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    New England Music Festival Association, Inc.           June - July 2012                Volume LXXVI,  No. 3 


Latest News
NEMFA Officers 2012-13
President's Message
Email Statistics
Secretary's Report
Future Concert Festival Dates
Chorus Manager's Report
2013 NEMFA Chorus Info.
2013 NEMFA Band Info.
Orchestra Manager's Report
2013 NEMFA Orchestra Info.
NEMFA Archives
Lowell Mason House

Lewis S. Mills High School
25 Lyon Road
Burlington, CT  06013


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
802.734.2871 (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

of the  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 2012-2013
September 8, 2012 Meeting, 10:00 A.M. Solo & Ensemble Festival Planning
Lewis S. Mills High School, 26 Lyons Road, Burlington, CT 06013

October 1, 2012 Online Application Process begins for 2012-13

October 27, 2012 ELECTRONIC DEADLINE Solo & Ensemble Apps. Due to
$100.00 Late Fee per school/sponsor Steffen Parker

November 3, 2012 POSTMARK DEADLINE Mail (Certified) Completed
Hard Copy Invoice, Student List & Payment* to Bill Sittard.

December 1, 2012 Solo & Ensemble Festival Northern Site
Hartford High School Robert E. Gattie, Site Host White River Junction, VT

December 7, 2012 Meeting, 7:30 P.M. Courtyard Marriott 63 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT 06702

December 8, 2012 Solo & Ensemble Festival Southern Site
Cheshire High School John Kuhner, Site Host Cheshire, CT

January 12, 2013 Electronic Confirm. Deadline Log in. Confirm participation of each
student. Print out the Acceptance/Invoice Form. Amt. due auto adjusts.
1. Pymt. of Fees or School P.O.
*Incomplete forms incur $10.00 guaranteeing payment Reprocessing Fee.
2. Acceptance-Invoice Form
3. Student Agreement/Health Forms
4. Permission Forms
5. Return unused music

March 21-23, 2013 Concert Festival Lewis S. Mills High School
John Deeb, Host 26 Lyons Road, Burlington, CT 06013

June 1, 2013 Meeting, 10:00 A.M. Hampton Inn, Brattleboro, VT
President's Message
Sal Cicciarella

June, 2012


Dear New England Members, Colleagues, and Friends,


As I begin to gather my thoughts for the president's message, I find myself reflecting on our recent NEMFA Concert Festival. Each festival promises new musical experiences for our students, and while these festivals fulfill our wishes for students' success, this year was more than any of our members and students expected.


Killingly High School, our festival host, provided our organization with a festival site which provided a magnificent performance, rehearsal and facility space while exceeding all our expectations. We want to congratulate the Killingly High School Music Department and staff for being the consummate music education staff and for their dedication and outstanding accomplishments as this year's hosts. Pamela Rodgers, Choral Director and Host Chairperson, Jeffrey Ethier, Instrumental Director and assistant to the chair and with all committees, went beyond the call of duty to showcase our great organization. A heartfelt thank you is sent to the Killingly Public School Board of Education and the entire staff who made our Concert Festival possible.


Our managers and colleagues serve our membership in countless hours to ensure the best possible experience for all our ensemble performers. Caleb Pillsbury, Chorus Manager from Mt Mansfield High School, Jericho, Vermont; Erika Howard, Band Manager from Hartford High School, White River Junction, Vermont; and Gail Reynolds, Orchestra Manager from Connecticut; all deserve our deepest appreciation for selecting outstanding nationally recognized conductors to work with students while sharing their musical expertise.


Hoping we would be in the north for our concert festival in 2013, inquiries were made to a number of member schools who graciously declined. Proceeding forward we approached our southern site schools only to be faced with same response. I thank those who considered our proposal to host and look forward to their involvement in the future. Hosting our festival is very rewarding at many levels. While the housing piece is unique, one solution is to ask your neighboring music colleagues if they might be interested in also securing housing within their communities. In fact, Pam Rodgers, our Killingly High School, CT host did just that! Her model could be an example to follow as a part of your decision process. I'm sure Pam would be happy to share some of her secrets of success. She has prepared a report clearly outlining the many benefits to the music department and to the Killingly community.


