Opus | February 2020

February 2020 Opus

In This Issue

News at CCM

Mile Twelve Delivering Inspiring Stories

CCM Welcomes New Board Members

The CCM American Roots Benefit

2019 – 2020 CCM Concert Series

CCM Dates to Know

News at CCM

Uke for Seniors

Uke for Seniors

We have added a new class at the Concord Conservatory of Music, Ukulele for Seniors starting February 12th, 3:00 - 4:00 pm! The class meets for one-hour to learn the easy, fun, and travel-friendly instrument, the ukulele! This comprehensive class offers a fundamental approach to learning the ukulele for students of varied musical backgrounds. Grab that uke you've had in the closet for years and come on down and learn how to play with a great group! And, no previous musical experience necessary.

Learn more>>

Singing with Parkinson’s Chorus Shares their Songs and their Wisdom

Parkinson's Chorus

To become a singer, it helps to understand how the human voice works and learn vocal exercises you can use to help develop your skills.  That’s just what our members of the Singing with Parkinson’s Chorus learn each week.  In early January, the chorus shared with the Parkinson’s Support Group at Newbury Court, songs from their repertoire, breathing and simple vocal exercises that they use to strengthen their voices and facial muscles. 

Chorus Director, Dr. Greta Feeney, presented a talk to the support group on how the voice produces sound. The benefits of participating in a chorus can help people living with Parkinson’s disease—it can enhance their vocal volume and range. The use of music and rhythm also improves their movement.  The chorus demonstrated to the group that people with Parkinson’s disease are not limited to their capabilities.  Caregivers and spouses attend for the supportive atmosphere and the opportunity to sing in the group.  The session culminated in a sing-a-long of the Beatles Ob La Di, Ob La Da.  The chorus is funded in part by a generous grant from the American Parkinson’s Disease Association – MA Chapter and local donations. 

The Bluegrass Band Scramble Returns

Bluegrass Band Scramble 2020

What do you get when you put 25 bluegrass enthusiasts all together in one room?  A Band Scramble with five bands!  The CCM Bluegrass Band Scramble brings together bluegrass enthusiasts from around the Boston area, who are randomly placed in bands. Each group then rehearses for a couple of hours to produce a four-song set, a band name, and a backstory for their band.  Remarkably, at the Scramble in January, three of the five bands claimed to have met their bandmates in prison.  What does that say about our participants? 

One musician shared that “playing in a band scramble was like getting to play on a new soccer team for an afternoon.”  With musical experience ranging from novice to advanced, they worked together and shared new song ideas and interpretations. The afternoon culminated in a free concert for the public with lilting harmonies and tight performances.  The next Bluegrass Band Scramble will take place at CCM on Saturday, May 2.

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Mile Twelve Delivering Inspiring Stories

Mile Twelve

Beyond Mile Twelve playing thoughtful and energetic bluegrass music, they are passionate storytellers tackling challenging topics. Before attending Friday evening’s concert at CCM, read on to gain insight on the band, and what’s important to them.

What are some of the topics you covered in your new album, and what stopped you previously from tackling these?

In the new album we take on more serious topics, both on the micro and macro scale. The song "City That Drowned" is a parable, it's the story of a city that will not reign in its own greed and refuses to heed the warnings coming from within. The city meets a terrible fate. "Journey's End" is a song that wonders out loud how to find a way back to somewhere that the narrator recognizes, when the world has fallen into chaos. These weren't topics that we avoided before, but they became so much more relevant given the state of the world today.

Who wrote which songs and how it was personal for them?

For Nate, the song "Liberty" is very personal. It's based on the story of his own family's immigration to America, and their perilous journey as refugees. The song "Jericho," written by Evan, is the story of a soldier's return home from war, and the invisible marks it has left on him. It’s the story of many soldiers who've come back from battles abroad.

Other topics you'd like to explore and write about in the future?

It’s all on the table. One thing we always want to do is write in a way that feels authentic. We never want to feel like we're pretending in our songwriting. That's not to say that every story has to be literally true to us, but it needs to feel authentic to us. We don’t know yet what our next album will be about, but we hope it’s an evolution in songwriting and arranging.

Any specific feedback you have received from fans? Has anyone approached you about how a song hit a "chord" with them?

