Summer Lessons are beginning, can you help?

PanpipesThe West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts’ (WCCMA) Youth Arts Enrichment (YAE) Initiative is making a big impact on the lives of local students this summer. An unprecedented number of youth are participating in lessons this summer, and for many of them this would not be possible without YAE’s financial aid and instrument lending programs that are made possible by donors and grants like a recent Claremont Savings Bank Foundation award. When people think about the big problems that the community struggles with, very few of think of music and arts are one of those opportunities that can be life changing for students of all backgrounds. The mentorship and level of involvement in programs can actually help to improve those difficult areas proactively. For students living in poverty music and arts in particularly may be a source of magic and joy in their lives that puts a larger world at their fingertips, despite a daily life that may include a struggle just to provide basic necessities.

This year more than 20 students have committed to taking summer lessons, attending workshops, playing music with other students, and doing community service to enrich themselves and the community. Studies have shown that youth who participate in music learn vital soft skills that are valuable in for employment later in life, tend to see their academics improve, and tend to be less likely to be involved in dangerous activities. There’s also a belief that these types of programs can contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty for some students. Beyond those studies though, if you are there working with children it is easy to see the huge effect. “The kids that we teach are so enthusiastic, and there’s nothing better than seeing their eyes light up when they master a difficult song, or hear a performance that touches their heart. It’s not limited to classical, popular music, jazz, or any single area because it’s about learning and exploring. There are very few ways we can describe it other than magical,” said Executive Director Melissa Richmond.

In the past 4 years the YAE program has been successful in providing instruments and workshops to local schools, and for 2015 the program is projected to have the greatest impact yet through more individual continuous education. The fall will bring high caliber education programs that will be designed to make sure that money will not be a barrier to participation. However, the program’s reach is at great risk. Recent funding cuts have greatly limited the capacity of the program, and a need for additional support has become dire. Of the students participating, nearly 50% need full or partial tuition aid, several need instruments, and some need other accessories. While currently WCCMA has enough instruments for all the participants, some need repairs or to have parts replaced, and they anticipate that this fall they may not have enough instruments or funding to meet the needs of students with no other hope to be able to participate in school programs. “It breaks our heart to think that we may soon have to tell students that so desperately want to have this opportunity – for some an escape from a tough daily life – that we just don’t have the $100 needed to get them what they need,” said Richmond.

Individuals and the community can help bring these youth opportunities that may impact their lives forever though. Monetary donations can be sent to the WCCMA with information available at, and instruments may also be donated. Those wishing for more information about these programs can visit, or contact WCCMA at or ph. 802.738.0022.

Join us: Taiko-extravaganza this week

Hello friends,

This is going to be a busy week, we hope you can join us for one or more of our events! Most workshops will be held at Claremont’s CSB Community Center (membership is not required). You won’t want to miss the final celebration with a recital by residency attendees and ending with a special performance by Burlington Taiko Group! Click HERE for details about the performance.

Taiko Workshops:


Starting Tuesday: Evening Taiko (6:30PM) Click HERE for details

Starting Wednesday: After School Taiko (3:15PM) Click HERE for details

Saturday: Japanese Art and Taiko Workshop (10AM) Click HERE for details)

Contact to reserve a spot – space is limited!

Instruments for Inspiration Update

PanpipesWe have many more exciting announcements to make in the coming months, but for now we have a special request to make of you:

There are local children in need of instruments, can you help out? We are looking for 2 trumpets, and 1 alto saxophone at least, and they are needed immediately.

Last year we were awarded a large 1- time grant to start this program, and managed to fulfill all instruments requested. This year there is much less money to buy instruments, and the student requests are coming in. Nearly all of the instruments we acquired last year have been given out to students in need. We need your help to keep offering the priceless opportunities that music give.

If you have an instrument to donate, or would like to make a monetary donation to help purchase these instruments, please contact We can also accept donations through paypal HERE.

Thank you for your continued support, we hope to see you this week at our events to celebrate the good that you help to make possible for our youth and community.

Instruments for Inspiration begins: Trumpet needed!

Dear friends,

WCCMA is so excited to beginning our Instruments for Inspiration lending program. There are 4 students in the Claremont school district that will be receiving instruments because of our generous supporters out there like you. Three of those students will be learning an instrument for the first time, something they will remember and appreciate their whole lives.

We need your help though. Even though we have received several grants to support this program, we have not received the funding yet. We have a student that would like to begin studying the trumpet along with their classmates this Friday, but we don’t have a trumpet to lend, nor do we have the money to purchase one yet. We also have a particular need for flutes, clarinets, and saxophones because we have loaned all of ours out.

If anyone has a trumpet they would like to donate, or if you would like to make a contribution towards the purchase of a trumpet email us at: or click here for donation information. Our goal is $300 to purchase a good used instrument.

Thank you for the part you are playing in bringing joy and inspiration to local children!