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October 2012 C-Blast:  Monthly News From the Community Music School
Summer Time
Fall Faculty Recital
Welcome New CMS Faculty!
Noteworthy Venue
Concerts & Events Happening around St. Louis
Attention: Students, Parents & Faculty....
Got news? We wanna know about it!

Please e-mail your accomplishments to: Please include your name, instrument, teacher or ensemble, and details about your accomplishment.  We'll do our best to recognize you in the next c-blast and on the CMS website.

Donations to the CMS help to ensure the continued excellence of programs.  Consider making a donation to the CMS.

October 14:  CMS Faculty Recital at 4:30 p.m. 
November 3:    School Recitals at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
November 9-11:  Preparatory Program St. Looey Chamber Blitz 
November 18:  Preparatory Program Fall Concert at 3 p.m. 
November 19:  Regular YPSO rehearsal 
November 20-21:  Make-up lessons only; no JLE, SO/SE, and YPCO rehearsals 
November 22-25:  ALL CMS branches closed for the Thanksgiving holiday 
Summer Time and the Livin' is Easy....
Summer is a fun time to visit with old friends, travel, take on new projects, and other exciting activities.  Several CMS Faculty had busy, productive, fun summers!  Here are a few of their stories...
Bill Ash, guitar

Bill Ash donating 30 classical guitars to Sherman Elementary School  
CMS guitar instructor, Bill Ash, is the president of the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society.  Bill recently submitted this exciting news about the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society.  

Through the assistance of our Sponsors Music Folk in Webster Groves and the Augustine String Foundation--both of which have procured guitars and supplies for us at cost-- The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society has just donated some 7/8, 3/4 size, and full-size classical guitars! 30 each to Langston Middle School, Sherman Elementary School, and Soldan High School--all St. Louis City Schools. 


Donations since December 2011 which have made this possible have come most notably from Phoebe Weil and 25 additional individual Members of the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, St. Louis Rotary Club #11, the Centene Charitable Foundation, the Edward Jones Company, Commerce Bancshares Foundation, Cardinals Care, Edward D. Jones and Company, and more.


-Submitted by Bill Ash 

Vera Parkin, piano and Artistic Director of the Preparatory Program 
Vera Parkin reuniting with CMS alumni Sean & Sarah Riley in London

CMS faculty member Vera Parkin traveled to Ireland this summer and was able to connect with some past and present PREP alumni. She and husband Jon took a ferry and train to Chester, England to hook up with former CMS Suzuki and PREP violinist Sean Riley. Sean just completed an Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music in London. Ironically, he married one of Vera's former piano students; they met on Facebook through their connection to Vera! Sarah (Mallory) Riley has her own connection to the CMS. She was a violinist and violist in the String Orchestra and YPCO. A photo of Sarah playing in the orchestra was part of a photo montage that appeared on the school catalog for about 5 years running.


At the request of the Royal College, Sean has just embarked on a doctoral program in which he will develop a course for RCM's curriculum. He will plan and implement a concert  series for the school, and will travel throughout Europe as an ambassador for the RCM. Sean recently was taken under artist management by McAlistair Arts.


Returning to Dublin, Vera was able to link up with current PREP student Aisling O'Brien. Taking a break from touring with the SIUE Suzuki Tour Group, Vera was able to meet Aisling at the Royal Irish Conservatory for a chamber music jam with Aisling's cousin, Cormac O'Brien, a cellist. Aisling's father, Andrew, is a native of Dublin and an accomplished traditional Irish fiddler. All of the O'Brien children study Irish fiddle and also participate in lessons and/or orchestras at the CMS.


"Wherever you go, there seems to be a wonderful Preppie on hand," says Vera. As the program enters it's 13th year, our students are showing the full effectiveness of their early training. They are playing in professional orchestras in the US and abroad, teaching at universities, performing musical humanitarian service in remote countries, and even changing the face of music where they are attending school. We have two alumni at Eastman who have embarked on a huge project to reinvent the orchestral concert going experience. It's wonderful and a blessing to see what fantastic people they've turned out to be. The whole CMS faculty and staff can take pride in making the program possible and sending forth musical ambassadors to keep our art alive and growing."


-Submitted by Vera Parkin 


Marc Thayer, violin 

Over the summer, most people go to the beach or a lovely mountain resort, maybe a little island somewhere; I choose to go to the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq for our annual Youth Excellence on Stage (YES) Academy with the Association of American Voices. This summer was my 7th time in Iraq teaching violin and conducting string orchestras. We started the arts academy in Erbil in 2007 with support from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

With the continued support of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government, this summer we hosted more than 300 music and dance students from all over Iraq for 12 days of intensive classes, rehearsals, and two gala concerts at the University of Duhok in the northern city of Duhok near the Iraqi-Turkish border.

