Giovanna Parnoff

Giovanna Parnoff Awarded Inaugural Thomas Scholarship

Musical Masterworks and Community Music School are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas!

Giovanna Parnoff, already an accomplished pianist and exceptional sixth-grade student from Old Lyme, was presented with the scholarship by Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks and Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School. “We are so pleased to honor Nancy’s memory with an award to one of her very own students, in partnership with another of her most beloved arts organizations.’ said Abigail.  Nancy Thomas was a devoted staff member of Musical Masterworks for nearly 25 years.   “It is particularly fortuitous that Giovanna, as a life-long student of Nancy Thomas, is the first winner of this scholarship; we couldn’t be more pleased,” remarked Alden.

Giovanna has attended The Community Music School since she was six months old. She discovered her love of music through Kindermusik and Kate’s Camp programs and eventually started individual piano instruction under the tutelage of Nancy Thomas at the age of 3.

She has received perfect scores at the New London Piano Festival organized by the Middlesex/New London Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association. Giovanna is a member of Mensa and Intertel, two high IQ societies and was recently inducted into the Junior Mensa Honor Society for her academic performance, leadership skills, and volunteerism/community service. Giovanna has been accepted into Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, Stanford University’s Gifted and Talented Program, and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She is a competitive foil fencer and has been coached for 6 years by the Fencer’s School of CT.

Giovanna is an award- winning poet, having seen her work published in “The Mensa Bulletin” and “The Young American Poetry Digest”.  She lives in Old Lyme with her parents, Dr. John Parnoff and Ms. Monique Heller, and her younger sister, Mattea, who is also a piano student at The Community Music School.

The Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas provides the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next four years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

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East Lyme Satellite Building

New Satellite Studio in East Lyme!

East Lyme Satellite Building

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve expanded our programming to a satellite location in East Lyme!  The new site offers private instruction in a variety of instruments for students of all ages, as well as several beginner group classes, chamber music ensembles, music therapy, and our popular Kindermusik program for babies and toddlers.  The satellite site is located in a beautiful new building with easy access and ample parking at 179 Flanders Road in East Lyme, on the second floor of the Kumon Center.  Call our office at (860)767-0026 to register for lessons!

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CMS’s 35th Anniversary Gala

Friday, April 27 at 6:30 pm
The Lace Factory, 161 River Street, Deep River

Community Music School’s largest annual fundraiser is the CMS Gala and this year we’re celebrating our 35th anniversary with “For the Love of Music!”  Enjoy cocktail jazz and an exquisite dinner show performed by CMS faculty, as well as gourmet food, dancing, silent auction, fine wines and more! The event takes place in Deep River at The Lace Factory and includes fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students. 

Featured faculty and student performers: Music Director Tom Briggs, Noelle Avena, John Birt, Amy Buckley, Luana Calisman-Yuri, Audrey Estelle, Joni Gage, Silvia Gopalakrishnan, Martha Herrle, Ling-Fei Kang, Barbara Malinsky, Matt McCauley, Kevin O’Neil, Andy Sherwood, and Marty Wirt!

Supporters of the CMS Gala will ensure that the arts remain accessible to all with proceeds benefiting the CMS Scholarship Fund, music therapy services, and outreach in the greater community.

Event tickets include hors d’oeuvres, gourmet food stations, wine and beer, live music, and dancing. Click here to view the menu.

Purchase a raffle ticket!   |   Become a Sponsor!   |   Advertise with us!   |   Donate to the auction!



Gold Level Sponsors:

Bauman Family Foundation


Silver Level Sponsors:

Angelini Wine

Bronze Level Sponsors:

Program Advertisers:

Andre Prost
Centerbrook Pharmacy
East Shore Mortgage Services, LLC
Essex Hardware
Essex Law Group
Gould, Larson, Bennet, McDonnell, Quilliam & McGlinchey, P.C.
Gull Associates, Inc.
Hamilton Point Investments
Middletown Ceramic Tile
Muir Electric
Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates
Shoreline Eye Group
Sullivan Lawn Services
Total Design Source

Auction Donors:

Camp Hazen YMCA
Connecticut River Museum
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
Essex Wine & Spirits
Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Old Saybrook
Godiva Chocolatier
Grossman Chevrolet Nissan
Ivoryton Playhouse
Mohegan Sun
Mystic Seaport
Rob Rivers The Salon & Spa
Stony Creek Brewery
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
Toys Ahoy! The Village Toy Store

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