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Beginner Ensembles

Beginner Guitar Class: Looking for a way to start playing the guitar? This class is the perfect way to get started. As a group we will cover the basics of guitar playing while also playing music together. Students must bring a guitar to class.

Kevin Dee, Instructor
Ages 6-8
Saturdays 9:00 am – 10:00 am
$250 per 17 week semester

Beginner Violin Class: Students will learn the basics of how to play the violin through musical games, songs, and fun yet focused work. The group will learn beginning classical violin pieces by ear as well as some simple fiddle tunes. Each child should have a parent present at each class, as parent involvement is very important to support a child’s musical growth and home practice.

Mia Friedman, Instructor
Ages 4-5: Wednesdays, 3:45 – 4:30 PM
Ages 6-7: Wednesdays, 4:45 – 5:30 PM
$225 per 17 week semester

Beginner Piano Class will provide an introduction to the piano for students ages 4-5. The class will use electronic keyboards. Students will learn to play simple pieces with one or two hands, and begin to acquire healthy, efficient technique at the piano, all in a fun, collaborative, discovery oriented environment.

Andrew D’Antonio, Instructor
Ages 4-5
Wednesdays 2:45 – 3:30PM
Wednesdays 3:30 – 4:15PM
Wednesdays 4:15 – 5:00PM (2nd year students only)
$225 per 17 week semester

Intermediate Ensembles

CitySounds is an introductory level orchestra for string students ages 8-12 who are increasing their comfort level reading music. Students are required to study privately in order to participate and should be able to play pieces comparable to the Bach Minuets at the end of Suzuki book 1. Musicians join together with their String City colleagues for activities and at least two performances per year. Participation in this orchestra is based on a recommendation from the student’s music teacher and/or audition.

Marty Knieriem, Instructor
Ages: 8-12
Thursdays 5:00 pm-6:00 pm
$200 per 17 week semester

Advanced Ensembles

String City Orchestra is a small chamber orchestra that gives students grades 5-12 the opportunity to rehearse and perform with other fine young musicians. This year, the program is free based on eligibility. The program provides a level of training that enables young string players to master challenging repertoire as well as a rewarding experience playing with others. Students are required to study privately in order to participate. Musicians attend weekly individual lessons, weekly chamber ensemble sessions, sectional rehearsals and participate in a least four community performances throughout the year. New this year, students will mentor Springfield string students involved in our many community partnership programs. For a full description, CLICK HERE.

Marty Knieriem, Instructor
Ages 12-18
Tuesdays 5:00 pm-6:30 pm
Tuition free based on audition

Youth Wind Ensemble of Springfield (YWES) brings together the most outstanding wind, brass and percussion students from communities and schools in the greater Springfield area to create a premier honors ensemble. Students will be exposed to challenging repertoire that will meet the needs of musicians who aspire to advance their musical skills. The group will showcase its hard work in a series of concerts throughout the year. The focus of YWES will be on developing high level musical leadership skills and artistry that students will bring back to their respective school programs and ensembles. We are seeking motivated, talented students to join YWES in its inaugural musical journey. Music educators are encouraged to recommend their top tier players for this honors group. For a full description, CLICK HERE.

Chris Moehringer, Conductor and Music Director
Grades 8-12
Saturdays 10:00AM to 12:00pm
$300 for full year; free if student is enrolled in lessons at CMSS.
To determine eligibility please fill out the registration form: (New students, click here; current students, click here)

Chamber Music Program places students into small ensembles that work together weekly with a faculty coach and perform without a conductor. These ensembles could range from string quartets to piano four-hands to wind trios—the make-up of the program will depend on which students audition. Chamber music presents unique challenges. Students learn how their individual part contributes to the whole, while listening to their fellow ensemble members.
Please contact Christiana Racicot, Registrar, for details and audition information: 413-732-8428, ext. 104


Beginner Ensembles

Bucket Group: In this introductory percussion class, students use bucket drums to learn the basic concepts of rhythm, drum and stick techniques, and musicality. Students also learn how to listen to others and play in an ensemble.

Rick Marshall, Instructor
Kindergarten – Grade 2
Thursdays 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm
$225 per 17 week semester

Intermediate Ensembles

Latin & Afro-Caribbean Ensemble will provide an opportunity for musicians to focus on the different music styles and structures of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Latin & Afro-Caribbean Ensemble is open to anyone who can play and read music. All students will be require to learn how to properly play a tumbao on the congas.

Joe Velez, Instructor
All ages
Time and day TBD
$250 per 17 week semester

Roots of Bluegrass Jam is for intermediates string players (guitar, banjo, violin, cello, bass, viola, mandolin). Students will learn a tune each week by ear, building a common repertoire, with a focus on playing together. Repertoire will include traditional tunes and songs from Appalachia and the American South. Areas of exploration include ear training, rhythm, singing while playing, chords, and melody.

Mia Friedman, Instructor
Mondays, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
$250 per 17 week semester

Afrobeat Ensemble will focus on the Afrobeat music from Nigeria and Ghana that was popularized in the United states in the 1970’s. Music from Fela Kuti along with contemporary artists such as Budos Band and Antibalas will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on the dense history of Afrobeat. Many of these rhythms have roots in several other genres such as Ghanaian High Life, Nigerian traditional and Fuji traditional music along with American Jazz. Because Afrobeat incorporates such a large group of other genres, this ensemble will include some jazz music that came out of this genre. Great opportunity for those looking to increase their knowledge in rhythms and percussion instruments. Also great opportunity for horn players to improvise. (Open to: drums, bass, guitar, keys, saxophone, trumpet, trombone).

