In 1987 the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society initiated the development of an All-Island After School String Instrument Program. The program, which started with 47 students, expanded over a number of years and was eventually added back into the school curriculum from the early elementary grades.
Currently, the elementary strings program includes up to 200 students a year. Several teachers worked with the program through the 1990s, Nancy Jephcote became the full-time instructor 17 years ago and continues today. She is joined by part-time instructor Chelsea Pennebaker and several program assistants. We hope our support will continue a vibrant elementary strings program and interest in classical music.
“Access and Inspiration”
Access to musical instruments and instruction is the primary goal of the MVCMS.
Through our Lesson Scholarship Program, we help interested children who show aptitude pay for private instruction. Since the program’s inception, the number of applicants has increased considerably, as has the support given to offset the cost of private lessons. Currently, the MVCMS provides funds to about 15 students per year with partial scholarships, and we continue to reach out to private teachers for help identifying families who could use our support. The response from parents has been enthusiastic: we receive regular expressions of appreciation for positive influence music has made in the lives of their children.
In 2016, the MVCMS received a significant grant from the MVYouth in support of our “Access and Inspiration” program. This has enabled us to purchase new student violins and violas, as well as provide an Artist in Residency program again this year.
Additionally, a Grant from The Tower Foundation and other private donations have allowed us to add violins to our loan program, and to purchase badly needed new cases for some of our current violin stock.
Donations specifically designated for these programs are gratefully accepted.