New England Music Festival Association, Inc.

News Banner

      New England Music Festival Association, Inc.                  June  2016                 Volume LXXX,  No. 3    

Latest News
NEMFA Officers 2016-17
Past President's Message
President's Message
Secretary's Report
Annual Meeting
Future Concert Festival Dates
Chorus Manager
2017 Chorus Conductor
Orchestra Manager
2017 Orchestra Conductor
Band Manager
2017 Band Conductor
Lowell Mason House Project
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:






Brien McMahon High School

300 Highland Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06854





Provincetown, MA


Immediate Past-President


Somers, CT

860.749.7693 (H)

860.729.4410 (C) (H e-Mail)



Burlington, VT

802.734.2871 (H) (H e-Mail)



Mt. Anthony Union High School

301 Park Street

Bennington, VT 05201

802.447.7511, x262

Executive Secretary-Treasurer


73 Beauchamp Terrace,

Chicopee, MA 01020

413.683.4235 (H Fax)

413.478.7030 (O) (H e-Mail)

Recording Secretary


Kensington, CT (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


Williston, VT

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


Bethel High School

300 Whittlesey Drive,

Bethel, CT 06801

860.985.0643 (Cell) (O e-Mail)

Orchestra Manager


Glastonbury High School

330 Hubbard Street

Glastonbury, CT 06035

860.392.8080 (Cell)

860.652.7200, x1150 (O) (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))

Dean of Students


Waterbury Center, VT

Social Media Chair


Valley Regional High School

Deep River, CT

Bulletin Editor, Archivist, Web Site Manager


PO Box 102,

Templeton, MA 01468

617.529-9402 (H) (H e-Mail)
NEMFA Calendar 2016-2017

June 4, 2016-Executive Board Meeting, 10:00am, Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT

September 10, 2016-Executive Board Mtg., 10:00am Brien McMahon HS, Norwalk, CT

December 3, 2016-Solo & Ensemble Festival North-Hartford HS, White River Jct., VT

December 9, 2016-Executive Board Meeting-7:30pm, Cheshire, CT

December 10, 2016-Solo & Ensemble Festival South-Cheshire HS,Cheshire,CT

December 17, 2016-Solo & Ensemble Festival-Snowdate

March 16-18, 2017-90th Concert Festival, Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk, CT

June 3, 2017-Executive Board Meeting, 10:00am, Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT 
Past President's Message -

Sal Cicciarella

Sal Cicciarella
Dear NEMFA Colleagues.

Writing my last letter under our new Executive Board President, I am filled with gratitude and anticipation for a new beginning for our organization.

I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate NEMFA for continuing the musical excellence and growth of our great traditions established many years ago.

Congratulations to our new President, Anthony Brackett for moving forward with bright and innovative initiatives benefiting our students, members and colleagues throughout the New England area.

I look forward to serving you in my capacity as Past President and appreciate all your good wishes and gestures shared during the past year and at our recent concert festival.

I wish you all continued success and hope you have a wonderful summer break filled with exploration and musical enrichment.

My best to you, always.


Sal Cicciarella
Past President, NEMFA  

President's Message -

Tony Brackett

Tony Brackett
Dear Colleagues,
As we all prepare to sew up another school year and enter into a summer of travel, vacationing, home repairs, catching up with old friends, cookouts or just watching the grass grow, I want to announce that we have officially accepted an invitation from Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, CT, to host our 2017 Concert Festival. I am thrilled that our friends and colleagues Frank Arcari, Scott Benson and Ron Secchi have stepped up. Their experience, enthusiasm and excellent work ethics promise us an excellent 2017 Concert Festival. Thank you, gentlemen!
I must extend an enormous thank you to our colleagues at Gilford High School for treating us to an extremely well-run Concert Festival last March. Lyvie Beyrent, Denise Sanborn and their extended team of colleagues, parents , students and community members did a spectacular job. Hosting a festival is a huge undertaking but well worth the effort in that you make great connections in your community, give wonderful exposure for music and your music programs as well as learning for yourselves a lot about the inner workings of organizing an event such as this. Job well done, Gilford! You may even make some money for your school!
Our Ensemble Managers have been busy securing conductors and selecting programs for March. Peter Roach is in his final year as Band Manager. We welcome Damon Coachman as our new Chorus Manager and Nola Campbell as our interim Orchestra Manager. Nola graciously agreed to a one-year position so that our elected Orchestra Manager, Scott Benson, can take a one-year leave while preparing to host our 2017 Concert Festival. Our managers are very experienced and dedicated educators and musicians. I encourage our membership to contact the managers and volunteer to be a part of their committees. Being part of those teams is a wonderful experience.
I want to remind everyone that we invite 8th grade students to participate in the Solo & Ensemble Festival for adjudication comments. These students will be granted the privilege of repeating the same solo as 9th graders for adjudication and considerations for selection into our Concert Festival. This is a great opportunity for Middle school students to get their feet wet in NEMFA. Pass the word to your middle school colleagues. My personal goal is to have at 50 8th graders participate in this December's S&E Festivals. If we work together I know we can reach that goal.

