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   New England Music Festival Association, Inc.               June 2014                  Volume LXXVIII,  No. 3       

Latest News
NEMFA Officers 2013-14
President's Message
Secretary's Report
Future Concert Festival Dates
Chorus Re-Hearing Process
Chorus Conductor
Chorus Manager
Orchestra Manager
Band Manager
NEMFA Archives
Lowell Mason House Project

Mt. Anthony Union High School
301 Park Street
Bennington, VT  05201
802.447.7511, x262


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
56 Harvest Hill Road,
Kensington, CT 06037
860.543.2992 (Cell) (O 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
Fair Haven Union High School
33 Mechanics Street,
Fair Haven, VT 05743
802.265.4066 (O) (O 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
8 Cottage Street
Provincetown, MA  02657
646.456.9041 (Cell) (H 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:


NEMFA Calendar 2014-2015

June 7, 2014-Executive Board Meeting, 10:00am, Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT
September 6, 2014-Executive Board Meeting 10:00am,Keene High School,Keene,NH 
October 1, 2014 - Online Application Process begins for 2014-2015
October 27, 2014 - Electronic Deadline S/E Festival (online)
November 1, 2014 - Postmark Deadline S/E Festival to Bill Sittard
December 6, 2014 - NORTHERN SITE Solo/Ensemble Festival, Hartford High School, White River Jct., VT
December 13, 2014 - SOUTHERN SITE Solo/Ensemble Festival, Cheshire High School, Cheshire, CT
December 20, 2014 - SNOW DATE for either of the two S/E Festivals listed above.
January 19, 2015 - POSTMARK DEADLINE Acceptance to Concert Festival. After 2/1/2015, no forms will be accepted.
March 19-21, 2015 - Concert Festival, Keene High School, Keene, NH.
June 6, 2015-Executive Board Meeting, 10:00am, Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT 
President's Message -
Sal Cicciarella
Sal Cicciarella

June, 2014


Dear New England Members, Colleagues, and Friends,


As I reflect on our recent NEMFA Concert Festival, dreams were fulfilled with continued musical performance experiences for our students. While these festivals fulfill our wishes for continued students' success, we are proud of the accomplishments of many for another wonderful concert festival.


Our festival host, Mount Anthony Union High School, provided our NEMFA with a great rehearsal and performance facility exceeding our expectations. We want to congratulate the entire music department staff, and students for their dedication and outstanding accomplishments as this year's hosts. Marjorie Rooen and Lynn Sweet, Host Chairperson, and all committees, went beyond the call of duty to showcase our great organization. A heartfelt thank you is sent to the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union District administration and 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; Peter Roach, Band manager from Fair Haven Union High School, White River Junction, Vermont; and Tony Brackett Orchestra Manager from Provincetown, Massachusetts all deserve our deepest appreciation for selecting outstanding nationally recognized conductors to work with our students and sharing their musical expertise culminating with great performances from each of the ensembles. 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 may occur as we move toward the school year. Our Bulletin Editor, Tom Reynolds is there to serve and notify.


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 S&E and concert festival a musical success.


At our recent executive board meeting we were pleased to accept an invitation from Keene High School High New Hampshire for the 88th NEMFA Concert Festival on March 19-21, 2015. Thomas Martin, host and music director, is a long time member of our association and continues to support the activities of NEMFA. We are grateful and appreciative for this kind invitation from the New Hampshire School Administration Unit 29 and all festival committee members.


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



Sal Cicciarella


President, NEMFA



Secretary's Report -
Gail Reynolds
Gail Reynolds


March 21, 2014 10:00AM

Mt. Anthony Union High School, Bennington, VT.


The Meeting was called to order by President Sal Cicciarella at 10:08AM


In attendance: Sal Cicciarella, Laura Hilton, Gail Reynolds, Bill Sittard, Frank Whitcomb, Tom Reynolds, Steffen Parker, Rob Gattie, Tony Brackett, Peter Roach and Caleb Pillsbury and John Kuhner.


Member Apologies: None.


Guests: Kevin Lam, Don Hermance, Lynn Sweet, Marjorie Rooen.


Minutes from the January 3, 2014 meeting were read by Gail Reynolds. A motion by Tony Brackett to accept as read was passed.


Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Sittard reported that NEMFA remains in good financial standing to date, preceding this festival. A motion by Steffen Parker to accept the report was passed unanimously.


