New England Music Festival Association, Inc.

News Banner

    New England Music Festival Association, Inc.                  June 2011                    Volume LXXV,  No. 3


Latest News
NEMFA Officers 2011-12
President's Message
Secretary's Report
In Appreciation
Future Concert Festival Dates
String Seating Policy
NEMFA Archives

5 Jamestown Road,
Somers, CT 06071
860.749.7693 (H)
860.729.4410 (C) (H e-Mail)

Immediate Past-President, Librarian
Burlington High School
52 Institute Road,
Burlington, VT 05401
802.878.7494 (H)
802.864.8590 (O)
802.864.8408 (O Fax) (H e-Mail) (O e-Mail)

Valley Regional High School
256 Kelsey Hill Road,
Deep River, CT 06417
860.526.5328, x2703 (O)
860.526.8123 (O Fax) (O e-Mail)

Executive Secretary-Treasurer
73 Beauchamp Terrace,
Chicopee, MA 01020
413.592.9197 (H)
413.594.9636 (H Fax)
413.478.7030 (O) (H e-Mail)

Recording Secretary
35 Briarwood Lane,
Scituate, MA 02066
781.545.2104 (H)  (H e-Mail)

Solo & Ensemble Festival Co-Coordinator
Hartford High School
37 Highland Avenue,
White River Junction, VT 05001
802.295.8611 (Fax) (O e-Mail)

Solo & Ensemble Festival Co-Coordinator
141 Butternut Road,
Williston, VT 05495
802.878.2898 (H)
802.343.6282 (O) (S&E e-Mail)

Band Manager
Hartford High School
37 Highland Avenue,
White River Junction, VT 05001
603.738.4044 (Cell) (O e-Mail) (H e-Mail)

Chorus Manager
Mt. Mansfield Union High School
211 Browns' Trace Road,
Jericho, VT 05465-9700
802.999.7189 (H)
802.899.4690, x1620 (O)
802.899.2904 (O Fax) (O e-Mail) (H e-Mail)

Orchestra Manager
Glastonbury High School (ret.)
56 Harvest Hill Road,
Kensington, CT 06037
860.543.2992 (Cell) (O e-Mail)

Membership Services Chair
Cheshire Public Schools
525 South Main Street,
Cheshire, CT 06410
203.250.2534 (O)
203.250.2563 (O Fax) (O e-Mail) (H e-Mail))

Bulletin Editor, Archivist, Web Site Manager
The Bromfield School
14 Massachusetts Avenue,
Harvard, MA 01451
617.529-9402 (H)
978-456-4152, x571 (O)
978-456-3013 (O Fax) (H e-Mail)


Web Info

Bulletin Signup

Is there anyone that you would like to suggest receive this Bulletin as a way to recruit new members from other schools and states? Please feel free to forward the Bulletin to them or send their e-mail to Editor Tom Reynolds at the following address:


Welcome to the newly-designed NEMFA Web News-Bulletin that is being issued through Constant Contact. We hope that you like the new format and that you will find it to be helpful and informative.


NEMFA Calendar 2011-2012
9/10/2011, Killingly HS, Dayville, CT, Executive Board Meeting - 10:00am
11/4/2011, Chicopee, MA, Application postmark Deadline
12/3/2011, Hartford HS,White River Jct.,VT, Solo and Ensemble Festival - Northern Site 
12/10/2011, Cheshire HS, Cheshire, CT, Solo and Ensemble Festival - Southern Site
1/13/2012, Web, Electronic Registration Confirmation Deadline
3/15-17/2012, Killingly HS, Dayville, CT, 85th Annual NEMFA Concert Festival
6/2/2012, Brattleboro, VT, Executive Board Meeting, Holiday Inn Express - 10:00am 
President's Message
Sal Cicciarella

 June, 2011.


 Dear Colleagues and Friends of the New   

 England Music Festival Association Family,


 It is with great honor that I begin my term   

 as your President of NEMFA sharing with   

 our membership new and exciting events  

 ringing in our 85th anniversary year of our   



 I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge    

 the exemplary work of our immediate    

 past-president, Frank Whitcomb. He has served our organization as an insightful leader, festival host and advocate throughout our New England area. I thank him for being the consummate professional and caring individual for all years he has served our members.


At our recent executive board meeting on June 4, we welcomed Caleb Pillsbury as our new choral chair from Mt. Mansfield Union High School, VT,  Laura Hilton our President-Elect, and  John Kuhner our newly appointed Member Services Chair. I am confident they will represent our organization honorably while offering their expertise and knowledge to our growing family.