At the general membership meeting in March I tasked the members to each sign on one new member. This new member can be a school teacher, parent, private teacher, community music school, youth orchestra or wind ensemble or chorus. I am also ask that any of you with connections to colleagues in Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts please reach out to them and encourage them to join NEMFA. It would be wonderful to have full representation at our festivals.
I thank the Association for having the confidence in me to sit at the head of the table and help guide us through the next term. We have had some excellent presidents in the past, most noticeable Sal Cicciarella, whose guidance and mentorship to me has proven most valuable. Sal is a tough act to follow and I hope that I can live up to his tenure. At our June Executive Board meeting I mentioned that NEMFA is not unlike the theme of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. We both strive to maintain a strong sense of tradition while incorporating modernity into our lives. Finding that delicate balance is challenging. In order for NEMFA to continue to thrive we have to have solid conviction to our mission of providing the best musical experiences possible for our students. Our 100th anniversary is not that far away. Let's strive for representation from all six New England States, increase 8th grade participation and grow our numbers. I am always available to chat with you and am eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Have a wonderful summer. Work hard, but play harder.


Tony Brackett

President, NEMFA

Secretary's Report -

Gail Reynolds

Gail Reynolds


March 18, 2016  10 AM

Gilford HS, Gilford, NH

The meeting was called to order by President Sal Cicciarella at 10:04 AM.

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

Guests: Dean of Students: Stephanie Weigand, Social Media Manager: Kevin Lam, Concert Festival Co- Hosts Lyvie Beyrent and Denise Sanborn, Marj Rooen and Paul Pierce.

Recording Secretary, Gail Reynolds reported that the minutes from the December 11. 2016 Executive Board meeting were approved electronically as amended.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Sittard reported that although our investments took a hit like all others, we remain in good financial shape.  A motion by Steffen Parker to accept the report passed.

Band Manager, Peter Roach reported that the band is happy with conductor, Dr. Miller.  Dr. Miller likewise is pleased with the students' preparation. "Blue Shades" is difficult but is making progress.  Peter congratulated the hosts for being fabulous and accommodating.  Responding to a question from President Cicciarella, Mr. Roach reported that his committee is going well and that some sponsors have shown interest in managing the band when Peter leaves after one more year.  President Cicciarella asked Peter to email the Board with his list of potential conductors before he contacts any of them.

Orchestra Manager, Tony Brackett reported that orchestra conductor, David Becker, is a gracious and incredible person.  The players are responding very well and came well-prepared.  Mr. Brackett reported that many freshmen participated in the first-chair string seating audition.  The program is good and Tony is pleased.  Mr. Brackett complemented the hosts on their organization and anticipation of the ensemble's needs.  He stated that John Eells is all set to be the conductor of next year's orchestra.

Chorus Manager, Caleb Pillsbury reported the conductor is very pleased and it's coming together well.  He reported that Bridgett Gattie set up a rehearsal chaperone list that looked very good.  He noted that lots of choral sponsors are volunteering to help out.

Concert Festival Report:  co-hosts Lyvie Beyrent and Denise Sanborn. President Cicciarella congratulated both hosts for their superb work which was followed by a round of applause from the Board. Denise reported that registration and pick up went smoothly and that host families were giving good feedback to her the next morning at drop-off. Lyvie said that her student helpers are excited and eager to help.  She told the Board that she had reserved seating for them to view the concerts.