Band Manager, Peter Roach reported that everything is OK. He reported some weakness in the percussion section and added that some teachers have volunteered to help. He reported that conductor, Peter Boonshaft, is satisfied with the students' preparation in general and likes their effort and attitude.


Orchestra Manager, Tony Bracket reported he is pleased with conductor Adam Glaser. He was upset with the students' preparation, adding that they quickly progressed to where they should have been initially. Mr. Bracket noted that the timpanist is very weak. He recommended a discussion about the selection committee's practice of occasionally assigning students to parts for which they did not adjudicate.


Chorus Manager, Caleb Pillsbury reported that the chorus was well prepared in general. The conductor was very pleased and is challenging them to produce even more.


2014 Concert Festival Host Report, Majorie Rooen and Lynn Sweet. Following a show of gratitude by the EB to the hosts, Lynn Sweet reported that all is going well. She noted that housing was a tremendous challenge and students were still being housed a two days before the festival. She also reported receiving many calls and complaints by sponsors regarding housing placement and added that some had requested changes. Ms. Rooen noted that school being in session during the festival presented additional problems. President Cicciarella reminded the EB that concert programs need to be proofed by the ensemble managers as well as by Steffen Parker.




Bulletin Editor & Website Manager, Tom Reynolds, suggested that ensemble managers try to select committee members from more than one state if possible. A clarification was made that managers may decide on the size of their own committee.


Deans Report, Kevin Lam and Laura Hilton. Kevin Lam reported that he received the student data base yesterday. A clarification was made to the school nurses that nemfa students may carry and take OTC medications that are listed on their medical forms. Two students went home ill. Tony Brackett recommended that the school nurses receive a flash drive with the student medical information by Thursday morning of the festival.


Solo & Ensemble Festival Co-Chairs Report, Steffen Parker & Rob Gattie. Rob Gattie reported that he offered the S & E adjudicators complimentary concert tickets. Steffen Parker expressed thanks to Tony Brackett for reworking the violin S & E repertoire list.


Choral On-Site Hearing Policy Update/Results. Caleb Pillsbury reported the following results from the hearings: 21 were perfect, 29 were one point off, and 14 were recommended for remediation. He added that the remedial sectional achieved good results. Mr. Pillsbury recommended that teachers should be present in the hearing warm-up area to help usher students into hearing rooms more quickly.


Performance Certificates Report, Steffen Parker and Gail Reynolds. Steffen Parker reported that the certificate issue remains tabled as decided by the EB at the last meeting. He reported that he continues to work on creating a downloadable certificate. Gail Reynolds reported that the string teachers who attended the violin repertoire forum were enthusiastic over the idea of providing participation certificates to students for both the S & E and the Concert Festival.


Member Service Report, John Kuhner recommended printing and distributing trifolds at the concert. A motion by Frank Whitcomb to print 1000 trifolds passed unanimously. John volunteered to attend the NE Region John Philip Souza National Honors Band Festival April 24-26 as a NEMFA representative for recruitment purposes. Mr. Kuhner recommended starting a membership drive with the goal of each EB member recruiting at least one new sponsor. He suggested that EB members contact music teachers listed on a DB which he will provide. He also volunteered to ask the general membership to help recruit new sponsors at the General Membership Meeting. Kevin Lam agreed to consider helping with the social media aspect with focus on student participation. Tony Brackett suggested that the EB consider allowing eighth graders attend the S & E Festival on an adjudication-only basis with the possibility of those students being allowed to perform the same piece the following year. John Kuhner suggested that the NEMFA S & E Festival partner with a state music association (VMEA or CMEA) in the NEMFA S & E Festival. He agreed to reach out to the CT. and VT. associations and also contact the other New England states with the same information. He will submit a proposal for EB approval before June for a vote via email.



 New Business.


1. Dates:


Saturday, June 7 & 8, 2014 at Holiday Inn Express Brattleboro, VT.: The Summit/EB meeting.

Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 EB meeting Keene HS, NH.

March 19-21, 2015: 2015 Concert Festival, Keene NH. Thomas Martin Host.


2. Web Site Development Update/Survey Monkey Report: Steffen Parker. Tabled.


3. Dean of Women Vacancy. Following a discussion of the difficulty in filling this vacancy, a motion by Tony Brackett to appoint only one dean instead of two was passed unanimously.


