0n October 25th, Lindsay Rinaldi, Executive Director of the Nashua Community Music School, addressed the Rotary Club of Nashua regarding the Nashua Community Music School. Lindsay grew up in Nashua and fell in love with music while attending the city’s public schools. She attended the University of Maine and to the Longy School of Music, and is a classically trained opera singer. 
Named the Music Educator of the Year by Symphony NH, Lindsay has taught at Rivier University, the Bedford Youth Performing Company and Southern NH University, where she is an Adjunct Professor. Lindsay sits on the Steering Committee for the Performing Arts Center currently under construction and chairs the Nashua Arts Commission. Lindsay became the Executive Director of the NCMS in July 2014.
 
The Nashua Community Music School is a 501(c)3 non-profit with the goal of making music education accessible to those who need it most through a wide variety of classes and programs. Of great importance to her is that financial need never prevent access to music, and a focal point of her leadership has been the development of a robust scholarship program.
 
The school’s mission – to create innovative music programming that is accessible to all – has evolved over time. In practical terms, that mission translates into finding ways to use music to help solve community problems.
 
Some quick history: the Community Music School was founded in 1984 in affiliation with the Nashua Symphony Orchestra (now Symphony NH) as a way for symphony members to reach out into the community. It received its non-profit designation in 1985, became an independent facility in the Millyard in 2006, launched its Music For All Scholarship Program (now known as the Community Fund) in 2014, and relocated to a more accessible downtown location at 2 Lock Street, right behind First Church, in 2021.  
 
The school serves about 400 students a week (about 200 at the facility). While the majority of their students are children/teens, about 25% are adults either learning music for the first time or redeveloping a love from their youth. When the NCMS does a community event, they serve upwards of 1,000 people a week.
 
The school offers private music lessons, group classes, ensembles that can play at weddings and various events (these are on hiatus due to COVID), music therapy, summer camps which are run through Nashua’s Parks and Recreation Department, and music outreach.
 
NCMS’s Community Fund accepts donations in support of both scholarships and music outreach programs. When Lindsay was growing up in Nashua, this program didn’t exist and, as she would have needed assistance to go, she was unable to do so. Lindsay connecred that scholarship program to our Club’s own scholarship support for students, noting that some of their students (and Lindsay herself) are recipients of Rotary scholarships.
Lindsay talked about the school’s Core values – 
To deliver professional level music instruction: of their 28 faculty members, 65% have master degree or higher and all have international experience, and all are actively performing musicians)
To cultivate an inclusive creative environment
To collaborate with the community through music (they’ve developed 50+ new partnerships in recent years)
To create customized musical experiences (a recent New Searles elementary school recycled percussion event for 800 kids is an example)
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