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About the Upper Valley Music Center

The Upper Valley Music Center is a community music school based in Lebanon, NH, serving nearly 900 students a year from across the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. UVMC’s expert faculty work with beginning through advanced students and teach programs designed for ages birth through adulthood. UVMC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and relies on the generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to support music education activities.

The Upper Valley Music Center was founded in 1995 by three community members as a way for Upper Valley residents to gather to make music together. All three were active members of the presenter group supporting the Carnegie Chamber players. The success of the Carnegies' modest outreach program persuaded the founders of the need for a regional organization to foster musical activities for players and singers of all ages and levels of experience.

UVMC was established with a three-fold mission: to create instrumental and vocal ensembles where none existed; to serve as a clearinghouse for information about the area's musical organizations and activities; and to provide a place for people to come together to develop their musical knowledge, proficiency, and enjoyment.

In 2002 UVMC started a Suzuki violin program, a philosophy and method of instruction that teaches music in the same way that children learn their primary language. After several years of successful growth, UVMC officially became a community music school in 2008, offering lessons, group classes, ensembles, and workshops.

UVMC students come from a wide geographic area: as far south as Andover, NH and as far north as Ryegate, VT. UVMC has a strong early childhood program for infants through toddlers. Elementary, middle, and high school students take part in lessons, group classes, ensembles, summer camps and workshops. Adults, both working and retired, are a growing percentage of UVMC students in all areas of programming. We believe all families should have access to music education regardless of their financial means. UVMC distributes over $15,000 in Tuition Assistance each year, and we work constantly to be able to increase the amount of assistance available.

UVMC faculty are professional musicians who live in the Upper Valley. Most hold BM, MM, DMA or PHD degrees as well as other professional certifications. The faculty includes both part-time and full-time members, and UVMC’s presence helps support their living in the Upper Valley. While many UVMC faculty perform professionally on a regular basis, all are dedicated to the art and skill of teaching. Regular professional development is supported by grants awarded to faculty.

UVMC offers year round programming for students of all ages and ability levels. The four main categories of programs include individual lessons, group classes (including summer camps), ensembles, and workshops/master classes. Within these programs, students can find intensive one-on-one instruction, learn to play in a relaxed social setting, and make lifelong musical friends through ensembles. The Upper Valley Chamber Orchestra and the Juneberry Community Chorus are two ensembles where adults from a wide variety of backgrounds come together to make music on a weekly basis.

While UVMC is not a presenting organization, performance is an important part of music education. UVMC students perform in a wide range of venues from grandma’s living room to school to church. UVMC faculty perform both in UVMC’s Faculty Recital Series and in many other capacities around the Upper Valley. These performances by friends and neighbors forge connections that make for vital communities.

Music is an inherently collaborative art, and music education leads naturally to partnerships with other organizations. The past two summers have featured multi-disciplinary camps including Music Video Camp with CATV in White River Jct, and Sound, Color: Musical Magic, an instrument making & composition program with AVA Gallery & Art Center in Lebanon. Recognizing the powerful role music education can play in overall childhood development, and UVMC has partnered with the Family Place in Norwich to bring early childhood music education to young parents enrolled in the Families Learning Together program. Finally, in partnership with the Hopkins Center for the Arts, UVMC has been able to offer master classes with world-class Hop visiting musicians and ensembles.

UVMC has a growing music library with a special emphasis on chamber music, orchestra and choral repertoire. This repertoire supports the goal of helping people to make music together. Currently available to students and faculty, we would like to make this resource available to the general public at some point in the future.