4. Snow Dates for the S & E Festivals. The 2014 S & E snow date is December 20th. A motion by Gail Reynolds that the EB annually set a S & E snow date at their March meeting was agreed upon unanimously.


5. S & E Festival locations. A motion by Frank Whitcomb that the southern site remain in Cheshire, CT. for next year passed unanimously.


6. Instrumental Concert Repertoire Discussion. Ensemble Managers were reminded to assist their conductors to submit program proposals to include representation of both standard and newer literature.


7. Orchestra Conductor Nomination, Tony Brackett. A motion by Tony Brackett to hire Robert Lehmann (USM School of Music) as orchestra conductor for 2015 passed unanimously.


8. Housing vs. Hotels for students: John Kuhner. The EB noted that an option for sponsors to house their students independently at a hotel instead of host families already exists. The EB recognized that some potential hosts may be uncomfortable releasing their social security numbers to NEMFA for background checks. President Cicciarella will ask the 2015 host Tom Martin for his opinion about this issue. There was discussion about the feasibility and possible advantage of allowing the host school to assist in the background checking process. After discussion, no new action was taken.


9. Dress Code. It was decided that Steffen and Tom will review the dress code and discuss revisions at the June meeting.


10. Solo Vocal Rep. Tabled.


11. String Forum Report: Tony Brackett. Mr. Brackett reported the findings and recommendations of Thursday evening's string forum which focused primarily on the violin S & E list. Tony recommended a one-year trial of the changes. The following motion, made by Tony Brackett was unanimously passed by the EB on a one year trial basis: The S & E violin list will be trimmed down with the removal of pieces that are below the skill level needed for the Concert Festival. A list of Virtuoso Level pieces will be added which will offer students an opportunity to be awarded an additional 1-7 points on their final score by the adjudicator. A list of adjudication-only pieces will also be posted.


12. Summer EB Summit Meeting. Gail Reynolds suggested that the EB participate in a retreat/summit over the summer. After discussion, it was decided that the EB will hold a summit meeting Saturday, June 7 at 10AM and move the EB meeting to Sunday June 8 at 10AM.


Burton O. Cowgill Award. It was reported that the award recipients were selected and that there was a tie between two instrumentalists. Both will receive the award.


The meeting adjourned at 12:23PM


The next NEMFA EB meeting will be an EB summit and meeting. The summit will be held Saturday, June 7 at10AM followed by the EB meeting on June 8, 2014 at 9AM at the Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT.



                                                                     Respectfully submitted,


                                                                        Gail Reynolds

                                                                        Recording Secretary



March 21, 2014

Mount Anthony Union HS, Bennington, CT.


The meeting was called to order at 2:31PM by President Sal Cicciarella. Present were about 50 members of the Association.


A motion by John Kuhner to accept last year's minutes was approved.


Treasurer Bill Sittard reported the association to be in good financial shape. He pointed out a need to discuss new membership. A motion by Steffen Parker to accept the report passed unanimously.


Orchestra Manager, Tony Brackett reported that the orchestra had a shaky start due to lack of preparation but was now on track. He noted that the program was well selected and accessible to the players. He gave a report on Thursday's String Forum: Violin Repertoire List for the S & E Festival. Mr. Brackett explained that the reason for the forum was primarily a concern over the length and disparity of the S & E violin list. The following motion was passed by the EB on a one year trial basis: The S & E violin list will be trimmed down with the removal of pieces that are below the skill level needed for the Concert Festival. A list of Virtuoso Level pieces will be added which will offer students an opportunity to be awarded an additional 1-7 points on their final score by the adjudicator. A list of adjudication-only pieces will also be posted.


Band Manager, Peter Roach reported that conductor, Peter Boonshaft is excited to be here and that he is working the students hard. He is generally pleased with the preparation. He added that the students are attentive and receptive and that the program is coming together.


Chorus Manager, Caleb Pillsbury said that the conductor is pleased with the students' preparation and work ethic. He invited sponsor input regarding the hearings procedure. He asked sponsors to assist in the hearing process by helping to usher students into the hearing rooms. He reported the results of the hearings. Pam Rogers asked if the parts rehearsal tracks could be more musical than simply including just the student's own part without any accompaniment.