Jericho and Liberty have both hit audience members personally. Many people whose families came to the United States as refugees have talked about their experiences with Nate after hearing the song, and many veterans have approached Evan to discuss how "Jericho" reminded them of their own struggle.

Do you have memorable charitable work that you performed as a group?

We actually did a fundraiser last year for a Veterans group in Boston, in honor of the song "Jericho." We reached out to our fans to raise money to give to the New England Center and Home for Veterans. It was a very special cause.

And, anything new that you'd like to share with our community?

We really loved our show in Concord last year and we've been looking forward to coming back. We'll be doing something special at this show. We'll be playing the legendary folk album "Fiddler's Green" by one of our heroes Tim O'Brien. Then we'll play a whole set of our own music. This will be a really fun challenge for us, and we love this album so much it will be an honor to play it.

We are thrilled to welcome Mile Twelve back to perform this Friday, February 7th.

To purchase your tickets in advance>>

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CCM Welcomes New Board Members

New Board Members

Tenley O'Shaughnessy

Tenley was raised in a family that appreciated making music. She played the clarinet in her youth and enjoyed the chance to pick the instrument up again for amateur-hour family trios when her children were learning to play instruments in school.  Tenley, a twenty-year resident of Concord, MA, was excited to find the Concord Conservatory of Music among the town resources – and that it offered beginner ukulele classes.  Her sister, who hasn’t met an instrument or music group that she won’t try, introduced Tenley to the ukulele, and CCM got Tenley started.  What’s next?  Maybe one of the singing classes?  Guitar?  Tenley, like many a Concord-area resident, is lucky to have the choice (and is thankful that try-outs aren’t required!)

Tenley has twenty years of experience working in technology sales, marketing, and strategic alliances at ENTEX Information Services (now Siemens), CMGI, and IDe.  Most recently, she worked as a marketing consultant for clients such as Workscape (now ADP), Insight Experience, and the TEAK Fellowship overseeing marketing projects such as website design, Salesforce implementation, market data analysis, and marketing communication. Tenley received a BA in Management & Economics with an MIS minor from Simmons College and her MBA from Rice University.

William Lawler

Music has been in Bill’s blood since he was a kid growing up on the campus of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, where his father was responsible for the campus grounds.  A banker, Bill started out right here in Concord with Middlesex Savings Bank. He later took his career to southern Florida, where he was most recently a Senior Vice President with Bank United.  After living in sunny Florida for twenty years, Bill relocated back to his roots of Massachusetts and Concord to get reacquainted with the cold and where he is currently an AVP with Cambridge Savings Bank. 

Throughout his career, Bill has taken a leadership role at many non-profits in the community, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Broward County, the American Cancer Society, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Bill credits the Concord Conservatory of Music with providing a home for music education and enjoyment in our area.  Which instrument he will pursue has yet to be decided!  Bill received his degree from Bentley University.

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 The CCM American Roots Benefit

2020 American Roots Benefit

CCM American Roots Benefit on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at 6 pm

An evening of exceptional bluegrass, BBQ, bourbon, and a fantastic night to support your community music school and music education in our area.

This year’s Benefit will take place at the Scout House in Concord and will feature the band The Ruta Beggars—a timeless bluegrass band filled with intricate yet smooth vocal harmonies, fiery instrumentals, and plenty of fun.

By attending the CCM American Roots Winter Party,  our community members have access to outstanding faculty, music programs for students of all ages, and financial assistance to those that need our help. You can make a difference, RSVP today!

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CCM 2019 – 2020 Concert Series

Mile Twelve

CCM’s 2019 -2020 Concert Seriesmark your calendars or better yet, purchase your tickets today!

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, February 7 at 7:30 pm, Mile Twelve - Bluegrass ($25 for adults, free for students 18 and under)

Saturday, February 29 at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could ($20 for all tickets)

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

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CCM February Dates to Know

Rasa Vitkauskaite with student

  • Saturday, February 8 at 1 and 2:30 pm, Student Recitals
  • Monday, February 17 through Sunday, February 23rd, Winter Break
  • Thursday, February 27, Opportunities for CCM students to perform in the community, 3:45 -4:45 pm
  • Saturday, February 29, Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could concerts, 11 am and 2 pm

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