Website Design Updates/Progress.  NEMFA website designer, Steffen Parker reported the website is functioning very well.  He is waiting to add videos to the site.  He reported that he and Tom Reynolds are working well together.  Tom requested that he and Steffen continue to communicate about joint-managing the new website.

Social Media Manager, Kevin Lam reported that he continues to work on developing the social media aspect. He's been taking pictures and said that a lot of people subscribed to the Instagram. He said that Instagram now counts how many views a video has received and that some have gotten over 100 views so far. He also posted Gilford's welcome video on Facebook.  He said that it's been pretty quiet as far as Hashtag goes and added that he had not mentioned it at the students' welcome meeting. He added that every photo he's taken has been posted on #nemfa2016.  He said that he feels that the social media component is gaining more ground and that he continues to look into new trends so that he can continue to improve on it.  He still thinks that it is a valid enterprise and said that he would work ever harder to get more activity on the sites.

Dean of Students, Stephanie Weigand reported that this year has been less stressful than last year because it is her second year at the position.  She congratulated the hosts for providing a nurse dedicated only to the NEMFA students. She was a parent volunteer.  Stephanie said that there is an Excel spreadsheet online which includes student medical and housing information which makes it easier for the nurse.  There were only four cancellations on Thursday. Steffen interjected that "Having a NEMFA dedicated nurse is wonderful".  There was brief discussion regarding two student issues, one regarding allergies not reported on student's form and another about the number of students housed at one particular home.  Both matters were being addressed at the time of the report.

Virtuoso Lists Update: Tony Brackett. Mr. Brackett reported that virtuoso lists are in place for all stringed instruments.  He said that 12 of the 14 string players who performed virtuoso solos were accepted into the Concert Festival.  He also said that a higher percentage of violinists who performed in the North were accepted than of those who performed in the South. Mr. Brackett showed the Board a comparison list that illustrated how awarding virtuoso points affected score ranking.  The list showed where the virtuoso players would have ranked if extra points were not available to reward them for performing a virtuoso piece.  There was discussion regarding the level of cellists and cello scoring as well as adjudicator consistency at both S&E sites with no recommendation or actions taken.  Regarding the development of a wind and brass virtuoso list, President Cicciarella told the Board that Lauren Churchill who is overseeing the revision process had informed him that she was holding a meeting about the brass lists as he spoke. He said that he was waiting for her to get back to the Board.

On-Site Choral Hearing Report: Caleb Pillsbury. Mr. Pillsbury reported that the hearings generally ran smoothly with a few issues.  He reported that not all of the rooms were uniform in how they conducted the hearings.  Following discussion, the Board decided that in the future, the hearing room judges will be provided with scripts to resolve that problem.

Member Services Chairman, John Kuhner reported that the background checks went very well, thanks to the Gilford hosts. Initially there was some confusion on which form to use but that was soon settled. In the future, Mr. Kuhner will make it very clear that hosts are to use the form sent to them directly from NEMFA. He said that there were 196 background checks.  There was discussion about possible concern with housing students in single-adult households.  After discussion, no recommendations or action was taken.

There was discussion about how to recruit new members/sponsors. President Cicciarella asked the managers to find out from their ensembles which of their teachers were retiring and to recruit the students to help persuade their new teachers to continue participation in NEMFA. Mr. Brackett suggested that brainstorming ideas prior to the June meeting and not during the meeting would be the best use of time. He suggested that the Board try to create a 5-10 year plan of action.

Past President/Nominations: Frank Whitcomb. Mr. Whitcomb presented a slate of new officers to the Board for the positions of Chorus Manager, Orchestra Manager, and President Elect to be presented at the Annual General Membership Meeting.  The slate: Damon Coachman from Bethel HS, Bethel, CT. for Chorus Manager, Scott Benson from, Brien McMahon HS, Norwalk, CT. for Orchestra Manager and Marj Rooen from MT. Anthony Union HS, Bennington, VT. for President Elect. A motion by Rob Gattie to approve the slate passed.

Solo and Ensemble Festival Co-Chairs: Rob Gattie and Steffen Parker.  Mr. Gattie reported that the Northern and Southern S&E Festival ran well. He said that one adjudicator did not arrive at the Northern site but that a replacement adjudicator was found and all went smoothly. There was one complaint over an adjudication that was fixed.  He said that the success of the new vocal ensemble adjudication procedure (adding an extra adjudicator and implementing a new scoring process) will be discussed and evaluated at the June meeting.  Mr. Gattie reported that he received a complaint from a sponsor regarding the quality of some percussion equipment at the S&E Festival and that the issue had been addressed with the sponsor.


