December, 2015

December 2015 Opus


CCM News
Behind the Scenes Free Trial Lessons!
Spotlight on Rhythm Instruments
Why Music Matters? Why We Judge Others for Their Musical Taste
Upcoming Performances 



Kimberly Moller and Gina Razon sing Messiah

CCM Faculty Members to Perform in Handel's Messiah December 6th
Voice faculty members Kimberly Moller (left) and Gina Razon (right) will perform Handel's Messiah this weekend! It's free to the public and downtown at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, 88 Temple Street, Boston. Kim is the  soprano solo and Gina is the mezzo. It's at 4 PM on Sunday the sixth.

The program will also be televised at a later date.

Concert & Lecture Series Session Three
On Friday, December 11th at 7 p.m., and Sunday, December 13th at 3 p.m., Keith Kirchoff and Ela Brandys present the third session in our Concert & Lecture Series. "Where have I heard that before?" examines how composers have borrowed from the popular music of the day and integrated that music into their compositions. Music by Liszt, Bartok, Mozart, Ives, and Ysae will be featured.

Friday’s Concert & Lecture takes place at CCM, 1317 Main Street; on Sunday, the event is presented at Newbury Court, 100 Newbury Court. Tickets are $25 for adults; students under 18 are admitted free. Tickets are available online or at the door.

To read more about the series, or to buy tickets, please visit here.

Upcoming Recitals
The talent and preparation of our students really has shone through at our recitals! Come check one out--the next ones are being held December 10th at 7 p.m.; December 12th at 1, 2:30, and 4 pm; and December 17th at 7 p.m.

"Ooroo" to Erica, "G'Day" to Diane!
Erica Hughes, CCM's first-ever registrar, is leaving us after a great tenure. She streamlined many of our internal systems and her cheerful nature was appreciated by all of us. Erica's off to Australia,where she holds dual citizenship, to pursue graduate studies.


Group Classes at CCM

Do you want to learn a new instrument, or take your playing to the next level? The Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) is offering an opportunity to explore its many musical options during its “free trial” week.

Starting December 7th and running through December 12th, CCM is offering free introductory trial lessons for many instruments—voice, flute, clarinet, saxophone, cello, violin, piano, guitar, bass, and percussion. Lesson times range from the early afternoon to evening Monday through Friday, and Saturday morning and afternoon. Available times for the free trial lesson depend upon the instrument. “This is an excellent opportunity to get to know CCM’s musical community and have a free lesson with our very talented instructors,” says Kate Yoder, executive director and founder of CCM. “It is almost like having a master class for a trial lesson.”


In addition to free trial lessons for its private lesson programs, CCM is also offering free introductory sessions for two of its signature group classes—Musical Kids and Keyboard and World Rhythms for Kids—that same week.

Musical Kids and Keyboard is a class designed for the young musician—four to five years old. It features musical games and integrated movement, and the young kids have fun learning simple songs on the keyboard. Linda Emmanuel, who teaches the course, adds, “I encourage students to share their enthusiasm and enjoy making music—the class is so much fun the kids do not even know they are becoming young musicians!” The trial class will be offered Thursday, December 10th, from 3:30-4:15 pm, which will also be the class time.

Explore the exciting world of drumming.  CCM is offering a free trial class in World Rhythms for Kids on Wednesday, December 9th, from 4-4:45 pm. Kids ages 6 – 8 will explore the beats of Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe using hand drumming. The class helps students develop a sense of pulse, deepens concentration, increases attention span, and improves hand-to-eye coordination. “We focus on tempo, syncopation, even get into some polyrhythms. This class is an excellent foundation for all instrumental studies,” says CCM instructor Mike Connors.

For more information, or to register for a group class, please call 978-369-0010, visit, or email



Mike Connors teaches World Rhythms for Kids

Leave the drums unguarded for a minute...

Mike Connors Marches to His Own Beat
To take the picture above, I asked for some volunteers around the conservatory. These four girls were the first ones I asked, and they jumped at the chance. "Where do you keep the drums?," they wanted to know. We got the drums set up and without hesitation they began playing. (Any lack of unison or poor technique n is my fault, not CCM percussion faculty member Mike Connors's.)

Mike's got a theory. Well, he's got lots of them, but this one is particularly relevant. "Pretty much everyone likes to play the drums. You get such immediate make some pretty cool sounds right away, you can coordinate with the other drummers--it's really something. Students don't evern realize how much they're learning!"

How much indeed. The highly interactive group classes teach pulse, rhythm, basic rhythm theory, dynamics, ensemble playing..."By the time they're through with a basic course, most students--regardless of age--will be able to read 16th-beat rhythm patterns."

The rhythm classes--from kids to senior citizens--teach polyrhythms in many musical genres--African, South American, Eastern European, and so on.

Email Mark Ford to learn more about group rhythm classes!

"Rhythm is fundamental to every type of music," continues Mike. "You can apply what you learn in a World Rhythms class to any other instrument, and you'll be ahead of the game." Kate Yoder, executive director and founder of CCM, agrees. "Kids love playing our hand drums...parents love what their kids take away from the class."


One Direction, Many Tastes?

One Direction is a band that is often put down for being "too simple," (though their legions of fans might disagree).

Rubbish Music
Research shows that musical taste is not the same as being left-handed; that is to say, we can learn to like better music. We just don't have to. READ ON!



Stomp! Rhythm and Percussion

Hanover Theater, Worcester, Sunday, January 10, 2016, 2 p.m.; tickets $26 (discounts available)

Stomp is explosive, inventive, funny, and amazing. If you haven't seen it, go! Everything is used as a rhythm instrument--except traditional percussion instruments...

Fiddle Player at the Celtic Music Fest

Boston's Celtic Music Fest
Club Passim and other locations, Cambridge, MA; January 8-9; tickets $13-35 ($13 for Saturday morning, $35 for whole festival).

This 13th annual festival combines music, dance, storytelling, and audience participation. Saturday morning's performance at Passim is particularly geared toward families--songs, storytelling, and other entertainment. A great time with some accomplished musicians!