MT. Anthony Union HS hosts, Marjorie Rooen and Lynn Sweet were recognized and thanked for their efforts in making the concert festival a success. The hosts remarked that the festival was running smoothly. They said that the housing was finished two days ago and asked sponsors to be more understanding of the enormity of the task. They reminded sponsors that Thursday LUNCH is NOT provided by the host school. There was a request by the membership that host school accept student housing requests. Stephen Parker replied that the capability already exists online. Past hosts who were in attendance stated that trying to accommodate requests for non-essential housing needs is hard to accomplish.


Website Manager, Tom Reynolds informed the membership that the nemfa website is being rewritten and invited suggestions be sent to Steffen Parker.


Acting Deans Kevin Lam & Laura Hilton reminded the membership that medical forms are located online. Steffen Parker agreed to make it possible for sponsors to have access to their students' health forms. President Cicciarella asked that any sponsors who are interested in applying for the Dean vacancy see the acting Deans or an EB member.


S & E Co-Chair, Rob Gattie reported the next S & E dates as: North 12/6 and South 12/13 with December 20th as the snow date. He asked for recommendations for new adjudicators. Co-Chair, Steffen Parker reported that the S & E numbers are down. He reminded sponsors that students can always adjudicate only. He said he will work on making it easier for sponsors to locate on-line forms. Tom Martin (2015 Concert Host) asked if housing family's background check applications (specifically, ss #) be handled locally. President Cicciarella said that the EB will look into it. Following a member request regarding the soprano dropdown solo list, Steffen Parker said he will look into making concert festival songs more easily identifiable from adjudication-only songs. Steffen reported that the EB continues to work on creating certificates for the Concert and S & E Festivals.


The membership was asked to offer suggestions to increase membership. Don Hermance delivered a speech on the impact that NEMFA had on his life and concluded with a plea for volunteerism.


Laura Hilton expressed a need for future hosts.


John Kuhner, Member Service Chair reported that the EB is working on plans for a membership drive. He said that EB will contact the membership and ask them to try to recruit one new sponsor. He noted NEMFA's increased use of social media with students as a possible means to solicit new members. He informed the membership of the Association's plans to approach the presidents of state music associations with an offer to partner with NEMFA for the S & E Festival. A member suggested that NEMFA reach out to colleges for new sponsors. The EB is also considering allowing 8th graders into the S & E Festival on an adjudications-only basis. John closed with a request that new ideas on increasing membership to be sent to him before May.


Vocal Repertoire lists will be streamlined.


ANNOUNCEMENT by President Cicciarella: Please remember that the Festival host WILL NOT provide a lunch for students on Thursday.


2015 Concert Festival will be in Keene, NH. March 19-21, 2015.

                                                                     Respectfully submitted,


                                                                           Gail Reynolds

                                                                        Recording Secretary

Future NEMFA Concert Festival Dates

     March 19-21, 2015 - Keene, NH

     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,  

NEMFA Chorus On-Site Hearing Policy/Process-  Robert Gattie & Caleb Pillsbury

Chorus Onsite Hearing Policy & Process

Adopted December 7, 2012

Revised December 13, 2013


Purpose: To verify that all students attending the Festival Chorus are adequately prepared so as to provide for the optimum musical experience for all students collectively, and to support our member's desires to provide a quality musical experience for all students.



Who- All students will sing sections from three or more pieces in the program to demonstrate preparation.


How- The Onsite Hearing will be done in a double quartet with live keyboard accompaniment provided as needed.


What- Music selections will not necessarily represent the most difficult passages that a group of students coming together for the first time would struggle with. They should however be passages that will be able to represent an acceptable level of preparation rather than some good sight-reading. These passages will be selected by the Chorus Manager and approved by at least 2 others, either Chorus Committee members or Executive Board members.


When- The Onsite Hearing process will start when students first arrive and will be completed prior to the start of the first rehearsal. The hearing times will be scheduled and all directors/sponsors will be notified.


Where- The host school will work with the Chorus Manager to provide the necessary rooms for the time needed. There will be approximately 30 groups of 8 students, each needing 10 minutes. Using three rooms, that would mean taking a bit less than 2 hours to complete the process.


Who listens- The Chorus Manager will solicit the help of NEMFA members to hear the double quartets. There will be two members in each room to help assure a balanced decision.


Results- Students:

Prepared students

All students who are adequately prepared will take their places in the Festival Chorus.