1. Master Lists of Past and Approved Ensemble Conductors, Programs, Repertoire: Steffen Parker. Mr. Parker reported that the list is in progress and that it will be posted on Google Docs.

2. College Mentoring Program: Rob Gattie.  Rob reported that he had made contact with colleges but was getting little response from the music departments. Many stated that the schools are on spring break at that time.  He said that the process in ongoing.

3. 8th Grade Participation Program-Future Direction: Tony Brackett.  Mr. Brackett reported that the number of 8th graders participating in the S&E Festivals for adjudication was low. It was mentioned that many of the membership did not recall ever hearing about it.  Following discussion, the Board decided that the topic will be added to the agenda of the Annual General Membership Meeting for the second time in hope that high school sponsors will pass the word to their middle school directors.

4.  Maine and Remote Adjudication: Exploring Options. President Cicciarella asked Mr. Brackett to talk about his outreach to his contacts in Maine.  Mr. Brackett said that his contacts had not responded to date and that he is holding little hope that they will do so at this late date.  Tom Reynolds said that he will again try to recruit new members at the Sousa Festival and will report back to the Board in June.


1. 2017 Concert Festival: Discussion.  President Cicciarella told the Board that there is no host in place for the 2017 Concert Festival.  He said that one school is interested but that the invitation is pending.  Following discussion it was decided to announce that there is a need for a 2017 host at the Annual General Membership Meeting.  

2. Librarian Appointment.  President Cicciarella asked the Board to consider making the Librarian an Executive Board position by appointment. Steffen Parker made a motion to make the Librarian an Executive Board member with full voting privileges. The motion passed.

3. Cori (Background Check) Forms: John Kuhner.  Mr. Kuhner reiterated that NEMFA will make certain that each host receives and uses the background check form sent directly from NEMFA and not from the previous host because the procedure has changed. Now a separate form for each adult in a household is required. Mr. Brackett requested that each Board member be given a copy of the form and rules at the June meeting.  John Kuhner replied that the difference with that form is that it is a single form for every individual in that household.

Rob Gattie questioned whether the Executive Board members should be checked through NEMFA.  Following discussion Rob Gattie made a motion that the Executive Board be background checked on a yearly basis. The motion passed.

4.  Mailing Ensemble Folders: Time Frame Concerns.  The discussion centered on how to get band and orchestra Concert Festival music to students sooner. Discussion and a powerpoint presentation by Steffen Parker resulted in the following decisions:

·      A motion by Steffen Parker to go to online distribution of band and orchestra music for next year's Concert Festival passed unanimously.

·      String parts will be posted with bowings.

·      Students will receive original parts, also with bowings, at Festival registration and will transfer their personal markings onto the originals and turn in the downloaded copies.

·      The handling of rental music is still in discussion.


Executive Board Meeting(s):

·       Saturday, June 4, 10:00 AM at the Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT.

S&E Festivals 2016:

·      North, December 3

·      South, December 10

·      Snow Date, December 17

Concert Festivals:

·      2017 March 16-18. Host TBA

·      2018 March 15-17. Host TBA

·      2019 March 21-23. Host TBA

·      2020 March 19-21. Host TBA

·      2021 March 18-20. Host TBA

·      2022 March 17-19. Host TBA

The Meeting adjourned at 12:03 P.M.

Minutes prepared by Gail Reynolds, Recording Secretary

                                                                     Respectfully submitted,
                                                                           Gail Reynolds