2013 Concert Festival News!


At our June 9 Executive Board Meeting in Brattleboro, VT, I was pleased to have accepted the invitation from Lewis S. Mills High School/ Region #10 in Burlington CT to host our NEMFA 2013 Concert Festival. John Deeb, Coordinator of Fine Arts and long time member of our association, came forward and offered to host and will be ready to welcome us on March 21-23, 2103. We are grateful and appreciative for all he and Region #10 have done for our membership and look forward to continued support and involvement in NEMFA. Thank you AGAIN, John!


For those who have been long time members of NEMFA, our name was commonly referred to as "The ALL New England Festival" and we were quickly reminded of the proper name: "The New England Music Festival Association". Simply asked, who were the "ALL's" we were referring to? Without the assistance and volunteerism of ALL our members, we may find ourselves in serious jeopardy as we continue to seek festival sites, unless the ALL others come forth and volunteer like those who are the "ALL Doers".


Our ensemble managers have procured our festival conductors and their proposed programs for our concert festival in 2013. Look for their ensemble reports in this bulletin. As always, check our website often to keep abreast of new information, dates, and the many changes that might occur as we move toward the school year. Our Bulletin Editor, Tom Reynolds is there to serve and notify. Bravo to you Tom!


I was pleased that many members took time to attend the Choral Director's Forum at the festival this year. Under Ethan Nash's leadership the committee has developed a revised choral repertoire list for the 2013 Solo & Ensemble Festival pending board approval. Thank you to Ethan and his committee members.


Our deepest gratitude is extended to our Solo & Ensemble Chairs, Steffan Parker and Rob Gattie. They are the leading force in scheduling, resolving and assisting our members throughout the year making our spring festival a musical success.


Please accept my congratulations for continued success and enjoy the long summer days you so deserve.



Most Sincerely,


Sal Cicciarella


President, NEMFA





NEMFA Constant Contact Email Statistics

Statistics for the last NEMFA Web News Bulletin and NEMFA NewsFlash that was emailed to the membership indicate that only a small percentage of what is sent out is actually opened. Of the September, 2011 Web News Bulletin, only 66 out of 255 emails were opened. Of the June, 2011 Web News Bulletin, only 83 out of 255 emails were opened. On the May, 2011 NewsFlash, only 79 out of 299 emails were opened. Let's see if this one fares better among the members!
Secretary's Report
Donald Hermance, NEMFA Recording Secretary

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

            The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

            Bill Sittard, Treasurer, distributed copies of the Association's financial data, and reported that the Association is on very good financial footing.

            Erica Howard, Band Manager, proposed for consideration several possible programs for the 2013 Concert Festival.

            Motion by Tom Reynolds: That the proposed program number (3) be approved. Motion passed unanimously.

            Gail Reynolds, Orchestra Manager, reported that her choice for conductor was found to be repeatedly non-responsive, and so action was taken to negate his contract, with notice of this action sent to him, with a signed notice of reception received. A search for a conductor will continue. From a listing of several proposed programs, the one numbered (2) was approved after some discussion.

            Caleb Pillsbury, Chorus Manager, offered lists of proposed choral selections, of which six were approved. He also reported work on his search for a conductor for the 2013 Concert Festival.

            Tom Reynolds, Editor of the Bulletin, offered a listing of the Association events for the coming year.

            Steffen Parker, Co-coordinator of the Solo and Ensemble Festival, reported some problems with the festival deadlines. He also reported on action concerning revisions of auditions lists.

            Motion by Steffen Parker: That the January acceptance deadline for both on-line and postmarked material be the same date, i.e. the third Saturday in January. Motion passed unanimously.

            Rob Gattie, Co-coordinator of the Solo and Ensemble Festival, led a discussion on the problems inherent in the chorus scoring issue.

Motion by Steffen Parker:  That the revised audition lists be approved. Motion passed.

The Deans' report was distributed, as was the letter of resignation from Dean Clair Burnett,

which was accepted with regret. The Deans' report also offered a job description for that position.

            President Cicciarella announced the appointment of Lynne Morin as Dean of Women.

