Web page last updated: Friday, 6/26/2020

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7/25/20

 

Dear NCMC Families & Friends,

 

I hope this finds you all well, and I want to thank everyone in Western Massachusetts for helping lead by example how best to keep this virus at bay, with proper social distancing and face coverings.  As emotionally challenging as it continues to be for all of us, we must remain vigilant for each other's health and safety.

 

In this spirit, the Northampton Community Music Center has made the choice to open in the fall with exclusively online programming.  Our teachers have shown tremendous ingenuity in providing quality instruction to NCMC’s students in the virtual environment, and we have thoughtfully designed programs and projects we believe will be of value to our students.  We promise to continue our assessment and preparations for how and when we can begin safely transitioning back to the learning environment we all love and miss.  Until then, we are appreciative of your confidence in us, your support of our decision, and your devotion to our organization.

 

NCMC is now accepting applications for registration for the 2020-21 academic term, which will begin September 14.  In addition to private lessons, we are excited to present a slate of online group classes in which to participate. The fall season for all group classes will last 12 weeks from mid-September to mid-December, with a hopeful eye on modifications to our programming format that may be safely introduced after the holidays.

 

Thanks to generous support from our community, both near and far, NCMC is proud to continue making financial aid available to those who apply and qualify.  Financial aid applications should be submitted for approval before the registration form, so the appropriate deductions can be applied to those students’ accounts.

 

NCMC is also proud to welcome Kimberly Hoff, who will succeed Adriana as NCMC’s Registrar.  Kim comes to us with many years of leadership experience in the nonprofit world and with tremendous enthusiasm for our work and our mission.  I know you will all give her a warm welcome when you meet her.

 

Lastly, Sam is in the process of compiling this year’s Summerfestvideo. Thank you to everyone who submitted performances and testimonials.  We will be releasing the final video on August 8th over social media and hope you enjoy watching it.

 

I hope you are enjoying your summer, and are eager to continue your musical journey with us.  We miss having your joyful sounds serenade us during our workday, and we miss your smiling faces.  Despite the challenges in the world around us, it is important to keep the music playing, and we at NCMC are here to help you do just that.

 

We will see you soon!

 

Sincerely,

 

Jason Trotta

Executive Director

PAST CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT NCMC AND COVID-19:

5/8/2020

NCMC Friends, Families, and Community,

 

After much deliberation and continued assessment of best practices around COVID-19 health and safety measures, NCMC has made the decision to cancel or postpone all June and July programming. The safety of our community is our first priority at this time and while we regret not being able to provide a program experience for our students, we believe it is imperative to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

 

Private lessons online here are available remotely, but programs are on hold.

 

Links to summer program brochures are still available below for you to peruse (remember these for next year as we plan to offer these beloved programs again next summer!). NCMC has closed is in the process of refunding all paid registrations for these programs.

 

Please join our mailing list to stay up to date with new information and modified summer opportunities.

 

Wishing you safety and wellness!

 

Sincerely,

NCMC Staff

 

4/27/2020

Dear NCMC Faculty Members, Students, Families and Friends,

 

I hope this finds you all well. We sincerely miss seeing all of you, and hearing everyone's joyful noises around our building. I know someday soon we will all be together again.

 

Building Now Closed Through June 30

As you have probably heard by now, Governor Baker has mandated the closure of all schools through June 30th, and NCMC will be doing the same. Fortunately, the music plays on. The reports of all of the wonderful work our students continue to do online with NCMC's teachers is gratifying and inspiring. Thank you for your devotion to our organization and keep up the great work!

 

Summer Programs

We are still accepting registrations for all of NCMC's summer programs, as well as private lessons. We have officially moved the date of our Summer Chamber Music Program to August 10-14, and are now accepting audition videos until May 22. Our Summer Rock Band Program and Music Discoveries Programfor now remain as originally scheduled, but if necessary will be rescheduled for August, as well. We will keep you up to date as things progress.

 

Springfest... Now, Summerfest

Springfest has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 8 and will now be called Summerfest. We hope to be able to gather downtown in our beloved traditional format, but are making plans for an alternative online event should safety guidelines require it. More to come on this.

 

Video "Shout-Outs" and Practice-athon

We continue to encourage students, alums, and friends of NCMC to upload and share videos of themselves making music at home, giving a testimonial about NCMC, and giving a supportive "shout-out" to a local business and frontline worker you know and love. Email questions and video links to sam@ncmc.net. We will be sharing these on our web site and/or Facebook page. Additionally, we are encouraging students to engage in Practice-a-thon to help NCMC raise much-needed funds for student scholarships and to maybe win some really cool prizes.

 

A Message to Students and Families

We are trying our best to serve everyone we can, but we know that some of you, for one reason or another, have been unable to continue with us since our closure in mid-March. It is an agonizing dilemma NCMC has as a nonprofit to figure out in this crisis how to make everyone whole, and also survive. I promise, we are taking all possible steps to meet both of these goals. NCMC was approved for a PPP loan, which helps a great deal, but isn't enough.

 

• If you are a current student continuing your studies and still have a remaining balance, please work out a plan to settle your account with Adriana.

• If you are student who has already paid in full, but your studies ceased upon our closure, please email Adriana and let her know if you are OK letting NCMC apply a credit to your account for use in the summer or fall, or if you would consider converting a portion or all of your credit into a tax-deductible contribution to NCMC. (Thank you.) Otherwise, we will begin processing refunds as soon as we are able.

 

I will be in touch again soon. Thank you all for being so patient and understanding, and for expressing your appreciation. In these challenging times, it means so much. If you haven't yet, please take a minute out to send me a personal message letting me know how you and your family are doing. I would love to hear from you.