Read more about Marc Thayer's summer in Iraq  
with permission from the St. Louis Beacon. 

-Submitted by Marc Thayer 
Fall Faculty Recital

The CMS is pleased to present faculty members in recital, showcasing their abilities as outstanding performers as well as respected educators.  Faculty performing on the recital include Chris Braig, jazz saxophone; Audrey Denny, clarinet; Antonina Gerassimova, piano; Eliana Haig, viola; Jill Hartzog, soprano; Jessica Knopf, saxophone; Jennifer Mazzoni, flute; Vera Parkin, piano; Marschnee Strong, piano; and Jeanine York-Garesche, clarinet.  Works by Beethoven, Berio, Gaubert, and others will be performed in solos and duets.  The recital will run approximately 90 minutes in length including a 10 minute intermission. 


WHEN:  Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. 


WHERE:  Community Music School of Webster University, Concert Hall


ADMISSION:  FREE and open to the public


MORE INFO:  Call 314-968-5939


More New CMS Faculty to Welcome! 

The CMS is pleased to welcome two new faculty members: Spencer Dunlap, trumpet; and Jane Thomas, piano.

Spencer Dunlap, trumpet


B.M. Trumpet Performance, University of Iowa; M.M. Trumpet Performance, Indiana University; performs with Downtime Productions; performed with Bloomington Camerata Orchestra, Urbana Pops Orchestra, Cornell Wind Ensemble, Mason City Municipal Band, Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra; Principal Trumpet, Iowa City Community Theatre, Metropolitan Orchestra Festival; Associate member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (2011); first place ensemble division (2011), Chicago Brass Festival; third place ensemble division (2011), National Trumpet Competition; scholarship winner (2008), International Trumpet Guild Conference; Artistic Excellence fellowship, Indiana University; led the Indiana University Trumpet Ensemble; coached chamber music groups at West Liberty High School; performed educational programs with brass quintets at schools in the Iowa City Metro Area.


Jane Thomas, piano


B.A. and M.A. in Music, Webster University; former adjunct faculty, Webster University; musician, Delmar Baptist Church; private lesson teacher, Forsyth School; studied with William Bennett of the London Symphony Orchestra; performed the World Premiere of piano composition at the Webster University Faculty Composers' Concert; Concerto Competition Winner (2003), Webster University Symphony Orchestra; member, Missouri and National Federation of Music Clubs, National Guild of Piano Teachers, MMTA, MNTA, St. Louis Flute Society, National Flute Association; performed with Webster Symphony Orchestra, Webster University Chorale, Missouri Music Educators Association, Romantik Quintet.  

Noteworthy Venue

Tavern of Fine Arts 
The Tavern of Fine Arts is a restaurant, bar, art gallery, and performance space that focuses on a celebration of fine and performing arts.  Located in the Central West End, the Tavern of Fine Arts holds monthly open stage events. Musicians of all ages and skill levels are welcome to perform.  CMS students have performed there and children are welcome. 

Monthly open stage events: 
  • Classical music:  second Mondays
  • Classical guitar:  third Thursdays
  • Cabaret:  third Wednesdays
  • Local composers:  second Wednesdays
The Tavern of Fine Arts also host many recitals and is available as a performance space to the general public.  There is no admission for these events and no charge for the use of their performance space.  
For more information visit: 

Student, Alumni & Faculty Kudos: 
  • Thomas Barrett, trumpet (Souza & YPSO) was selected for the Jazz St. Louis' JazzU program. 
  • Kristin Gummersheimer, percussion (PE) won first place in the Marimba division of the Mozingo Music Marching Percussion Solo Competition. 
  • Justin Koesterer, trumpet (Souza) is a member of the Young Catholic Musicians. 
  • Christian McGhee, percussion (Elstner) won the best overall musician award at the first annual Willie Akins Young Lions of Jazz Competition held at the Ambassador Club of St. Louis.  McGhee was also selected for the Jazz St. Louis' JazzU program. 
  • Tim Padgett, percussion (PE & Elstner) was selected for the Jazz St. Louis' JazzU program. 
  • Grant Riew, cello (Lehr) spent the summer at Meadowmount School of Music and returned to St. Louis to perform the Saint-Sa�ns Concerto No. 1 with the Gateway Festival Orchestra on July 15. 
  • Lilly Webster, piano (Strong) earned a perfect ACT score!  Read more

