Opus | March 2020

2020 March Opus

In This Issue

News at CCM

Meet the Nameless Trio

2019 – 2020 CCM Concert Series

Become a Music Promoter!

How the Brain Listens to Music

CCM Dates to Know

News at CCM

Congratulations to Clarinet Students Evvy Shoemaker and Claire Jennings 

Evvy Shoemaker



We celebrate the success of two CCM clarinet students that were accepted by competitive audition to the MMEA Eastern Junior District Ensembles. Congratulations to Evvy Shoemaker who was accepted to the Junior Eastern District Band and Claire Jennings who was accepted to the Junior Eastern District Orchestra. Excellent work Evvy and Claire! 



 CCM student Evvy Shoemaker

The audition requirements include a prepared piece that the district selects, scales and sight reading. Each students goes to three different rooms each with a different judge. It can be a stressful and challenging audition for young musicians.

 Claire JenningsClaire wasn’t sure how well she had done, not knowing the level of competition, but she heard later that day that she had been accepted to the festival, and was even more pleased to hear a few days later that she had been accepted for orchestra, which apparently is the most competitive group. 

Only approximately 50% of those who audition are accepted to participate in the District Music Festival, which will be March 13 - 14 this spring. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to perform with a high-level large ensemble.  


CCM student Claire Jennings

Spring 2020 Bonus Workshops

Alexander Technique - Why play in pain?

Bonus workshops inspire, challenge, and develop your music skills. Each workshop will expand your knowledge base and complements instrument lessons. The group sessions boosts everyone's passion for music. Find a workshop that will enrich your child's and your music learning>>

Freedom and Ease in Music Making: Alexander Technique for Musicians with Clara Sandler on Saturday, March 21, 2020, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Why play in pain? What happens if we are playing an instrument, walking, jogging, singing, or making any other physical movement while tensing our muscles and holding our neck stiffly?

In the 1890’s, an Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander developed a technique that is still used today in helping musicians and others rid themselves of the pain they get while taking part in a specific activity. Practicing an instrument in conjunction with trying to achieve perfection can cause unnatural stress on our bodies. 

Learn about the Alexander Technique so you can stop tensing while playing and instead maintain perfect posture. We want all our musicians to stop causing themselves undue pain in order to thoroughly enjoy playing their instrument.

The Alexander Technique helps one learn how to recognize stressors, how to sit, stand, and even breathe correctly to create your body’s natural state. This workshop is open to the public. Register today for this as well as other workshops>> 

Theories, Actualization, And Anarchy Recital | Peter Evans, CCM faculty & composer

CCM faculty Peter Evans

Sunday, March 8th at 7:30 pm

Hear Peter Evan's compositions as he presents performances of acoustic and electronic music. He'll be performing with fellow CCM faculty, Kitty Cheung-Evans and Tsuyoshi Honjo. If you think his CCM theory classes are fun and wacky, wait until you see this! For more information>>

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Nameless Trio

Meet the Nameless Trio

CCM piano faculty Chieko Loy has long professed the importance of students learning to perform with others. She says that unlike in an orchestra where the conductor determines how the musicians play the music, in a small ensemble, the musicians “bring their own thoughts to the music.” With this in mind, early in December of 2019, Loy took the initiative to arrange an ensemble performance for three of her students.

Mei Reed, Catherine Weng, and Jonathan Lobo had never performed in a trio before. With the support of their parents and under the instruction of Loy, CCM cello faculty Fabrizio Mazzetta and violin faculty Angel Valchinov, the trio began to meet on Saturday mornings to practice.

Mazzetta says that it is important for students to play in an ensemble because they get to practice “diplomacy and active-listening” and, in an even broader sense, learn tolerance. “We tend to focus on our self quite a lot during private lessons and individual practice...which does not permit as much a broader sense of collaboration,” says Mazzetta. Valchinov enthusiastically agreed that practicing with others promotes collaboration and says, “Life is full of opportunities and tests of how we can work with others.”

Jonathan remembers feeling nervous the first time they all got together to practice, and says that since they didn’t know the music super well yet, they sounded “not so great.” Catherine agreed that at their first meeting, the group had a hard time staying together. One challenge the group faced was learning to “balance” their playing. “When someone has the melody, they have to play louder, and the rest of us have to play softer,” says Catherine, “sometimes, we even had to play individually so that we could perfect the small details that go into the big picture.”

After months of practicing together and individually, the February recital finally arrived. The trio was nervous and scheduled to perform last, but excited to put all of their hard work on display. Up on stage, they not only made beautiful music but demonstrated the cooperation necessary to play with others. As the final notes faded away and the audience burst into applause, Weng says she felt the elation of success.

CCM's Nameless TrioDespite finding some aspects of their experience playing together challenging, Catherine, Jonathan, and Mei supported the idea of more students performing together. “At first, [playing together] is really, really hard, but you get to know everyone, and a month later it [develops] more and sounds better,” says Mei. Catherine had some advice for students considering forming a trio: “Even if you’re nervous about meeting new people, you’ll know that in the end after working together for so long you’ll create new friends and be closer-knit. You’ll have the experience to do more things”. The trio is enthusiastic about playing more together. Says Mei, “I’ve already got the new music!”

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CCM 2019 – 2020 Concert Series

CCM Jazz - Friday, April 17 at 7:30 pm

CCM’s 2019 -2020 Concert Seriespurchase your tickets today for our last concert of the season!

The Concord Conservatory of Music's 2019-2020 Concert Series brings world-class performers to our local community. Thank you to our generous donors including Middlesex Savings Bank,  Cambridge Savings Bank, Mass Cultural Council, the Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council, and The Dewey Rosenfield Foundation that have helped us bring the Series to our community. 

Friday, April 17 at 7:30 pm, CCM Jazz  ($25 for adults, free for students 18 and under)

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Become a Music Promoter!

Become a Music Promoter!

Music Promoters are those dependable, steady, and special friends who provide continuous support to CCM throughout the year. 

Your monthly gift helps to provide high-quality music education, performance opportunities, and free concerts to thousands of students and patrons in Concord and surrounding communities. 

Invest in future musicians and help build a community that provides music education to all. By choosing to give monthly, you would provide valuable help in sustaining CCM while reducing administrative expenses.

It’s easy to do. Choose your CCM Music Promoter Level by selecting your monthly giving amount.

$150 gift per month: Commits FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE so we never need to turn away a student. You'll be a CCM Benefactor.

$100 gift per month: Connects the CCM community to high-quality CONCERTS. You'll be a Concert Promoter.

$25 gift per month: Allows a budding young singer into a VOCALS CLASS. You'll be a Singer's Agent.

$10 per month: Delivers activities beyond private lessons like the CCM MUSIC ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM. You'll be an Activities Manager.

$5 per month: Keeps students engaged in MUSIC. You'll be an Education Leader. 

Join us today as a Music Promoter. Thank you.

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How the brain listens to music article

Interesting reading on how the brain listens to music: Even if the song is simple, listening to it is complex

Lyrics and melody receive separate attention once they enter the brain, research reveals. by Barry Keily

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CCM Recitals!

CCM March Dates to Know

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