Please check the latest information on our Web Site relating to our Solo and Ensemble Festival, Concert Festival, and related details as they become available. Our Web Master, Tom Reynolds, continues to improve and update our site and welcomes all comments and suggestions to better serve our constituents. Please read the bulletin as you plan your school calendar activities and to find answers to frequently asked questions.


We look forward to greeting you on March 15-17, 2012 at our Concert Festival at Killingly High School, CT, with Pamela Rodgers as host.


I would also encourage you to contact our Executive Board Officers if you have any concerns and questions. We are here to assist you in any manner possible.


Have restful and well deserved summer break.




Sal Cicciarella

President, NEMFA


Secretary's Report
Donald Hermance, NEMFA Recording Secretary



The meeting was called to order at 10:00 am by outgoing President Frank Whitcomb. Also, present were: Bill Sittard, Sal Cicciarella, Erica Howard, Gail Reynolds, Caleb Pillsbury, Pam Rodgers, Steffen Parker, Tom Reynolds, and John Kuhner.


Frank Whitcomb expressed his thanks to all who had been of help in his recent term as president, and welcomed the incoming president, Sal Cicciarella.


President Cicciarella thanked Frank Whitcomb for his excellent work during the past four years.


The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.


The Treasurer's report was distributed and approved. Bill Sittard commented that the Association was in good financial condition.


Erica Howard, Band Manager, offered a bio of Caroline Barber, prospective band conductor, along with suggested programs for the 2012 Concert Festival. The programs were discussed and suggestions were offered from those present.


Gail Reynolds, Orchestra Manager, invited comments on the re-seating process in the Concert Festival Orchestra, and it was agreed that the current method was working well. She reported that work was progressing on selecting future conductors, and offered suggestions for the concert program, the first of which was approved.


Caleb Pillsbury, Chorus Manager, offered program options suggested by the chorus conductor, and after consideration, seven were approved.


The subject of fees for conductors was discussed at length.


Erica Howard noted that she had no conductor for the 2013 Concert Festival, and welcomed any suggestions, receiving several from members present.


President Cicciarella offered profuse thanks to Pam Rodgers for her last-minute willingness to host the 2012 Concert Festival at Killingly High School. Pam described the facilities there, and presented a slide show illustrating them. She also described probable sites for hotel rooms in the area, and her preparations for the event, with special emphasis on the travel times involved in the operation of the festival.


Tom Reynolds, Editor of the Bulletin and Website Manager, after noting his recent updating of the website, requested the usual information from the managers. He also disseminated a membership list for comment or correction, and a printout of Association calendar events for the coming year.


Steffen Parker, Co-coordinator of the solo and Ensemble Festival, reported that there were no significant problems with that area. He also offered questions as to the prospective problems inherent with the possible addition of a treble choir at a Concert Festival. He also welcomed any suggestions for adjudicators for future auditions.


Past President John Kuhner raised the question of a screening process for host families at Concert Festivals, presenting for all, two forms for consideration in devising such a screening, with emphasis on the problems of sex offenders and criminality. A relevant discussion followed.


Motion by Steffen Parker: That the Association adopt the forms labeled: "Background Review Consent Form for Prospective Host Families", and "Risk Solutions". Motion passed: with one abstention.


Under new business, Steffen reported that he is working on the format of the medical forms. The problem of non-submission of medical forms was discussed.


President Cicciarella announced his intentions for the September meeting to discuss the re-audition process and the concept of a treble choir.


John Kuhner presented a proposal for the inclusion in the Executive Board the position of Members Services Chair.


Motion by Steffen Parker: That the position of Member Services Chair be created as proposed. Motion passed unanimously.


Tom Reynolds distributed copies of the recent dedication ceremony for the Lowell Mason Auditorium at Medfield High School in Medfield, Massachusetts.


The meeting was adjourned at 12:55.

                                                                                                            Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                        Donald L. Hermance    


Recording Secretary


84th New England Music Festival - Thanks!

Frank Whitcomb - NEMFA President - LibrarianOn behalf of the entire New England Music Festival Association, Inc., we would like to thank Frank Whitcomb and Ed Owens and all of the staff parents, and friends from the Burlington High School and greater Burlington, VT area for their outstanding job in hosting the 84th annual New England Music Festival held March , 2011. It was an outstanding musical experience for all of the student participants, and the hosts were most gracious and hospitable. This 84th Festival will certainly serve as a model for future festivals and we congratulate all of those people who made this festival possible.


