If you haven’t heard of the musical geniuses over at Community Music School, here’s your chance to learn what they are all about. Executive Director, Jennifer Koch introduced us to this different sort of school that has been a part of Buffalo’s history and deserves major recognition for the talents it has rendered. Read to the end to see how you can get involved with the great classes they offer and become a part of their community.
Q: What is the Community Music School? Tell us a little about it. When did it open up?
A: Community Music School was established in 1924 to provide music lessons at a reduced cost to primarily children of immigrants who could not afford private music lessons. The school has evolved from that mission and now provides instrumental and vocal instruction to individuals of all ages, abilities and aspiration.
Q: Who can participate in the classes?
A: Everyone! We have classes for everyone ages birth to 100! We have over 30 faculty members who teach every instrument except the accordion and the ukulele, as well as vocal instruction.
Q: I hear recently a very talented autistic student at this school made a video that went viral! You must be very proud!
A: yes – Annie Titus, our internet sensation! Annie is an inspirational example of how music can change someone’s life – she LITERALLY found her voice through music, and her family has told us that she continues to be more vocal and social every day. You can still find her inspirational rendition of THINK OF ME from Phantom of the Opera on YouTube – I get goosebumps every time I listen to it. A video of Annie’s talents can be found on Community Music Schools Facebook at the following link: here.
Q: I’ve heard of another musical sensation, a instructor that teaches with you by the name of Andy Anselmo at the age of 94. Can you tell us about him?
A: Andy took his first voice lesson at CMS when he was 15 – in 1936. He is now at the age of 91 and has taught several students, some of which are Mandy Patinkin, Tony Bennett and Liza Minnelli. He is very dedicated and passionate about his work here. For more information about Andy Anselmo, click here.
Q: Any exciting news coming up this season?
A: We have monthly FREE recitals at the school featuring our faculty and students – the recital calendar is on our website at communitymusicbuffalo.org.
Thanks so much for taking your time to speak with us Jen! Follow Community Music School on their social media profiles linked below!