On any given weekday, music played by people from all walks of life wafts from the fifth floor of the Shepherd Building. Now celebrating its 10th year, Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School, located in Rockport, is dedicated to connecting people through music. More than 150 lessons are taught each week by teachers specializing in a range of instruments from violin and piano to voice, drums and ukulele. Students represent a diverse swath of the community—young preschoolers to nonagenarians, with a wide range of musical experience. Most students learn one-on-one with a mentor, but many also play in larger ensembles. At the core of the school is the belief that music transforms, uplifts, strengthens and unites communities.

As a violinist, former music school student and now faculty member, I believe music provides an outlet for creative expression, cultivates artistic understanding and appreciation, and creates spaces of unparalleled beauty. I am deeply inspired by the music school’s impact in its first decade and by the students, whose music so meaningfully contributes to the fabric of this Midcoast Maine community. Here, three of the music school students shared reflections about how music is interwoven into their everyday live—giving purpose and inspiring unity.

—Josie Davis, Bay Chamber Concerts & Music School faculty

Ina Wolovitz, piano, 14  |  photogrpahy Sophie Davis
music lover, foodie, intelligent, inquisitive, empathetic

“Music is so important to me. I’ve made friends through chamber music, learned about saving money through buying a piano and, of course, discovered the joy of sight-reading. It has provided me with a goal to pursue and pushed me to work hard, both mentally and physically. I think that music brings people together and that’s one reason why it is so vital in communities: 20 people of all ages could be in one room with nothing in common except for the fact that they all love music.”

Robin Lane, cello, 26  |  photography Oceans Edge Photography
healer, jazz lover, spiritual, creator of positive change

“Music gives me a sense of purpose in life. I am pursuing a professional career in music with the purpose of healing, enlightening and enriching other’s lives. Throughout history, music and the arts have been crucial for the way in which communities express themselves and connect with each other. Within the past few hundred years, as different communities have been exposed to each other, music and the arts are a way in which those communities can connect and understand each other’s ways of life. In recent years, and as we move into the future, music and arts are an expression of different communities and cultures blending together, creating a richer expression of the human experience.”

Elizabeth Berkenbile, piano, voice & composition 
lover of music, family, friends, poetry and beautiful Midcoast Maine
photography Josie Davis

“Bay Chamber Music School is such a wonderful asset to the community and to me personally. Its presence in the community has given me the opportunity to return to my study of music in a serious way. I retired from teaching in 2004 and was thrilled to discover Bay Chamber Music School in 2009. Since then I have had the opportunity to study with talented instructors in piano, voice and composition.”

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