Unprepared students

Unprepared students will work with their own teacher/sponsor or a NEMFA provided instructor, in spaces provided by the host school, attempting to raise their level of preparation to an acceptable minimum. Students may miss no more than 1 hour of the first rehearsal to accomplish this at which time they will join the full rehearsal. The association will at this time take in good faith the preparation level of the student to be adequate.


2015 NEMFA Chorus Conductor -
Dr. Jerry Blackstone

Grammy® Award-winning conductor Jerry Blackstone is director of choirs and chair of the conducting department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where he conducts the Chamber Choir, teaches conducting at the graduate level, and administers a choral program of 11 choirs. In February 2006, he received two Grammy® Awards ("Best Choral Performance" and "Best Classical Album") as chorusmaster for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom's monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience. In 2006, the Chamber Choir performed by special invitation at the inaugural convention of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in San Antonio, and in 2003 the Chamber Choir presented three enthusiastically received performances in New York City at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In addition to Blackstone's choral conducting work at the University, he has led operatic productions with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre, including productions of Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen and Strauss's Die Fledermaus. For significant contributions to choral music in Michigan, he received the 2006 Maynard Klein Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACDA-Michigan chapter.


Blackstone is considered one of the country's leading conducting teachers, and his students have received first place awards and been finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors Association biennial National Choral Conducting Awards competition. He has appeared as festival guest conductor and workshop presenter in 30 states as well as New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Guest appearances for 2012-13 include festivals and conference presentations in Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland, New York, California, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, South Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Michigan.


In 2004, Blackstone was named conductor and music director of the University Musical Society Choral Union, a large community/university chorus that frequently appears with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and presents yearly performances of Handel's Messiah and other major works for chorus and orchestra. In March 2008, he conducted the UMS Choral Union and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a special performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Choirs prepared by Blackstone have appeared under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Neeme Järvi, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, Helmuth Rilling, James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Peter Oundjian, and Itzhak Perlman.


As conductor of the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club from 1988-2002, Blackstone led the ensemble in performances at ACDA national and division conventions and on extensive concert tours throughout Australia, Eastern and Central Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States. The recently released U-M Men's Glee Club CD, I have had singing, is a retrospective of his tenure as conductor of the ensemble.


Santa Barbara Music Publishing distributes Blackstone's acclaimed educational video, Working with Male Voices, and publishes theJerry Blackstone Choral Series, a set of choral publications that presents works by several composers in a variety of musical styles.


Prior to coming to the University of Michigan in 1988, Blackstone served on the music faculties of Phillips University in Oklahoma, Westmont College in California, and Huntington College in Indiana. He holds degrees from the University of Southern California, Indiana University, and Wheaton College.
2015 NEMFA Chorus Manager
Caleb Pillsbury
Caleb Pillsbury

Hello and Happy Summer..!!


First I'd like to thank you all for your hard work preparing your students for the festival and in Bennington during the On Site Hearings. I will be in touch once again for adjudicators in Keene, New Hampshire.


Dr. Shangkuan was thrilled to work with our students, was impressed with their musicality and was thrilled that she could focus on the details that made the performance so excellent. Jerry Blackstone has put together an excellent program that we will send on to you in the Autumn Bulletin once it is finalized.


Second, I'd like to thank Nola Campbell from Glastonbury High School and Frank Whitcomb from Burlington High School for their beautiful playing in the concert. It was such a thrill for the students to be accompanied by such outstanding musicians. Listening to the recordings has been such a thrill. We will have Kathleen Bartkowski accompany the choir once more in Keene.


I am confident the 2015 Concert Festival will be once again an outstanding educational and musical experience for our students. If you have any feedback or would like to help with Chorus Onsite Hearings in Keene, please feel free to contact me at:


See you in Keene!



Caleb Pillsbury


2015 NEMFA Orchestra Manager -
Anthony Brackett
Tony Brackett
The 2014 New England Music Festival Orchestra performed brilliantly at the concert last March. Maestro Adam Glaser from the Juilliard School lead the musicians through some standard repertoire which, while familiar to most of us, felt very exciting, fresh and youthful. It was such a pleasure to watch the orchestra grow musically through the rehearsals. Many thanks to our hosts at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, VT for showing us all such an excellent time.

