ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth Community Music Institute (ECMI) invites friends and neighbors from the Hancock County area to attend its first annual Community Music Night on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bryant E. Moore Community Center.
Those attending will have an opportunity to hear performances by some of the musicians involved with the institute, enjoy some refreshments, learn more about ECMI programs and bid on an array of items and services donated to the institute’s silent auction.
Ellsworth Community Music Institute was incorporated in January 2013 with the goal of enriching the quality of life in Ellsworth and the surrounding region by fostering a love of live music in all ages and helping to develop musical friendships within a supportive community.
In January of this year, in space rented at the Moore Community Center, ECMI began offering individual instruction by professional musicians in piano, violin, viola, cello, voice, percussion and guitar to students of all ages and levels of experience. That instruction includes weekly lessons, regular evaluations and frequent performance and ensemble opportunities.
Over the late winter and spring, ECMI also offered a series of six free noontime concerts, including performances by several faculty members, funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission.
The eight-week fall season of classes now has begun at ECMI, and student numbers are climbing with lesson and class registrants representing 23 communities throughout the region. Lessons are offered in sessions of 30, 45 and 60 minutes, with tuition fees scaled accordingly. Payment options are on a case-by-case basis.
Also being offered this fall are six-week sessions for young children in early music and after school singing, taught by Deborah Reinke.
Plans are in the works for a 12-week children’s chorus for grades kindergarten through eight to begin in January 2016, with separate sessions for younger and older children. The two groups will be combined for performances of music spanning a range of styles.
A fundraising campaign is now under way to help the institute meet expenses other than instruction and expand its offerings.
“We are blown away by the need for a school like this,” said founder and executive director Nancy Colter, “and we look forward to partnering with local people, businesses and programs to make it a success.