                                                                        Recording Secretary

Secretary's Report - Annual Meeting

Gail Reynolds

Gail Reynolds
March 18, 2016 2:00 PM
Gilford HS, Gilford, NH
The meeting was called to order by President Sal Cicciarella at 2:05 PM. Present were approximately 60 members of the Association.
Recording Secretary, Gail Reynolds presented the minutes. A motion by Steffen Parker to approve the minutes passed.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Sittard reported that NEMFA is on solid ground financially. He announced the time and location of the membership reception. A motion by Laura Hilton to accept the report passed.
Band Manager, Peter Roach reported that Dr. Miller is pleased with the students' preparation. Peter said that he would welcome suggestions from the membership for conductors. He thanked the hosts and the general membership for their help with the band.
Orchestra Manager, Tony Brackett recognized and thanked President Cicciarella for his work during his five-year presidency. Mr. Brackett told the membership that conductor David Becker is exceptional and inspiring. Student preparation was reported as exceptional this year. Mr. Brackett thanked the membership for their assistance in student preparation. He noted that many freshmen were in the orchestra. He said that the string virtuoso list is working out. He thanked the membership for visiting rehearsals and asked for more help on site if it were possible. He reached out to younger members and asked them to approach the ensemble managers. Mr. Brackett thanked the hosts and announced next year's conductor as John Eells.
Chorus Manager, Caleb Pillsbury reported this year's student preparation was good. He said that Conductor Andrea Ramsey is genuine and inspiring and that the kids love her. He said that the onsite hearings ran smoothly and added that he is still working to improve upon them. He thanked the runners for helping move students into hearing rooms. Mr. Pillsbury added that the hearing results are reported to the conductor. He announced that the 2017 conductor will be David Fryling form Hofstra University.
Past President Report: Frank Whitcomb. Mr. Whitcomb introduced Past President Don Hermance. Following a warm welcome, Don delivered an impassioned speech to encourage members to volunteer for positions. Mr. Whitcomb then reported that discussions at the Past Presidents meeting included,
  • A review of the S&E Festival.
  • A discussion of how members and/or students could assist in recruiting new members.
  • A discussion about strategies for attracting new NEMFA members and new volunteers.
  • The conclusion that the new S&E vocal scoring changes went well but still need tweaking.
  • The conclusion that that the onsite hearing process, although successful, still needs fine-tuning.
Mr. Whitcomb reminded the membership of the existing year-old policy which allows 8th graders to participate in the S&E Festival and encouraged them to pass the information on to others.
Solo and Ensemble Festival Co-Chairs: Rob Gattie and Steffen Parker. Mr. Gattie reported that the addition of a second adjudicator to the vocal ensemble rooms was a success and asked for feedback from the membership. Member, Pam Rodgers, suggested that the Board consider adding even more judges to the rooms. The cost of such a change was discussed. Executive Treasurer, Bill Sittard said that this year's S&E Festival went a bit in the red and that adding more judges will lead to an increase in the S&E budget.
Social Media Manager, Kevin Lam asked the membership to offer suggestions after the meeting. He reported that the students haven't posted a lot on social media so far. A member suggested that NEMFA post hastags ahead of time.
Festival Hosts Acknowledgement of Gratitude & Co-Hosts Lyvie Beyrent and Denise Sanborn's Report. President Cicciarella thanked the host school and all of the Gilford community for a wonderful festival. Host, Lyvie Beyrent offered her assistance to talk with anyone who was considering hosting a festival. She said that her stuff is on Google Drive. Both Lyvie and Denise urged directors to be thorough in checking out their students' forms, especially for allergies and health concerns.
Bulletin Editor and Website Manager, Tom Reynolds reported that he sends electronic communication through Constant Contact at least three times a year and added that any member who has not received them should see him after the meeting.
Dean of Students, Stephanie Weigand, thanked the hosts for running a smooth festival and for providing a nurse dedicated only to the NEMFA students. She added that the few minor student issues that arose have been resolved.
Immediate Past President/Elections: Frank Whitcomb. Mr. Whitcomb presented the slate of new officers to the General Membership for the positions of Chorus Manager, Orchestra Manager and President Elect. The slate was:
  • Damon Coachman from Bethel HS, Bethel, CT. for Chorus Manager
  • Scott Benson from Brien McMahon HS, Norwalk, CT. for Orchestra Manager
  • Marj Rooen from MT. Anthony Union HS, Bennington, VT. For President Elect.
Mr. Whitcomb asked for any nominations from the floor. None were put forward.
Mr. Whitcomb made a motion that the secretary cast one vote for approval for each of the nominees. The motion passed unanimously.
Member Services Chairman, John Kuhner announced the results of the membership survey that was sent out following last year's Concert Festival. He reported that of the few members who responded it was concluded that the membership wanted to keep the third week in March as the Festival date and to keep the housing procedure the same. He said that the recruitment process for new members continues. He asked the membership for help and added that retirees and students need to help in that process, too. President Cicciarella recognized the NEMFA members who are retiring this year as Tom Reynolds, Rob Gattie, Tom Martin and Pam Rodgers.
OLD BUSINESS No reports or discussions.
1. 2017 NEMFA Concert Site/Options. President-elect, Tony Brackett informed the membership that there is no host in place for next year's Concert Festival (2017). He added that a letter of intent from a community is needed in order for the Board to move forward in securing a host. He announced that there will be a forum about hosting Concert Festivals at 3:30.
2. Website Feedback from Membership. Website designer, Steffen Parker reported that he and Tom Reynolds continue to work on the site. Steffen said that a video instruction piece on how to fill in forms is on the way. He will add more video. He encouraged email comments and suggestions. Steffen stated that the S&E repertoire will be on a Google Docs spreadsheet and will be sortable.
3. Marketing Strategies: Tony Brackett. Mr. Brackett asked the membership to try to recruit at least one new sponsor/member. He suggested that the membership consider approaching private teachers, public school teachers, youth orchestras, homeschool contacts, and contacts in states with little or no representation in NEMFA.
4. On behalf of Lauren Churchill, Amy Ranta brought the list of revised woodwind and brass S&E solos for members to look at and make suggestions. She added that the bassoon list was not updated.
5. Member Damon Coachman asked that NEMFA consider adding a jazz band to the Concert Festival.
6. Member Frank Arcari suggested that NEMFA consider hiring a marketing person to assist in promoting NEMFA to potential members.
Executive Board Meeting(s):
  • Saturday, June 4, 10:00 AM at the Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT.
S&E Festivals 2016:
  • North, December 3
  • South, December 10
  • Snow Date, December 17
Concert Festivals:
  • 2017 March 16-18. Host TBA
  • 2018 March 15-17. Host TBA
  • 2019 March 21-23. Host TBA
  • 2020 March 19-21. Host TBA
  • 2021 March 18-20. Host TBA
  • 2022 March 17-19. Host TBA
The Meeting adjourned at 3:35 P.M.
Minutes Prepared by: Gail Reynolds