Our 2015 Orchestra conductor will be Mr. Robert Lehmann, Associate Professor, Director of String Studies and Orchestral Activities at the University of Southern Maine School of Music. A superb violinist, Mr. Lehmann was on the conducting staff of the Greater Boston and Empire State Youth Orchestras, has conducted All-State Orchestras from Maine to California, is first violinist of the Meliora Quartet and concertmaster of the PORTOpera. Please visit his website:


Violin students and teachers please take note of the repertoire listings for the Solo & Ensemble Festival. NEMFA has decided to update the solo listings for violin. While most of your favorite pieces will still be on the list, some solos not considered to be of a level that would easily indicate the overall playing ability of the performer, have been eliminated. We have also added a "Virtuoso List" of ten extremely difficult solos. If a student chooses to perform a piece from this list and does an outstanding job, an additional 0-7 bonus points might be added to the total score. The allocation of bonus points will be determined by the adjudicator. Of course, if a solo is not on our list of approved repertoire, you can still perform that piece for adjudication comments only.

Thanks again to the students, faculty and family members of NEMFA for making this musical experience so special and meaningful. I look forward to working with the orchestra again this coming year.

Have a restful summer.


Tony Brackett

Orchestra Manager


2015 NEMFA Band Manager
Peter Roach
Peter Roach

 We had a great festival experience this past March. Dr. Peter Boonshaft selected a wonderful program and the students performed it fantastically. Dr. Boonshaft was very pleased with his experience in working with NEMFA and the many talented students associated with it. The students had a great musical experience and really enjoyed working with Dr. Boonshaft. It was a truly great weekend. We are working hard and looking forward to next year's festival in Keene NH.   



Overall I thought the event went very well for everybody. I thought that the performances were very good for all three groups. I think that the band responded to Dr. Peter Boonshaft and really rose to the occasion through the week and into the concert having a very good performance. I thought that Dr. Boonshaft was quite demanding of the students but at an appropriate level for the level of musician that was present and again the students responded to the high expectation. I thought Mount Anthony was a great host. Their teachers, students, and community were very accommodating and worked diligently to help with whatever was needed. The students were well behaved and ready to work. I thought we had everything we needed for the band for the festival.  


Most of the difficulties I encountered seemed like they were a common thing to putting on a festival like this or due to this year's weather. I thought it was tough to have a solo and ensemble festival postponed. This meant students couldn't make it, the groups were selected later, the alternates were put in later, and the music got out later. I think the theme of membership does affect the number of students performing. We were quite short on some instruments leading to not having full instrumentation and also selecting students lower on the scale for the ensemble. One issue was also selecting students for the concert festival based on what they performed in the solo and ensemble festival especially in the percussion level. Playing percussion in an ensemble is such a different idea than performing a solo. I will keep this in mind for future selection. The band manager usually meets with percussion judge as well but that could not happen because of the weather changed date.  


I learned to be quite flexible with setup and desires from my conductor and how to put forth the best plan for the concert festival. The biggest thing was how the timeline and schedule of events works within NEMFA. I have a much better understanding of the flow of events and expectations. I have learned so much and I thank NEMFA for their help and guidance with everything. 


Peter Roach, NEMFA Band Manager, is the Band Director at Fair Haven Union High School in Fair Haven, Vermont.
NEMFA Archives -
Thomas Reynolds
Tom Reynolds
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 Project
Lowell Mason Poster

by Thomas E. Reynolds




June 15, 2013


The Lowell Mason Foundation has been brainstorming ways of raising the necessary $250,000.00 to complete the restoration of the house, to turn it into a museum and a meeting place. Now that the house has been saved and moved, the next step is to restore the interior and exterior of the house and equip it with services, such as electricity, and water.


One major fund-raising project for the Lowell Mason Foundation which also may be used to support music education initiatives in local schools is the Lowell Mason Music Education poster, shown at the top of this article. A beautiful, full color poster designed by Mrs. Barbara Bose, Foundation members are hoping that music educators around New England would be interested in having  the poster prominently displayed in music rooms throughout the region. The poster sells for $15.00 each and directly supports the restoration of the Lowell Mason House...however, the Lowell Mason Foundation is open to have student music groups at various schools sell the poster for $15.00, with $10.00 going to the restoration of the Lowell Mason House and $5.00 going to the local music student group as a way of supporting student music education initiatives. We are hopeful that a number of schools will want to take part in this fund-raising project.


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



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,

Hope that you are having a great school year!


Thomas Reynolds

New England Music Festival Association, Inc.