Home News and Features The Soundtrack of a Music School: Fall Faculty Concert Nov. 17

The Soundtrack of a Music School: Fall Faculty Concert Nov. 17

Four ‘Mighty Music Makers’ learning rhythm and bucket drumming, also known as street drumming, at Monteverdi’s after school program. Drummers, from left, are Judah Shoaff, Hendrix Burton, Westley Meyer, and Wyatt Pivetti. Photo by Jolynda Burton.
By Jolynda Burton

If you enter the building at 46 Barre Street (a.k.a. “the Wood,” “CAL,” or “the one next to the Senior Center”) at midday or early evening, it’s unlikely to be quiet. After I entered one Tuesday recently, I heard a cello being tuned, a soprano working a fast run in a Mozart aria, and a piano student starting scales. None of those sounded perfect, but the soundtrack they created is perfect to me.

That is the soundtrack to my work strengthening and expanding programs here at Monteverdi Music School. As an extroverted staff of one, I grab hallway conversations with peers at the Center for Arts and Learning (CAL) and the T.W. Wood Gallery, and with faculty and parents as they pass through — in part to inform and improve the school’s programs, but also to create the arts community that I and so many artists want.

With the community trauma from the summer’s historic flooding, and the anxiety of a three-year pandemic, musicians have struggled. Artists have struggled. Creating art had to change, and teaching art has had to change, too. Monteverdi’s programs, of course, adapted through these challenges, but more than surviving this period, our little music school was reminded of who we are, why we matter, and how much more we want to do. We are central Vermont’s community music school and hub. We have been here for 40 years, and we’re stronger than ever. We connect people to music and through music. Simple.

Monteverdi’s board is eagerly planning for winter classes, spring and summer youth music programming (summer music camp), concert series collaborations, and more. Our inaugural after-school music program — the Mighty Music Makers — is in its eighth week and is preparing for a December show.

Monteverdi’s annual fall faculty concert is just around the corner, and as they’ve been doing for local groups since July, the Vermont College of Fine Arts will host. With support from National Life and Northfield Savings Bank, this promises to be a wonderful evening of music from the talented and diverse faculty. The Nov. 17 concert begins at 6 p.m., and will be followed by a reception for neighbors to connect and for the school to raise money for its scholarship fund.

Our community’s response to the social crises we’ve endured has been remarkable. The arts connect us to each other at times of crisis, like almost nothing else can. Monteverdi Music School, along with its sister organizations, the T.W. Wood Gallery and CAL, see their purpose in the artistic, cultural, and emotional life of Montpelier, and I hope our neighbors will join us there.

Jolynda Burton is the music education coordinator at the Monteverdi Music School.