag students and friends.

Reserve Your Ticket

Drop In Reservation

To help us plan for seating for the drop-in concert, please reserve your ticket in advance using the button below.

We’ll be playing celtic harp, piano, clarinet and flute.

Please allow a little extra time for parking as the back church lot is busy on Fridays.  Overflow parking is available as of 5 pm in the WPS Durkin Admin. Building lot; also on-street with meter on Irving and Oxford streets.  Entry is at the back of church, off Pleasant Street; toward the right of the parking lot.

The drop-in is informal and particularly appropriate for Music Together families, Pakachoag students who cannot attend the full concert on March 21st,  or families interested in learning more about Pakachoag or the Afternoon Tunes Program.

About Afternoon Tunes

Afternoon Tunes student takes piano lessonsAfternoon Tunes is a free music lesson program for neighborhood children sponsored by All Saints Church.  High School aged student teachers teach elementary aged students.  Music and instruments are provided on loan.

The program takes place on Fridays during the school year, with lessons scheduled in every room, nook and cranny possible within the All Saints building.  Student teachers are coordinated by the AT Student Leadership Team and mentored by a professional educator.  All Saints’ choir members provide volunteer support.

Learn more about Afternoon Tunes at https://www.allsaintsw.org/afternoon-tunes


Faculty Concert with Harp, Clarinet, Piano

The Night Dance: Folk Music of Ireland and Dance-Inspired Classical Selections.

“Strike the gay harp!  See the moon is on high…  oh could such heart stirring music be heard” from Thomas Moore’s The Night Dance.Celtic Harp to be featured in March 2020 concert

Enjoy the beautiful traditional melodies of Ireland played by accomplished harpist and Pakachoag faculty member Susan Page Howland.  We’ll also treat you to some classical selections inspired by dance including an unusual transcription of a Bach Chaconne with pianist Kristjon Imperio and more recently composed dance-inspired songs for Clarinet performed by Emma Gregory.

The Worcester County Poetry Society joins us, reading dance-inspired poetry, including Thomas Moore’s The Night Dance.
Our featured performer Susan Page Howland, an award-winning harpist in her youth, holds a degree in music from New England Conservatory.  As a music student, Susan studied with a number of prominent harpists including the renowned Marcel Grandjany, faculty member at the Julliard School until his death in 1975.

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

2:00 pm

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


Generously Sponsored by Paul and Patti Verderese

Reserve Tickets


Welcome to Pakachoag Music School and All Saints Church.  The school resides in the south wing of the church, on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  We are appreciative to have access to this architecturally stunning space for special events.  We are also appreciative to be able to present this concert with faculty AND friends – members of the All Saints Choirs and The Worcester Children’s Chorus.

  • Thank you to our program sponsor SEM, Security Engineered Machinery, for making this concert possible.
  • Thank you to all of the School’s donors and grantors whose annual gifts sustain our work from year to year.
  • Thank you to Mary Keefe, Worcester State Representative, for the concert’s Opening Welcome.

Why A Concert for MLK Day

Remarks by Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director

Pakachoag Music School, as a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, is built upon a mission that includes a commitment to quality in arts education AND a commitment to access.  For Pakachoag, as a not-for-profit, access  is tied to our financial aid program (we’re typically awarding around $30,000 right now in tuition support); access also means doing our work in ways that ensure we are connecting, embracing and welcoming the larger Greater Worcester community we serve.

Today’s program is part of a larger vision within the National Guild:  ensuring equal access to the arts for persons of all backgrounds.  Equal access is not yet fulfilled in this country – or in this world – – but its a dream we all need to hold on to.

Today, what better way to be thoughtful about how we achieve that vision of equal access to the arts than to acknowledge similar inspiring themes, through music; themes that defined the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.:  Social Justice, Equity, Civil Rights, achieved through love and non-violence.

About the Music

Much of the music you will hear today is written within the context of religious themes.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was of course a Baptist pastor; plus, the distinct genre of spirituals – a uniquely African American folk music — express very personally and deeply the  African American experience during slavery and its very long aftermath.  And so, while we are not a religious organization, we musicians well know that our western musical heritage grew first from within the church.  Musicians and composers – whether informal folk musicians or composers formed through the classical traditions –  so many have always been and continue to be inspired by themes that link to both humanity and spirituality.

Today, we present this concert as an expression of the dreams that we share as a community; dreams that have the potential to touch and change every person, in our community and around the world, regardless of faith background or ‘no faith’ background –   dreams for peace, equality, justice; dreams of harmony.

Music Selections for Dreams of Harmony, January 20, 2020

Precious Lord, Take my Hand            Thomas Dorsey
You’re Tired, Chile Spiritual / arr. Roland Hayes
Deep River Spiritual / arr. Mark Hayes
Chris Carney, Tenor & Kristjon Imperio, Piano

I’m So Glad Trouble Don’t Last Alway R.  – Nathaniel Dett
Adoration for Organ  – Florence B. Price
My Lord, What a Morning  – arr. H.T. Burleigh
Members of the All Saints Choirs, Graeme McCoullough, Director / Organist

 Cantata for voice and piano John Carter:  Composed 1964; 1932-1981

  1. Prelude
  2. Rondo: Peter Go Ring dem Bells
  3. Recitative: Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
  4. Air: Let Us Break Bread Together
  5. Toccata: Ride on King Jesus

Chris & Kristjon

This Little Light of Mine –  Trad / arr. Ken Berg
Sisi ni Moja (We are One)  – Jacob Narverud
The Worcester Children’s Chorus —Pamela Mindell, Conductor

Make Them Hear You Music by Stephen Flaherty
from the musical Ragtime Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Chris & Kristjon


Many thanks to all who turned out to enjoy the music and celebrate the Dream.

Faculty & Friends Concert

Dreams of Harmony:  Music and Reflections for Martin Luther King Day

Monday, January 20th, 2020

2:00 pm

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

A Pakachoag Faculty Special Event, with friends:  The Worcester Children’s Chorus and The All Saints’ Choirs.

Pakachoag Music School invites you to join us for musical and spoken reflections on the contributions and dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr.  The program features tenor and Pakachoag faculty member Christon Carney, with pianist Kristjon Imperio in art songs, spirituals, and “Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime.

We’ll be joined by Pakachoag students, the Worcester Children’s Chorus, and members of the All Saints Choirs in this program of reflection and inspiration.


Faculty Concert with Harp, Clarinet, Piano

The Night Dance: Folk Music of Ireland and Dance-Inspired Classical Selections.

  • With special guest The Worcester County Poetry Association

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

2:00 pm

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


Featuring Susan Howland, Celtic Harp; Emma Gregory, Clarinet; and Kristjon Imperio, Piano.  Enjoy the beautiful traditional melodies of Ireland played by accomplished harpist Susan Howland.   We’ll also treat you to an unusual transciption of a Bach Chaconne and more recently composed dance-inspired songs for Clarinet.  Members of the Worcester County Poetry Association will share readings similarly inspired by dance, including Thomas Moore’s The Night Dance.


Honors Student Masterclass & Social

With select high school students

Friday, April 3rd – 7:15 pm

Watch for more information in the new year.