  Respectfully submitted,
                                                                       Gail Reynolds 

                                                                        Recording Secretary 

Future NEMFA Concert Festival Dates

     March 16-18, 2017 - Norwalk, CT

     March 15-17, 2018 - Location TBA


Be sure to mark these dates into your calendars. We are always in need of host schools for our concert festivals. If you have never hosted a NEMFA Concert Festival at your school, please consider doing so. 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.   

  2017 NEMFA Chorus Manager

Damon Coachman

NEMFA Chorus Report
June 2016 Bulletin
Damon Coachman 
I am excited to announce that Dr. David Fryling, director of choral studies at Hofstra University will conduct the 2017 New England Music Festival Chorus. Please see his biography and photo below.
Thank you once more to all the teachers whose efforts made the 2016 NEMFA Chorus such an enriching musical experience for our students. Thank you for all your positive input and I am committed to making them a reality.  
A great summer to all of you. I look forward to seeing you all once again in next year's concert festival in Norwalk, CT.
Damon Coachman 

  2017 NEMFA Chorus Conductor

Dr. David Fryling

An engaging and energetic conductor, clinician, and adjudicator of professional, community, and public school choirs, Dr. David Fryling's recent engagements include numerous guest conducting invitations, master classes, clinics and choral workshops throughout New York, as well as in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, Utah and Alaska.

Since the fall of 2001 David has held the position of Director of Choral Activities at Hofstra University, where he conducts both the select Hofstra Chorale and Hofstra Chamber Choir and teaches beginning and advanced studies in choral conducting, as well as graduate-level workshops in choral conducting and choral literature. In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor for the Hofstra School of Education, where he supervises choral music education student teachers during their field placements.

In the fall of 2013, David founded eVoco Voice Collective, a highly skilled chamber choir comprising choral conductors, teachers, and other young professionals from across Long Island. The musicians of the group together aspire to be passionate advocates for excellence in the choral art by presenting inspirational performances of the highest caliber, inviting their audiences to join them in community singing events, and opening their entire rehearsal process to individuals and educational institutions throughout their community.