            Caleb Pillsbury, after considerable discussion on pre-performance auditions, suggested a plan for these auditions, including thoughts on random selection for auditions, use of several rooms, and use of keyboards for the same.

            Motion by Laura Hilton:  That vocal soloists will be auditioned prior to the first sectional rehearsal. Motion passed.

            John Kuhner, Member Services Chairman, distributed copies of the returns from the survey's comments from hosts, students and directors of the Concert Festival, noting that the preponderance of comments from hosts was extremely positive. He also presented copies of the proposed consent forms for hosts.

            Steffen Parker suggested that it might be wise to place the chorus concert first, followed by the instrumental concert.

            Laura Hilton, President-elect, commented on the medical forms and welcomed discussion on the subject.

            Under old business, Pam Rodgers, host for the 2012 Concert Festival, offered a financial report on the festival and she was commended for a superbly well-organized event. Her financial statement included the amount of $10,494.66 as total profit.

            Under new business, President Cicciarella reported that very recently he had received an offer from the Lewis-Mills High School of Burlington, CT as a Concert Festival site for the 2013 site which was accepted. He also charged the Nominating Committee to submit its recommendations for the positions of orchestra and band managers.

            A director's comments regarding the dates of the reception of Concert Festival music prompted a discussion on the current copyright laws, problems of time needed to learn music, and comments from Gail Reynolds on her reply to the director.

            The subject of the quality of Fast Signs utilized at Killingly was broached. President Cicciarella offered to contact the company.

            A meeting of those present involved in the revision of the Association handbook was to follow in the afternoon.

            Gail Reynolds questioned the fairness of some auditions of certain instruments for lack of pertinent music for the audition, using the English horn as an example. She recommended copies of excerpts of the festival music be available for said instruments for such occasions.

            The meeting was adjourned at 12 pm.

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

                                                                        Donald L. Hermance

                                                                        Recording Secretary


Future NEMFA Concert Festival Dates
     March 21-23, 2013 - Lewis S. Mills HS, CT

     March 20-22, 2014

     March 19-21, 2015

     March 17-19, 2016


Be sure to mark these dates into your calendars. We also need host schools for these concert festivals. If you have never hosted a NEMFA Concert Festival at your school, please do consider it. It is a very rewarding experience for any school to be a host, and most every NEMFA Concert Festival has had a positive effect on the host school's music program for a long time after the festival is over. It is also a great way to raise funds for your local school program. Please contact President Sal Cicciarella if you have any further questions about hosting a NEMFA Concert Festival,  

Chorus Manager's Report - Caleb Pillsbury

2013 New England Music Festival Chorus


Hello New England Music Festival Teachers,


It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Sandra Snow from Michigan State University will conduct the 2013 New England Music Festival Chorus. She is a spectacular musician, conductor, and teacher and you can read more about her below. The innovative and exciting program is listed just below my report.


Start listening to these selections as you relax in the hammock or dabble by the pool or ocean this summer, you may want to study these pieces with your students at your school or in any various community choirs with which you work. My students have found that studying a piece with the high school choir then studying it once again with the New England Music Festival Chorus can give the piece greater meaning to them for their lives after high school. It will be a wonderful year! I look forward to see you all again in Burlington, Connecticut at Lewis Mills High School.

                                                                        Most Sincerely,


                                                                        Caleb Pillsbury 


                        2013 New England Music Festival Co-Manager



Caleb Pillsbury is the Choral Director at Mount Mansfield Union High School, where he directs four choirs and teaches AP Music Theory and Guitar. He lives in Burlington, Vermont and participated in the festival three of his four years of high school. Caleb holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and was the 2010 University of Vermont Outstanding Teacher of the Year from the Chittenden East Supervisory Union.


86th NEMFA Concert Festival
Featured Choral Conductor - Dr. Sandra Snow

Dr. Sandra Snow


As conductor, teacher, and scholar, Sandra Snow's work spans a wide variety of ages, abilities, and musics. She holds appointments in conducting and music education at the MSU College of Music, where she interacts with undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of conducting, choral pedagogy, and choral singing. She is a past recipient of the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award.


