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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.

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.

Pakachoag Music School is excited to announce its relocation into the heart of the city.  We’ve moved our suburban headquarters from Auburn to Worcester, to the heart of the burgeoning cultural district. We are now more centrally located for all of Greater Worcester.

The move completes a six-month transition that began in January 2018.

With new studios, new offices and access to the church halls within All Saints, the School is ready for a new future.

Read about our move here:  Music School Moves Into Worcester

An open house is planned for Saturday, September 29th.  Details on the open house and a schedule of events is posted here.

Saturday, March 24, 2018 *
3:00 p.m.
All Saints Church, 10 Irving Street, Worcester

Sponsored by Security Engineered Machinery of Westboro

Free.

Suggested donation: $20 / $5 seniors and students

With faculty members Betsy Bronstein, Fiddle and Sam Politz, Accordian

Sam, a native of Louisiana, and partner Betsy will perform traditional South Louisiana Cajun music. They’ll share some interesting tidbits about the music’s origin, its history, and how Cajun music has been influenced by its cultural surroundings. As an added treat, audience members can learn how to do Cajun two-steps and waltzes.

*Snow Date: Sunday, March 25, 2018 3:00 pm

Andrew Lefferts, of Oxford, will join Inna Muranik in a piano four-hands Brahms arrangement on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Andrew is seventeen years old and is the seventh of eight children, all of whom have studied piano with Inna.   The families enrollment at Pakachoag has spanned more than 20 years making the Lefferts the School’s longest enrolled family.  Andrew has taken lessons with Inna since he was six years old.

Andrew writes:  “I have not only benefited from Inna’s technical instruction and constructive critiques, but especially love to learn by listening to her play. Most importantly, Inna has taught me that mistakes can be perceived as something to learn from, and nothing can be done without diligent daily work”.

Andrew is a member of the Worcester Children’s Chorus, and has participated for several years in theory classes at Pakachoag.  He writes his own music which has included a few submissions for video game competitions and computer performed orchestral pieces, as well as music for solo piano.

Last summer Andrew participated in the Lyra Music Festival at Smith College.  His end of festival performance of Schubert’s fourth Impromptu earned him a review noting “the most satisfying performance of the afternoon, with proper attention to the many dynamic changes in this beautiful piece.” (The Daily Hampshire Gazette, Mark Morford).

Andrew plans to take a gap year in 2017-2018 while preparing to pursue music as a major in college.

 

 

Photo courtesy Worcester Magazine

Pakachoag Music School is pleased to announce that it will expand its program offerings for the new year to include Classical Indian Sitar lessons.

Sitarist Usha Verma will teach lessons on Saturday mornings at the School’s central location in Auburn, just over the hill from Holy Cross College.  Ms. Verma is a graduate of Punjab University in Chandigarh, India where she earned a Masters of Liberal Arts specializing in Music.

Read more about Usha in Worcester Magazine here.

Usha first started playing Sitar at the age of 15 in high school, in Northern India.

Why did Usha choose to play Sitar? “I think the soft and relaxing sound of the Sitar inspired me the most to choose this instrument,” comments Usha.

Please call Pakachoag Music School at 508-791-8159 or email info@pakmusic.org for more information.

Let the Music Change Your Life!

…as we make Music for Life!

You can hear Henry play his winning jingle here (lyrics below):

Congratulations to Henry Wang, winner of our Music for Life! Jingle Contest.  Henry is 10 years old and from Auburn.  He is a Suzuki violin student, takes piano lessons, participates in theory classes, last year was in the theater program, and also plays with the Worcester Youth Orchestras.  He plays regularly in performance classes and recitals.  As you can see, Henry is very dedicated to music.  Thank you, Henry, for taking the challenge and writing such a nice jingle.

Lyrics (also by Henry Wang):

Lovely music everywhere.  Music for Life!
Pakachoag.
Everybody loves music.
Do, Re, Mi; Do, Re, Mi; Mi, Re, Do; Mi, Re, Do.

Come and join our music school.
Let the music change your life.
Everybody loves music.
Do, Re, Mi; Do, Re, Mi; Mi, Re, Do; Mi, Re, Do.

What is Music for Life?

The Music for Life! Campaign is re-shaping Pakachoag for students, today and tomorrow by:

  • Enhancing program delivery with geographic options, community outreach and local partnerships;
  • Increasing the percent of students receiving financial aid; and
  • Aligning our improved resources and capabilities to better deliver on our core promise, while positioning ourselves for sustainability

–all to benefit our students of the future and create greater community impact.  Read More.

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