From 2007-2013 David was vocal area coordinator at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, serving as conductor and music director of the World Youth Honors Choir, as well as the Festival Choir & Orchestra. Major works conducted over his tenure include Brahms' Nänie, Pärt's Credo, Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, Orff's Carmina Burana, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Durufle's Requiem, Poulenc's Gloria, and Mozart's Coronation Mass in C. His ties to Michigan go back to his Doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, where he was the director of the University Arts Chorale and assistant conductor of the Michigan Chamber Singers, University Choir, and internationally acclaimed Michigan Men's Glee Club. While in Ann Arbor, he was also the music director and conductor of the Michigan Youth Women's Chorus, a year-round all-state honors choir composed of select high school sopranos and altos from across Michigan.

In addition to his professional teaching and conducting responsibilities, Dr. Fryling has served the American Choral Directors Association for many years, as a Repertoire & Standards chair, as a member of conference planning boards at both the state and divisional levels, and currently as president-elect for the Eastern Division. In his free time he enjoys freelancing as a professional choral tenor in the greater New York metropolitan area.

For a complete list of Conducting Activities, Workshops, and Clinics, visit 

  2017 NEMFA Orchestra Manager -

Nola Campbell

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you everyone for a fantastic concert festival in beautiful Gilford, New Hampshire this past March. Everyone had a great time.  We are very excited to welcome back Dr. John Eells as next year's orchestra guest conductor.  His bio is listed below.  We will be performing Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain," Khatchatourian's "Masquerade Waltz," and Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances."  It will be a stunning program.  We look forward to seeing you in December for the solo/ensemble festival. Thank you and have a wonderful summer.


Nola Campbell

NEMFA Orchestra Manager

Director of Orchestras, Glastonbury High School

Glastonbury, CT


Dr. Nola Campbell

Director of Orchestras

Glastonbury High School

330 Hubbard Street

Glastonbury, CT 06033


  2017 NEMFA Orchestra Conductor -

John Eells

John Eells, conductor of the El Camino (CA) Sinfonietta Orchestra, received his undergraduate degree from York University in England and completed his graduate work in conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He also achieved a Graduate Diploma in French Horn. Mr. Eells was the founding Music Director of the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra (FVSO), which he directed from 1981 until 2013, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Community Orchestra, which he led from 2006 - 2013. In 2006 the FVSO celebrated its 25th anniversary with a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Eells began his 32-year tenure in 1981 as Music Director at Miss Porter's School in Connecticut where he directed its three choruses, two instrumental ensembles and an annual musical and taught classes in music theory, music appreciation, and music history. He was a frequent high school and middle school festival conductor for the Connecticut Music Educator Association and in 2003 and 2011 was selected to conduct the New England High School Festival Orchestra, where he will conduct again in 2017.

He has guest conducted many concerts with the Hartford (CT) Symphony Orchestra, as well as the New Britain and Meriden symphony orchestras (CT), the Jacksonville (FL) and Spokane (WA) symphony orchestras, the Leeds Symphony Orchestra (UK) and the Hermitage State Orchestra in St. Petersburg (Russia).

  2017 NEMFA Band Manager

Peter Roach

Peter Roach
 The NEMFA band is excited to welcome Dr. Mark Camphouse from George Mason University as its guest conductor for the 2017 concert festival in March. Dr. Camphouse is excited about the chance to come work with the NEMFA band. He has selected a wonderful program that will include one of his own compositions giving the students a unique opportunity to learn from the composer himself about the music. We are looking forward to more great Solo and Ensemble festivals in December and are anxious to hear what the students have been preparing. Have a great summer.


Peter Roach
NEMFA Band Manager
  2017 NEMFA Band Conductor

Mark Camphouse

 A product of the rich cultural life of Chicago, composer-conductor Mark Camphouse was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1954. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Northwestern University where he studied composition with Alan Stout, conducting with John P. Paynter, and trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz. A scholarship from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago enabled Camphouse to study trumpet privately for two years with the late, legendary Chicago Symphony Principal Trumpet Emeritus, Adolph Herseth.