Snow conducts the Michigan State University Women's Chamber Ensemble, a group that has appeared at consecutive conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (National Conference 2009; Central Division 2008). She has held a principal residency with the Pacific International Children's Choir Festival and made guest conducting appearances with the 2009 Texas All-State Mixed Choir, the 2010 Southern Division Honor Children's Choir, and the New Jersey All-State Women's Choir. Snow has appeared as a headline clinician at various ACDA conferences, most recently Washington, Alabama, and Kansas. Upcoming guest conducting appearances include the Missouri and Montana All-State Mixed Choirs, the Minnesota All-State Women's Choir, and interest sessions at the 2011 national conference of the American Choral Directors Association.

Snow is author of the DVD "Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success" published by GIA (2009), a resource for conductor-teachers at all levels of teaching. She edits the choral music series In High Voice published by Boosey & Hawkes and is a member of the Choral Music Experience Choral Teacher Certification Board. .


2013 NEMFA Chorus Program: 

Awake the Harp From: Creation ........................... Franz Joseph Haydn


Sicut cervus, Psalm 42 ........................ Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina


Men's Selection

Down in the Valley ..................................................... arr. George Mead


Women's Selection

Lake Isle of Innisfree ....................................................... Eleanor Daley


Harlem Songs

3. Tambourines ............................................................ Gwyneth Walker


Doors of Daring ............................................................ Andrea Ramsey


In Remembrance ............................................................. Jeffery Ames 


Band Manager's Report - Erica Howard
Band Manager Erica Howard reports that everything is ready to go with the 2013 New England Music Festival Symphonic Band.

Please see conductor Bradley Genevro's biography and program in the block below.

Respectfully submitted,

Erica Howard

Band Manager
86th NEMFA Concert Festival
Featured Band Conductor - Dr. Bradley Genevro
Dr. Bradley Genevro is Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Messiah College where he conducts the Messiah College Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds. In this capacity, Dr. Genevro is actively involved with all aspects of the Music Education program at Messiah as well as acting as Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program in Conducting. Prior to his appointment at the College, he served on the faculties of Oklahoma State University and the University of North Texas. Dr. Genevro holds the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Wind Conducting from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Eugene Migliaro Corporon. He earned the Masters of Music Performance and Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he studied with composer and conductor Jack Stamp. Ensembles under Dr. Genevro's leadership have performed at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Conference, the International Trumpet Guild Conference and the College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Conference.

Dr. Genevro maintains a very active schedule as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor having worked in over thirty states in the U.S. He has published articles in Teaching Music and is a regular contributor to Teaching Music through Performance in Band published by GIA. As a recording producer, he has worked with the North Texas Wind Symphony, Keystone Wind Ensemble, The University of North Texas Symphonic Band, the U.N.L.V. Wind Orchestra, the Palm Beach Chamber Orchestra and a variety of colleges and universities.


Dr. Genevro holds professional memberships in Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma and the College Band Directors National Association.     


2013 NEMFA Band Program:


Symphony # 3 ................................................ Kozhevnikov/Bourgeouis

Movement 1 only


O Nata Lux .............................................. Guy Forbes/Preston Hazzard


Suite of Old American Dances ......................... Robert Russell Bennett


March Cheerio ................................................. Edwin Franko Goldman

Orchestra Manager's Report - Gail Reynolds
Gail Reynolds
To all NEMFA Members:

I hope that you have a great summer and are looking forward to another great year. We are delighted to welcome Dr. David Rudge of the State University of New York at Fredonia as the 2013 NEMFA Orchestra Conductor. Please see his biography and program below.

In the following part of my report, I have included some basic reminders regarding our Concert Festival since I get a lot of questions from students, parents, and teachers regarding this information.


DRESS CODE. Visit for the dress code.



  1. A pencil with an eraser.
  2. Percussion: Bring mallets & sticks. Triangle, woodblock and other instruments will be provided to you on site.
  3. Strings bring accessories (rockstops, anchors, rosin, mute if needed, extra strings and an extra bow if possible).
  4. Woodwinds & brass bring necessary accessories and extra reeds, etc. Oboe 1 bring a tuner to give the orchestra 'A- 440'.
  5. ID TAGS on your instrument case. Keep a copy of your instrument's identification information at home.                                   


