Photo Caption: Community Music School teachers Linda Kistler, violin and Carolyn Gaul, violin, perform at the 2019 CMS Brunch at Lehigh Country Club. The Allentown non-profit will mark its 40th year of operation with its annual Spring Brunch fundraiser on June 12, 2022, the first in-person event since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Allentown, PA (May 11, 2022) – After two years of virtual events, Community Music School Lehigh Valley & Berks (CMS) is planning to return to an in-person event for its annual fundraiser this spring. On Sunday, June 12, 2022, the Allentown non-profit will celebrate 40 years of operation with its annual Spring Brunch & Silent Auction fundraiser at Lehigh Country Club, Allentown. The event, originally scheduled for May 1, was postponed due to precautions related to the Covid pandemic.
In 1982, Martha Maletz and four music teachers, Beatrice Allen, Jean Fox, Judith Moyer and Marilyn Pinschmidt launched operations for Community Music School in the Educational Building at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Fifth Street in Allentown. Their mission was to provide quality music instruction to underserved children in Allentown. In its first year, CMS had 7 faculty and 38 enrolled students in piano and voice and provided $5,604 in scholarships and financial aid. In 2022, 40 years later, CMS has provided over 25,000 student services in the Lehigh Valley with the life-long benefits of musical education. Now located in the former Lehigh Valley Social Club at 1544 Hamilton Street, Allentown, CMS provides private lessons to over 200 students in piano, strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, and voice to students of all ages, from toddlers to seniors. Over 50% of students under age 18 are only able to study with financial assistance funded by generous local individuals, corporations, and foundations. CMS is proud to fund over $60,000 annually in financial aid, merit scholarships, and outreach. In the fall of 2021, the school received a generous grant from The Presser Foundation to help fund the construction of and technology for a state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio. In addition to private instrument lessons, students can now gain hands-on experience with industry-standard recording technology through a variety of new CMS recording classes. During the pandemic the school pivoted to remote operations, online-only music lessons, and continued to offer free performance opportunities for students through their YouTube Channel. In-person lessons resumed on Hamilton Street in the fall of 2021 and new summer camps, performing ensembles, and performance opportunities are being planned for the coming summer.
The CMS Spring Brunch has been held at Lehigh Country Club for over 20 years and regularly draws over 200 guests for an afternoon of fine dining, silent auction, and music by CMS faculty and students. “The funds raised from this event are crucial to help sustain programming and opportunities for students at CMS, allowing all students access to the life-long benefits of quality music education, regardless of their background, age, ability, or financial circumstances,” said Brunch Committee Chairperson, Julie Macomb, Esq., “I invite all our arts supporters to join us as we safely gather – in person – to celebrate 40 years of excellence in music education at CMS, bid on some great auction items, and enjoy the amazing food and of course, the music!”
Musical selections include classical and contemporary pieces, such as the Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano by Claude Bolling and Grand Duo Concertante, Mvt. III, Op. 48 by Carl Maria von Weber. CMS faculty members slated to perform are Linda Kistler, violin, Carolyn Gaul, violin, Elaine Martin, flute, Joe Wagner, guitar, Lou Czechowski, piano, Daniel Gonzalez, drums, John Schwartz, clarinet, and Dr. Annie Tindall-Gibson, piano.
New this year, the Gala Recital will be incorporated into the Brunch and feature the school’s most accomplished young musicians. According to Executive Director Jeff Reed, “These are the students who score highest in our Gala Auditions. The best of the best of CMS. They must be recommended by their teacher and perform before an independent panel of judges, who evaluate their musical performance using predetermined criteria. Students with the highest scores also receive merit-based scholarships toward continued study at CMS.”
A week-long online Silent Auction kicks off the event on Friday, June 3 at 12:00 PM. Bidding closes on Sunday, June 12, at 2:00 PM. The auction includes a variety of items donated by local businesses and individuals, including works by local artisans, local restaurant gift cards, and themed baskets to fit any budget. Highlights of the auction include a collection of music-themed children’s books, tickets to the US Senior Open at Saucon Valley Country Club, a handmade scarf from Loon’s Loom, a music-themed quilt and sham set, gift cards to the Downtown Allentown Market, IronPigs Baseball tickets, and a week’s stay at a vacation property on Block Island, Rhode Island. You do not need to purchase a ticket to the in-person event in order to browse and bid in the online auction. Auction winners who are not able to attend the in-person event can make arrangements to pick up their items at CMS after June 13.
Item donations for the Silent Auction are being accepted through May 27. Donations can be submitted using the online Silent Auction Item Donation Form at https://bit.ly/3Ez1uKz. Auction donors will be recognized in the printed Brunch program book, event website, and after the event on our supporter list, at cmslv.org.
CMS thanks the Amaranth Foundation for supporting the Brunch as the headlining “Sponsor of Excellence”. CMS also thanks the following corporate “Sponsors of Opportunity”: Allen Organ Company, C.F. Martin & Co., Klunk & Millan Advertising, Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Peoples Security Bank & Trust, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and Truist. Support is also provided by Julie Macomb & Scott Cressman, Carmen & Peter Flosdorf, Vance & Michele Powers, Tom & Fay Fenstermacher, James & Mary Warfel, Kathleen Matthews, Dail & David Richie, Tom & Shari Noctor.
The brunch committee is chaired by Julie Macomb, Esq., and includes Laura Burcaw, Carmen Flosdorf, Lisa Kulp, Jodie Hourt, Greg Kuhn, Carol Macomb, Jeff Reed, Dail Richie, Ellen Roberts, Mary Warfel.
For more information on the event, to make a reservation, browse the auction, make a donation, visit https://cmslv.org/brunch2022/ or contact Lisa Kulp, Assistant Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-435-7725 x402.
About CMS: Lehigh Valley & Berks is a non-profit charitable organization that provides the inspiration and opportunity for anyone in our diverse community to achieve excellence in music education and appreciate the transformative power of music. CMS employs over 25 professional musicians who provide high-quality private and group instruction to students of all ages and in nearly every instrument, voice, and recording technology – both in-person and online. Thanks to support from our philanthropic community, for over 40 years, CMS has provided over 25,000 student services in the Lehigh Valley with the life-long benefits of musical education. CMS is proud to fund over $60,000 annually in financial aid, merit scholarships, and outreach. In the fall of 2018, CMS moved its Allentown operations to historic 1544 Hamilton Street, the former Lehigh Valley Club. The renovated space offers 12 lesson rooms of varying sizes, a unique parent lounge, early childhood room, music library, administrative offices, and a 150-seat recital hall. Introductory group classes, such as Kindermusik (ages 0-4) provide music fundamentals in a fun, group environment. In fall of 2021, CMS received a generous grant from The Presser Foundation to help fund the construction of and technology for a state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio. This project leverages the unique aesthetics and acoustics of the School’s Dorothy H. Baker Recital Hall, the former dining room of the Lehigh Valley Social Club, to create a live recording space for individual and ensemble musical performances, both instrumental and vocal. An acoustically-treated control room and recording isolation room serve as a professional recording space, as well as an education lab and classroom, with nine iMac computer stations where students will gain hands-on experience with industry-standard recording technology through a variety of new CMS recording classes. Learn more or make a donation at http://cmslv.org/.
Information provided to TVL by:
Lisa Hopstock Kulp, Assistant Director
Community Music School Lehigh Valley & Berks