Future NEMFA Concert Festival Dates
     March 15-17, 2012

     March 21-23, 2013

     March 20-22, 2014

     March 19-21, 2015


String Seating Policy
Gail Reynolds
NEMFA STRING SEATING POLICY (approved 9/12/2009)

String students' Solo & Ensemble Festival scores will be used for initial seating placement, but seating may be reassigned at the Festival.

Students, sponsors and/or directors are responsible for acquainting themselves with this policy and preparing accordingly.  *


Section leaders will be decided at the festival through an audition process.  At the first rehearsal, all strings will be seated in score order within their assigned sections.  The first chairs will be vacant.  During the first rehearsal, players who wish to audition for first chair will submit their names to the Orchestra Manager.  Auditions will be held as soon as possible, probably commencing during the first hour of rehearsal. Excerpts from the concert music will be used for the audition.  First chairs will be announced after all auditions are complete.  After the first chair is assigned, the section will fill in the remaining seats in score order.

In the event that no student(s) auditions for first chair, the seating based upon score will be used.


Students may be moved within their section for any of the following reasons:

Reseating resulting from the adjustment made to accommodate the student who wins first chair. Students may be reseated by chair or by stand (depending on divisi requirements).
If a student is found to be noticeably less prepared than surrounding students, and demonstrates little progress within the first rehearsal, the student may be reseated further back in the section at the discretion of the Conductor and/or the NEMFA Orchestra Manager.  This will be done without an audition.
Absenteeism may result in students being reassigned further up either by chair or by stand (depending on divisi requirements).
* Students, directors, sponsors or parents may not dispute seating changes or request seating re-auditions. No student may request to audition for a higher seat within their section, other than first chair.  There are no challenges.


NEMFA Archives
Tom Reynolds
You might remember that at the beginning of June I was working on the NEMFA archives collection that is being stored at the Harvard, Massachusetts Public Library. Old programs back to 1937 with more years ever since are being filed along with old Bulletins. The collection, known as the John R. Hansen Memorial Archives of the New England Music Festival Association, has been organized by member of the staff of the Harvard Public Library. Programs and Bulletins are stored chronologically in boxes in a climate-controlled historical room in the Harvard Public Library. The hours of operation of the Harvard Public Library, Route 111, Harvard, Massachusetts 01451 are as follows:

Library Hours - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - 10:00 - 9:00

Friday Saturday - 10:00 - 5:00 10:00 - 4:00

(Sat. 10:00 - 2:00 in June, July & August)

Sunday closed

Directions to the Harvard Public Library - From Route 2, take Exit 38 (Rts. 110/111) toward Harvard Common. Continue through the red blinking light on 111S. Past the school zone, take a right onto Pond Rd. The Library is on the right with parking available in front of the entrance to the building.

From Route 495, take Exit 28 (Rte. 111) and go toward Harvard. Continue on Route 111 toward the center of Harvard. Upon entering the school zone, take a left onto Pond Road. The Library is on the right with parking available in front of the entrance to the building.

I am still in search of any printed materials regarding any NEMFA concerts or related activities from 1928 to 1939, although I would welcome other materials that you, our membership, might come up with that you would deem to be worthy of saving in our archives.

As of 1 September 2008, the following Concert Festival Programs are not in our possession in the archives at the Harvard Public Library: 1928-1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, and 1941. The following Major Organizations Festival programs are not in our possession as well: 1939, 1940, 1941, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957. Additionally, I would welcome the donation of any recordings of past NEMFA concerts. Right now, our collection only includes concerts from the late 1990's to the present.

Another area that we have very little on records is that of old photographs. Certainly, photographs tell a million stories about our past festivals, as well as providing some insight into the daily life going on around those festivals at the time the photographs were taken.

The NEMFA Heritage Book published in 2007 will be updated with current officers and festival locations added as a short addenda to the present book. I am presently working on these addenda and hope to have it completed shortly. If you haven't yet seen the NEMFA Heritage Book, there are still plenty available. Remember, that each book is only $10.00 eachand may be obtained by sending a check of $10.00 (payable to "NEMFA") plus $2.50 shipping and handling to the following address:

New England Music Festival - Heritage Book, PO Box 102, Templeton, Massachusetts 01468

If you would like to submit an article for this Bulletin regarding NEMFA-related or music education-related topics, please feel free to send it to me via e-mail at or via snail mail at NEMFA News-Bulletin, PO Box 102, Templeton, MA 01468.


Thomas E. Reynolds


Editor, NEMFA News-Bulletin


Once again, we hope that you enjoy this new format of the bulletin. Please feel free to drop me a line at for any comments or suggestions to improve the Bulletin. It will also have a direct link on our website,

Have a great summer!


Thomas Reynolds

New England Music Festival Association, Inc.