  1. Food or beverage other than water is not allowed.
  2. Gum is not permitted during rehearsal.
  3. Hats or hoods are not permitted during rehearsal.
  4. TEXTING or other use of cell phones during rehearsals is prohibited. It is disrespectful to the conductor and the ensemble and distracting to you and surrounding students. If this rule is ignored, cell phones may be collected during rehearsal time, and handed back out at the completion of the rehearsal segment (excluding breaks).


Students and their sponsors are responsible for acquainting themselves with the new policy and preparing accordingly. 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.

  • FIRST CHAIR SELECTION POLICY & PROCEDURE: 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.

  • NON-FIRST CHAIR SEATING POLICY : Students may be moved within their section for any of the following reasons:
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Absenteeism may result in students being reassigned further up either by chair or by stand (depending on divisi requirements).


Your director/sponsor can contact me with questions. Please do not contact me yourself.


Gail Reynolds  


NEMFA Orchestra Manager



86th New England Music Festival
Featured Orchestra Conductor - Dr. David Rudge
 Dr. David Rudge serves as the Director of the College Symphony Orchestra and Director of the Opera Orchestra at the State University of New York at Fredonia.  He has conducted orchestras on five continents to rave reviews. As Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Guatemala he was credited with the dramatic rebirth of that orchestra. Described as "dynamic" and "electric," Guatemala's Prensa Libre wrote, "It has been many years since we have heard a symphony orchestra play with such inspiration."
2013 NEMFA Orchestra Program
 Capriccio Espagnol ............................................ Rimsky-Korsakov 15"

            3(1 2 picc) 2(1/EH 2) 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - timp+5 harp strings


Pomp and Circumstance No. 4 ................................................ Elgar 4"

            3(1 2 3/picc) 3(1 2 EH) 3 or 2(1 2 bcl) 3 or 2(1 2 cbn) - 4 3 3 1 -  

            timp+3 - harp strings


Firebird  (Ber. And Finale) .............................................. Stravinsky (7)

            2[1.2/pic**] 2[1.2/EH] 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - tmp +3 - hp - pf/opt. cel - str




Please look at the previous article by NEMFA Orchestra Manager Gail Reynolds regarding the NEMFA Concert Festival String Seating Policy so that orchestra students and their directors clearly understand how it is established. 

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 each and 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

Lowell Mason House Lowell Mason House Preserves Music Education
Lowell Mason House

by Thomas E. Reynolds, Chair, Lowell Mason House Subcommittee

(Reprinted from the Massachusetts Music News, Fall 2011, Vol. 60, No. 1, pps. 51-53)


On March 14, 2010, Ms. Cynthia Grammer, President of the Massachusetts Music Educators' Association, asked me to take on a project that surfaced in late February/early March in the Town of Medfield. It seemed that a house on 25 Adams Street was in danger of being demolished.


On the surface, it would not appear to be a particularly special dwelling... that is, until it was discovered that this house, built after 1694 and sometime in the mid 1700's, was the birthplace of Lowell Mason, the first person to introduce music education to the public schools of the United States through his work in the Boston Public Schools. The music of Lowell Mason can still be heard in churches and schools across the country. In addition to his role introducing music education to American public schools, the prolific 19th-century American composer is famous for many hymns, including "Nearer My God to Thee. He is also the founder of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. But while Mason's musical legacy still endures almost two centuries after his death, the future of a historic landmark associated with his early life in Medfield remains uncertain.


On March 3, 2010 the Medfield Historical Commission unanimously voted to impose a one-year demolition delay on Nauset Construction Corp., the potential buyer of Mason's birthplace at 25 Adams Street, during a public hearing on the matter. A large turnout at the meeting provided the first signal that there was great interest in the Town of Medfield over this project. During the standing-room only hearing at Medfield Town Hall, the Historical Commission heard passionate testimony about the historical significance of Lowell Mason and his place of birth. While the condition of the house has deteriorated in recent years, outside consultants have agreed that the house is basically structurally sound and that restoration is worth exploring.