Camphouse began composing at an early age, with the Colorado Philharmonic premiering his First Symphony when he was 17. His 30 published works for wind band have received widespread critical acclaim and are performed frequently in the US and abroad, in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall-Chicago, Royal Albert Hall-London, and conferences of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, American Bandmasters Association, Texas Bandmasters and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Principal commissions include those by the William D. Revelli Foundation, The US Army Band, The US Marine Band, Northshore Concert Band, and some of America's finest high school, college-university, and community bands.

Mr. Camphouse has served as guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician in 43 states, Canada, Europe, and China. He was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1999 and has served as founding coordinator of the National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project since 2000. He conceived and edited the unique 4-volume book series for GIA Publications, Composers on Composing for Band. His 5th book with GIA Publications (Whatsoever Things ... The Life and Teachings of John P. Paynter) was published in 2014.

The 2016-2017 academic year marks Camphouse's 39th year of full-time teaching in higher education. In 2006, Professor Camphouse joined the faculty of George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) where he serves as conductor of the wind symphony and teaches courses in composition and conducting. Other principal artistic, teaching, and administrative positions have included serving as Music Director and Conductor of the New Mexico Music Festival at Taos Symphony Orchestra, Associate Director and Music Division Head of the Virginia Governor's School for the Arts, Acting Dean of Music of New World School for the Arts, and Interim Director of the George Mason University School of Music.

Professor Camphouse attained regional finalist status in the prestigious White House Fellowship Competition in 1992. In 2002, he received an Outstanding Faculty Award sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's college and universities for demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and public service. In 2011, Camphouse received the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award in recognition of, and appreciation for valuable contributions to the growth and development of the modern college/university band in the field of composition. Mark Camphouse has been married to Elizabeth Ann Curtis (Director of GMU's Potomac Arts Academy) since 1982. They have twin daughters, Beth and Briton.


Lowell Mason House Project

Lowell Mason Poster
by Thomas E. Reynolds
June 4, 2016

The Lowell Mason House has raised over $240,000.00 now towards the necessary $500,000.00 to complete the restoration of the house, to turn it into a museum and a meeting place. We are grateful to the 14 music educators associations around the United States that have made contributions towards its restoration, including the New England Music Festival Association.

Construction work is now being done to make the basement functional. The new steel girder support beams have been installed, as well as a new floor and windows in the basement. A new roof on the building was also installed this spring. We are working to bring some utilities into the house including electricity, water, and gas. This Phase I construction project will be completed once the utilities are installed.  We then set our sights on repairing and replacing all of the exterior windows and doors in the house to make it more air-tight before we can do any interior work. 
Our new partner affiliation, an arts advocacy organization known as  Arts|Learning, has moved into temporary headquarters in Medfield, MA while we complete an office space in the Lowell Mason House. Having Arts|Learning as a partner is a great fit for us, as it carries out its mission of improving music and arts instruction to all of the school children of Massachusetts.

We have also recently entered into a new partnership with the Mason & Hamlin Piano Company. Mason & Hamlin pianos are being built by hand at its factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The Mason & Hamlin pianos that you remember in your early days of teaching are still around and better than ever. For more information about Mason & Hamlin, founded by Lowell Mason's son Henry and Emmons Hamlin, with financial support from Lowell Mason, please contact me directly. For that matter, if you are in need of a new piano, please contact me directly as well and I can get you linked up with Mason & Hamlin. 
The mission of the Lowell Mason House is to preserve, restore, and promote Lowell Mason's birthplace as a significant historical and educational resource.
  • Partnering with local arts organizations by providing office and meeting space to support the arts and the importance of arts education in our schools
  • Building an up-to-date rehearsal and performance space which will include music technology and recording facilities
  • Restoring and preserving the house to include a Lowell Mason museum
All cultivated within the home of the Father of Music Education, and fueled by a living endowment, fulfilling Lowell Mason's dream that "Children must be taught music as they are taught to read." 
One major fund-raising project for the Lowell Mason House 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.
Thank you so much for your interest and support in this project. As you can see, we are making great progress towards the full restoration of the house. Donations are always welcomed and we can now see the house moving closer to completion. Thank you for considering making a tax-deductible donation today. Please make checks payable to: The Lowell Mason House, 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
Please feel free to drop me a line at for any suggestions to improve the Bulletin. Find it also on

Have a great summer!


Thomas Reynolds

New England Music Festival Association, Inc.

New England Music Festival Association, Inc. | PO Box 102 | Templeton | MA | 01468