St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra members


First Violins

Christopher Goessling (PREP), Co-Assistant Concertmaster

Hava Polinsky (PREP & Parkin), Co-Assistant Concertmaster

Hannah Hart (PREP)

Geeo (Julia) Son (PREP)

John Li (PREP)

Caroline Cordell (Gilliland)

William Crock (PREP)

Thomas Johnson (PREP)

Aisling O'Brien (PREP)


Second Violins

Matthew Sprague (PREP), Principal

Katelyn Hamre (PREP)

Rebecca Payan Liu (McDonald)

Sarah Kovich (PREP)



Sean Byrne (Thayer & PREP), Principal

Andrew Stock (PREP)

Meredith McMahon (PREP)



Eric Cho (Lehr & PREP)

Alex Groesch (Lehr & PREP)

Joshua Hart (Lehr & PREP)

Dylan Lee (Lehr & PREP)

Grant Riew (Lehr)

Margaret Madsen (PREP)



Phillip Sanson (PREP)

John Paul Byrne (Daby)

Justus A. Schriedel (YPSO)



Emily Spaugh (PREP)



Craig Butler (D. Bauer)



Garrett Thomas (Souza & YPSO)



Michael McBride (YPCO)



Tim Padgett (Elstner & PE)

Concerts & Musical Events Happening Around St. Louis....

  • Tuesday, October 2, noon:  Dawn Karlovsky speaks on Alexander Technique for musicians, at the Thompson Music Building Recital Hall.  Presented by the Webster University's Department of Music.  FREE and open to all.  For more info visit: or call  314-968-7032.   
  • October 5 - 21, 2012:  The American Arts Experience - St. Louis will fill concert halls, museums, theaters, universities and outdoor spaces in the St. Louis area with dozens of performances and shows by renowned American artists and companies in disciplines ranging from symphonic music to jazz and singer-songwriters, theater by American playwrights and dance by American companies to major American visual artists. For more info visit:
  • Sunday, October 7, 2:00 p.m.:  Jazz St. Louis presents a FREE Family Concert Get Hip! featuring Metta Quartet, an entertaining, interactive, multi-media introduction to jazz, at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  For more info visit: 
  • Sunday, October 7, 7:30 p.m.:  The Kingsbury Ensemble presents The Essence of Classicism, at Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City.  Featuring CMS piano instructor Seth Carlin and CMS alumna violist Elizabeth Ramos.  Tickets:  general admission $20, seniors $15, students under 25 years old $5.  For more info visit: 
  • Monday, October 8, 7:00 p.m.:  Soprano Christine Brewer participates in a panel discussion, at the Thompson Music Building Recital Hall.  Presented by the Webster University's Department of Music.  FREE and open to all.  For more info visit: or call  314-968-7032.   
  • Tuesday, October 9, 7:00 p.m.:  Soprano Christine Brewer presents a voice master class, at the Community Music School Concert Hall.  Presented by the Webster University's Department of Music.  Tickets are $10 at the door (cash or check).  Proceeds benefit the James Moroney Nigh Scholarship in Opera.  For more info visit: or call  314-968-7032. 
  • Friday, October 12, noon:  Chamber Project St. Louis presents a Very Open Rehearsal, an interactive music experience, at St. Louis Community College at Meramec, Humanities West 102.  The musicians rehearse Life of Birds by Mason Bates, and you ask questions.  FREE and open to all.  Featuring CMS clarinet instructor Dana Hotle and CMS alumna violinist Elizabeth Ramos.  For more info visit:
  • Friday, October 19, 8:00 p.m.:  Chamber Project St. Louis in partnership with The American Arts Experience presents "Mosaic" a concert featuring an All-American masterwork program at the Chapel Venue.  Featuring CMS instructors Laura Reycraft, viola; Dana Hotle, clarinet; Nina Ferrigno, piano; and CMS alumn Elizabeth Ramos, violin; and Chris Haughey, bass.  Tickets:  $10 in advance, $15 at the door, & $4 with a student ID.  For more info or to purchase tickets visit: 
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The Community Music School is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, and is a certified member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. The Community Music School receives assistance from the Arts and Education Council of Greater Saint Louis and support from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.  Financial assistance for the Chamber Music Encounter has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.  The Preparatory Program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. 
Thank you to the many individual donors, alumni, and parents who support the Community Music School programs through annual gifts.   
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