Jeff Fennell, Instructor
For students under age 28
Saturdays, 12:30 – 1:30 PM
$250 per 17 week semester

Funk/Soul Ensemble will focus on the funk and soul music of the 1960’s Muscle Shoals era up through to contemporary music. Instrumental music from Tower of Power and Maceo Parker will be married with music made famous by legendary soul singers like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. We will also incorporate music made by today’s composers along with some original music. Students will learn the lineage of soul and funk artists and how different styles evolved from generation to generation. Students will learn how to groove as a rhythm section, improvise, and play the style. This ensemble also offers vocalists an opportunity to sing in a contemporary band setting as a front-man. A great ensemble for those who love this music and are looking to gig in this style in the future. (Open to: drums, bass, guitar, keys, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, vocal)

Jeff Fennell, Instructor
Fridays, 5:30 – 6:30 PM
$250 per 17 week semester

Advanced Ensembles

Charles Majid Greenlee (CMG) Jazz Ensemble is an advanced ensemble offered to outstanding high school music students. Charles Majid Greenlee (CMG) Jazz Ensemble is directed by Steve Moser, CMSS piano faculty and honors the memory of former CMSS instructor and trombonist, Charles Majid Greenlee. This year will be the continuation of CMSS’s tribute to Duke Ellington & Associates. Members of the CMG Jazz Ensembles will serve as ambassadors for CMSS, performing for major events in the Springfield area and Robyn Newhouse Hall. The workshops will cover rehearsals, jazz improvisation, practical music theory, stylistic analysis and interpretation, listening sessions and jazz history. A command of your instrument and good reading skills are required. Improvisational skills are not necessary. Instrumentation: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Bass and Drums.

Steve Moser, Director
Grade 9-12
Mondays, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Tuition free, based on audition, for students currently enrolled in private lessons at CMSS and students attending Springfield High School of Science & Technology and High School of Commerce. Financial aid is offered to other students based on merit and need.
To schedule an appointment to audition, call CMSS at 413-732-8428.


Contemporary Music Ensemble will focus on the arranging, composition and performance of Pop, Hip-Hop and R&B music.  Students will explore arranging music for the group’s instrumentation – How they can add or remove things from those pieces to make them their own.  They will also compose their own music for the ensemble.  This ensemble is great for musicians who want to gain practical experience to be a “gigging musician” and what it takes to be a band leader.   A solid command of your instrument is highly recommended.

Jeremy Turgeon, Director
Tuesdays 4:00-6:00pm
Grades 9-12 and College Students

Rock Band Chamber Ensemble: Students will be placed into small ensembles that work together weekly with a faculty coach and perform. Students learn how their individual part contributes to the whole, while listening to their fellow ensemble members.

Kevin Dee and Jason Arnold, Instructors
Time and day TBD
Grades 7-12
$250 per 17 week session

Saxophone Quartet: Students will learn the fundamentals of 4-part writing using the four main voices of the saxophone family (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone). Unlike other ensembles where many of the same parts are doubled, in a chamber ensemble each part is played by one musician. This allows for the individual musician to dive deeper into how their parts interact with their fellow band mates. Through this each performer will improve their ability to play with good intonation, timbre, tone color and dynamics. Because there is such a wide range of styles available for saxophone, we will play through a range of repertoire. These styles will include the great composers of jazz and western classical music such as Bach, Debussy, and Duke Ellington while also exploring contemporary 20th century composers and pop artists. (Baritone and Soprano players highly encouraged to increase ensemble diversity.)

Jeff Fennell, Instructor
All ages
Fridays, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
$250 per 17 week semester

Music Production and Recording class is designed to introduce students to the world of producing and recording music via midi and live instruments. After learning the ins and outs of the “Garage Band” software, students will begin producing simple beats and songs using midi controllers and loops. As the course progresses, students will create more complex pieces and begin exploring recording their own original compositions with live instruments into their midi productions.

Jeremy Turgeon, Instructor
Ages 13 and up
Thursdays 5:30pm – 6:30pm
$250 per 17 week semester


Beginner Ensembles

Community Junior Chorus welcomes girls and boys in Pre-K – Grade 2. Students will explore the joy of singing through a variety of simple rounds, unison songs and multicultural songs. Students learn proper posture, breathing, ensemble and singing techniques and join the Children’s Chorus of Springfield in a variety of community performances throughout the year.

Liz Simmons, Director
Pre-K – Grade 2
Tuesdays, 3:30 – 4:15 PM
$225 tuition per 17 week semester

Voices Singing Group is a contemporary singing group for young women and men interested in developing their skill set in the stylings of pop, rock, jazz, blues, r&b, country and more, arranged for two to four part harmony. Areas of exploration include but are not limited to, vocal blend, harmonization, proper vocal care and technique, and ear training. All members of Voices have the opportunity to contribute to song selection, and perform in the extraordinary Robyn Newhouse Hall.  All experience levels are warmly welcomed!

Annie Lynch Stevenson, Director
Ages 10-17
Mondays 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
$250 tuition per 17 week semester (limit 12 students)

Intermediate ensembles

Voices Senior Scholarship Ensemble is open to students who show exceptional vocal ability. Students chosen for this ensemble must be members of Voices Singing Group for one year and have demonstrated a commitment through steady attendance.

Annie Lynch Stevenson, Director
Ages 10-17
Mondays 6:30-7:00pm
Tuition free based on audition.

Children’s Chorus of Springfield teaches music literacy through singing, cultivates a generation of leaders and ambassadors for Springfield through song, and encourages the active participation of our city’s youth in the Springfield’s vibrant arts community. Participants receive invaluable musical and performance training, learn how to work together, gain self-discipline and control, and become responsible citizens of the world. For more information, click here.

Amelia Nagoski Peterson, Conductor
Thursdays, 4:30-6:00 PM
Ages 8-12
Tuition free for 2017/18