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Northampton Community Music Center - NCMC

139 South Street
Northampton, MA 01060

The Northampton Community Music Center's mission is to foster the love and pursuit of music through quality musical education, performances and activities that are accessible to all.
Two years ago I was sitting tensely in the NCMC lobby waiting for my first cello lesson. At age 65, it was something I always wanted to learn. My smart aleck daughter encouraged me: “Gee, Dad, it’s only got four strings. It can’t be that hard, even for you.”

As I waited for my lesson, the sound of NCMC’s Children’s Choir rehearsing filled a nearby room. Even with the door closed, it poured out into the lobby. When it was time, my teacher Nicole welcomed me to her studio. We chatted about why I decided to study the cello. With some encouragement from Nicole, I joined NCMC’s weekly adult cello choir. When we performed in the Alzheimer’s units of two local nursing centers, I understood what NCMC’s Executive Director, Jason Trotta, meant when he said NCMC isn’t just a school. It is a community music center that extends beyond lessons and classes and explores the ways music can play a unique role in the wellbeing of our entire community. Even as a beginning level student, I had something profound to give back to my community. NCMC made that possible.

NCMC uses music to strengthen individual identities, as well as a sense of belonging. In these troubled times, where public funding of the arts is threatened on a regular basis, we need more than ever to rally around institutions like the Northampton Community Music Center.

We often take the existence of organizations like NCMC for granted. They don’t exist without our support. Like most arts organizations, the budget is tight. Whatever extra there is supports student scholarships. Remarkably, no one has ever been denied their rightful place at NCMC because they couldn’t afford the full tuition. By contributing to NCMC’s success, we reinforce our collective promise to make our community a place in which we are proud to live and raise our children. The vibrancy of the arts in our community depends on all of us.

- Christopher Sikes

NCMC Board Member (and fledgling cellist)

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