 

Stay safe and healthy, everyone.

Sincerely,

Jason Trotta

Executive Director

March 27, 2020

 

Dear NCMC Faculty Members, Students, Families and Friends,

 

I am sure you join me in sending love and encouragement to our wonderful Mayor David Narkewicz, who this morning publicly announced that he tested positive for the Coronavirus. He will remain in isolation at home with his family during his recovery, and he urges everyone to remain vigilant and follow recommended guidelines to stay healthy and avoid spreading the virus.

 

Additionally, Governor Baker publicly announced that all schools must remain closed until May 4th. Therefore, for the safety of the community, NCMC will be doing the same.

 

This does not mean that the teaching will cease. Many of NCMC's teachers and students are already meeting online for lessons, and with tremendous success. Of course we would all prefer to be in each other's company, but we must accept these circumstances and remain productive in the ways that we can.

 

Comments keep coming in from teachers and parents that they are not only making this medium work, but are surprised by some of its unanticipated benefits. As demonstrated broadly across the internet and the world, making connections through music could not be more important right now. Our teachers understand that they have a role in this health crisis, and we all want to continue to be there for you.

 

If you are already an NCMC student or parent, haven't up until now been eager about the concept of online lessons, and have the technology, now is the time to talk to your teacher and get going. It's going to be like this for a while. And if you're not yet registered and stuck at home, now might be the time to register and give some lessons a try.

 

I have one last thing to request, and it's very, very important. As the powers that be figure out how to remedy the effects of COVID-19 on our country and our region, it will be easy for arts and cultural organizations to be forgotten. Don't let that happen. Please take two minutes to lend your voice to MassCreative's campaign to urge consideration for arts and culture from our Commonwealth's legislators. Even if you know your local representative is supportive of the arts, you should still do this so they have power in numbers to send an impactful message to our Governor.

 

There will be much work to be done to put our country back together after the danger subsides, but we can't wait until then to remember our non-profit organizations who are at considerable risk of closing their doors if we do not act early. In the coming days, I will be providing you with other ways you can help, and I know we can count on you.

 

Again, I wish you all good health and safety.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jason Trotta

Executive Director

March 17, 2020:

Dear NCMC Faculty Members, Students, Families and Friends,

 

Last night, the Mayor of Northampton issued a state of emergency for the City of Northampton, expanding on his original safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. In cooperation with these guidelines, the Northampton Community Music Center has moved the date to reopen its facility one week later to April 7, 2020.

 

We encourage private lesson teachers and students to continue their work together via Skype, Zoom, or other video conferencing software in the interim. It's free and very easy to set up if you have a smartphone, tablet or home computer with a built-in camera, and many teachers are reporting better-than-anticipated success.

 

Continuing with one's music study will not only provide a sense of joy and accomplishment, but also a bit of distraction and normalcy at a time when it is so very much needed. If anyone needs assistance in making this happen, our wonderful Registrar Adriana and Administrative Assistant Sam are more than happy to help.

 

We know not everyone has the means nor technology, and unfortunately, these applications all produce a slight delay, making duets and ensemble rehearsals impossible. We will have to resume these programs when we return. But we encourage you to be creative in how you use music in these times to share, connect and give something beautiful to the community. Tell us what you're doing. We could use a little positivity and inspiration now, too!

 

I will continue to check in with all of you. Be confident that we are gathering important information and working with the leaders in our field to figure out our path forward after all of this. We are grateful to our wonderful community for its support, compassion, and understanding at this very difficult time.

 

Continue to be gracious to one another, and keep yourselves safe and healthy.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jason Trotta

Executive Director

March 11, 2020

Dear NCMC Faculty Members, Students, Families and Friends,

 

Thank you all so much for your patience and understanding as we continue to assess and respond to the current health situation and the recommendations of local authorities. After careful consideration, NCMC will temporarily close its facility to the public for two weeks from March 15 through March 29. Here is important information about how various programs and services will operate during this hiatus.

 

Private lessons will continue to be held at NCMC through this Saturday, March 14th. For the following two weeks, teachers who have the capability will offer private lessons to their students over Skype (or another preferred method of video conferencing). Those who cannot take advantage of this option will be on a two-week hiatus from lessons, which will be made up either during April break or at the end of the school year.

 

All of the following programs will be on hiatus through the end of March:

Adult Violin Classes

Blues Jam

Cello Choir

Chamber Ensembles

Jazz Ensembles

Ku'umba Women's Chorus

Music Together

Pioneer Valley New Horizons Band*

Pride Chorus (will meet tonight 3/11)

Suzuki Group Classes

Winter Chamber Orchestra

 

*Pioneer Valley New Horizons Band will still meet for their special event tomorrow morning (3/12), but will then be on hiatus through the end of March.

 

All concerts and special events previously scheduled for the month of March are canceled. All who have rented space at NCMC for the month of March will also have to reschedule their events.

 

As we approach the end of March, we will be in touch with further updates. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Stay healthy.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jason Trotta

Executive Director

Northampton Community Music Center

139 South Street

Northampton, MA  01060

(413) 585-0001

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NCMC is a proud member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

NCMC programs are made possible in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Chamber music at NCMC is supported by a grant from ACMP (Associated Chamber Music Players).

Office Hours (Sept-June)

Mondays  12:00-6:30

Tuesdays  9:00-6:30

Wednesdays  9:00-6:30

Thursdays  9:00-6:30

Fridays  9:00-5:00

Office Hours (July-Aug)

Mondays  9:00-6:00

Tuesdays  9:00-6:00

Wednesdays  9:00-6:00

Thursdays  9:00-6:00