The Meetings Begin

Thirty-five people were present at the first organizational meeting, including neighbors of the Mason House property, two selectmen, the developer (buyer), the seller, numerous interested citizens, and three persons representing the Music Education constituency (Jerry Kazanjian of MMEA Retired, and a resident of Medfield; Thomas Reynolds MMEA Central District Chairperson and Chair of the MMEA Lowell Mason House Subcommittee, and Tim McGee, music educator and MMEA member of Sharon High School). Everyone, including the developer, was united in their desire to see all parties-the developer, the seller, and, what we later dubbed ourselves, The Friends of the Lowell Mason House-reach a win-win outcome. The most viable option for the house was for it to be moved, at a preliminary price tag of $40-$50,000.


Ideas were presented regarding the possible uses for the house. One suggestion was renting space in the Lowell Mason House for the offices of an organization such as MMEA. Another idea considered was renting first floor space to a music teacher for studio lessons or small recitals. Still another suggestion was to present chamber music concerts indoors and band concerts outdoors, with the possibility of student band groups touring and performing at the facility. A small museum could be a part of the house. Yale University and the University of Maryland have works of Lowell Mason in their collections that are affiliated with MENC. Perhaps some contents could be lent or given to the Lowell Mason House to become part of the museum collection. It could also serve as a local art gallery with art shows and concerts as part of rotating programs at the house. It would enable local artists to display and sell their work, an economically viable alternative. After the meeting, things began moving very quickly in a positive way. An e-mail news list was developed, along with website: The group voted to be known as the Lowell Mason Foundation and initiated plans to become a 501c(3) nonprofit organization. An aggressive fund raising campaign was begun, and within a year, we had raised $60,000.00...enough to move the building to a new site. The preparation of the new site, construction of a foundation with a full basement, and the actual movement of the building to its new site came to be known as the "Phase I" of the project. An informational brochure was printed and made available to interested parties. The web site was modified to accommodate online fundraising capabilities. A promotion video for Medfield TV (Cable 8) was made and shown extensively.


After looking at a number of different options, the Lowell Mason Foundation decided to accept a piece of land offered by the town of Medfield at 60 Green Street, adjacent to the Stephen Hinkley Memorial Park, with the Medfield Historical Society acting as fiscal agent until the new Lowell Mason Foundation could obtain its own 501c(3) non-profit status. Consultants provided guidance on structural engineering, architecture, and historical restorations, and determined costs to move the house to its new location.


Lowell Mason House Move 

The Movement of the House: Apr. 19,2011

On April 19, just 13 months after the project began, the Lowell Mason House was moved from Adams Road to its new home on Green Street in Medfield. It took an entire day to move the house a distance of just over one mile. Utility crews accompanied every foot of the move, making certain that utility lines were properly cleared as the house made its way to its new foundation with a full basement on town-owned land near the Stephen Hinkley Park on Green Street. The move has not been without its share of difficulties. While the building is structurally sound, the external cosmetic appearance of the Lowell Mason House is, at present, poor. The Lowell Mason House, in its present form, looks far less attractive than it does on the artist-rendition of it on the Lowell Mason Foundation Fund-Raising Brochure, and some families in the neighborhood have not been particularly enthused. Restoring the cosmetic appearance of the building in its new neighborhood is Phase II. Significantly more money is needed now, so that work on the internal and external restoration of the building may begin.


The Momentum Continues to Build

The Lowell Mason Foundation, Inc. is now certified as a 501-c3 organization and is in a continuous fundraising campaign to raise enough funds to bring the house to the next phase of restoration at a level that will be museum-quality when finished. With continued financial support and encouragement, the Foundation will have the backing it needs to complete this important task of preserving this historical property so significant to the history of music education and church music here in the United States. The members of the Foundation look forward to developing a closer partnership with MMEA as the project moves forward in the next phase of its completion.


Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Make checks payable to: The Lowell Mason Foundation, P. O. Box 913 Medfield, MA 02052. Your contribution is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution to the extent provided by U.S. tax law. ·


- Thomas E. Reynolds is music director at The Bromfield School in Harvard, Massachusetts, is a member of the Lowell Mason Foundation, Inc. Executive Board, and presently serves as Past District Chairperson of the Massachusetts Music Educators' Association Executive Board. He also serves as a member of the Executive Boards of the New England Music Festival Association and the John Philip Sousa Foundation.



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.