Celebrating our CCM 2024 High School Graduates

Congratulations to our graduates!

Congratulations to all our 2024 high school graduates!

Some of our seniors share with us their individual musical journeys in their own words.

Nicholas Brady

Instrument: Violin Nick Brady

Plan for next year: Study engineering at Duke University

Nick’s thoughts: I started lessons at CCM in 2014. I kept taking lessons because I enjoyed having music as a creative outlet and an area of dedicated self-improvement in my life. I work on various biomedical engineering projects and run hurdles. I’ve been able to apply the same discipline that I’ve learned through music education to other activities – with some success!

Intensive instrumental study is an exploration of yourself as much as your instrument. Through no other pursuit have I gained as much insight into my character and learning. My teacher, Angel Valchinov, has been invaluable to my musical journey. Over the years, he’s provided experienced teaching on musicality and technique and genuinely connected with other aspects of my life. With an instrument as intrinsically personal as the violin, his interest in my musicianship as well as my growth as a human being have been vital.

Mia Lipson

Instrument: Violin Mia Lipson

Plan for next year: Study business at Bryant University

Mia’s thoughts:

I started lessons at CCM eight years ago when I was in fourth grade with Angel Valchinov. Throughout these years, I have learned how much playing an instrument has connected me to my community. I have had many opportunities to collaborate with others and share musical experiences. My violin teacher, Angel Valchinov, has been a big motivator, and I am very thankful to have been able to study with him all this time.

In addition to playing the violin, I swam all four years in high school, volunteered at the Children’s Center, and worked as a lifeguard. Playing in orchestras and ensembles and having private lessons has taught me to be patient, persevere, work hard, and demonstrate good leadership and communication skills. All of these have helped with my other hobbies by teaching me how to work well with others and never give up on something I enjoy.

Being able to play the violin has allowed me to meet new people and have new experiences. I enjoyed being part of multiple chamber groups at CCM, participating in the Music Achievement Program, and, most of all, going to my weekly private lessons. CCM has given me a special skill. I love knowing that I have the ability to play the violin. CCM has given me an appreciation for classical music, and I admire the talent people have for playing their instruments.

Throughout my music journey, Angel Valchinov has been extremely supportive. He has been understanding and helpful. I have been able to learn and grow into the musician and person I am because of his guidance and advice. I am very thankful for all that he has taught me, not only about music but also about life in general. He makes lessons fun by allowing me to talk about what’s going on in my life outside of music. It makes me feel we have a connection beyond playing the violin.

Thank you, CCM, for all that you have given me. I will forever remember my experience at CCM.

Quote from CCM parent Angela Lipson

Grayson Malitsky

Instrument: Guitar Gray Malitsky

Plan for next year: Attend Colby College and will spend the first semester in Spain

Gray’s thoughts:

I first started lessons when I was six years old in kindergarten. My mom had an old guitar that I used to play around with, so it was a no-brainer when she asked me what instrument I wanted to play. I remember going to a local shop and picking out a guitar with help from one of the employees. I think he could sense my excitement because I remember him giving me a stern talk about being responsible with the instrument and how to care for it properly. Returning home from the store, I just started playing it constantly, not really knowing what I was doing. I began lessons soon after and have been playing ever since. My interest and excitement surrounding the instrument kept me going, as well as the fantastic teachers throughout my time. As my life got busier, playing guitar served as a routine that kept me grounded and gave me an enjoyable break during the day.

My main hobbies include fishing during the warmer months and skiing during the winter. My music education did not overlap much with these activities, but because they are outdoor hobbies, playing guitar gave me a reliable activity when the weather kept me inside.

The major benefits I have gained from music instruction at CCM are, of course, learning and being able to play an instrument, but also having a productive activity. It has brought social benefits as friends and family love it when I play. It has provided consistency and structure to my life and has given me experience and confidence with being in front of a large group during a recital.

I had two instructors during my time at CCM, but my clearest memories are with my current instructor, Björn. He has been an amazing instructor along my music journey, giving me exercises to practice, techniques to work on, and feedback to help me improve. He has struck a perfect balance between helping me improve and making it fun. He asks for my input on which songs we learn, giving me the opportunity to play songs that I know and enjoy. Björn has been a joy to learn from and I am very grateful for his teaching throughout my time at CCM.


CCM students are welcomed on the Beyond the Notes stage

Students performing at Beyond the Notes

Embark on a musical journey this Friday, May 17, unlike any other, with Beyond the Notes, the brainchild of the visionary violinist Sarah Whitney. Surpassing the boundaries of classical norms, Beyond the Notes concerts invite attendees into a realm of interactive engagement.

The audience becomes a vital part of the performance, weaving their curiosity into the fabric of the evening. Patrons have the chance to plunge into the minds of the performers, as their questions spring to life on the stage, creating an electrifying symphony of conversation and melody. Friday’s concert will feature guest artist Joelle Lurie and include a partnership with the Powers Art Gallery.

Plan to hear our own CCM student musicians as they play prelude music at this unique and interactive concert experience starting at 7:15 pm. Get tickets today!

Meet the students who went the extra mile to perform in our community—why did they choose to play their instruments?

Mariana Cadavid on classical guitar

“I decided to play the classical guitar because its music had always sounded so beautiful to me, and the Spanish guitar looked pretty to me, as well. I wanted to be able to play it, and play the same music I’d grown up hearing.”

Anneleen Van Herck on piano

“Ever since I heard my dad playing waltzes and fugues on the piano, I knew I wanted to play it. The piano has the largest range of notes, and can function as both an accompanist and a soloist. Most of all, it can play many voices with different personalities and tones. This is what makes piano truly unique and beautiful to play! My love of piano has only grown since, from playing solo repertoire to chamber music.”

Thomas Kugler on violin

“I chose to play the violin when I was four when I attended an instrument petting zoo at CCM. I picked the violin because I liked the way it sounded.”

Bravo Mariana, Anneleen, and Thomas!

Beyond the Notes, Friday, May 17


News At CCM

Bluegrass Band Scramble

CCM Bluegrass Band Scramble

Enthusiastic jammers gathered on Saturday, April 27th, for our spring CCM Bluegrass Band Scramble. Four freshly formed bands, comprising a perfect blend of instrumentalists, embraced the musical challenges and savored the joy of playing bluegrass tunes. Equipped with coaching and ample practice, all participants eagerly took to the stage, amplified by a professional sound system.

This event was not about competition or prizes; it was a chance for musicians to come together, collaborate, and relish the sheer delight of performing bluegrass music in a supportive environment. It was an absolute blast!

Listening Project Playlist The Listening Project Playlist

This month, we explore music that dances to its own rhythm with unconventional time signatures. Our aim is to coax you, the listener, out of your comfort zone and encourage you to embrace compositions featuring incongruous and asymmetrical time patterns.

Let CCM faculty member Stephen Marotto’s playlist and accompanying questions guide your journey into the world of music exploration.

Remember to use your Listening Journal for additional thought-provoking questions to think about while listening to the selections. It’s a terrific way to start insightful conversations with your family, friends, or music instructor!

What do Fidelity, Raytheon, and State Street have in common?

They have matching gift programs—enabling you to double the impact of your gift to CCM and support excellent educational programming!

Your gift will go further in helping to provide high-quality music education and financial assistance. We deeply appreciate the generosity of our donors and their employers.

Won’t you please consider giving the gift of music today?

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