Welcome (back) to NMS, from Executive Director Dan Gurvich

Welcome (back) to NMS!!! Whether you’ve been coming here for decades, or you’re just embarking on your journey, we’re so glad that you have chosen to take part in our unique learning community. We love to see the hallways at 100 Audubon bustling with students, families and faculty once again!

What’s new at NMS as we kick off another academic year? I couldn’t possibly fit everything into a single email, but here are some highlights!

Why do I launch into my “what’s new?” update by highlighting discounts that have been around for quite some time? Because I’m certain that they’ll be news for so many of you. As I speak with even our most devoted student families, I’m frequently surprised to learn how many are unaware of the generous multi-activity discounts available to them!

For example, did you know that a student taking individual lessons automatically receives a 25% discount toward almost any NMS ensemble, and 50% for any NMS dance or wellness class? That students taking a dance/wellness class receive 50% off any additional dance/wellness class? Or that parents of students taking individual lessons (or enrolled in our preschool) receive 25% off of a dance/wellness class?

The intent of these discounts isn’t merely promotional – it’s also pedagogical. We believe that certain activities are mutually reinforcing. For example, studying dance will improve your musical rhythm and phrasing. Studying yoga will free your breathing, strengthen concentration, and reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury. Playing in an ensemble motivates us to practice by unlocking the joy of making music with others, while also improving our listening skills and our awareness of tone color and dynamics.

So please take a moment to review ALL of our discounts, and find out which ones you might be eligible to receive by visiting our discounts page.


Left to right: Mary Bloom, Director of Education; Catherine Ray, New Student Advisor;
Amanda Harang, Guilford Branch Coordinator and Individual Lesson Coordinator;
Crystal Neuhauser, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships.

Over the summer, we welcomed some friendly new faces, and supported some familiar faces moving into new positions.

Beloved NMS teacher Mary Bloom, formerly our Head of Music Education, now holds the title of Director of Education, responsible for ensuring the quality and consistency of the educational experience across all NMS programs and departments. Mary will grapple with topics such as instructional technology, student assessment, and faculty hiring and development– among many others. The evolution of Mary’s position will help us safeguard our most important attribute – the quality of our teaching. In order to facilitate Mary’s expanded portfolio, we will be launching a search for a new Piano Department Chair.

In Student Services, we welcomed back Catherine Ray as our New Student Advisor. In this newly created role, Catherine will serve as the initial point of contact for all new students, ushering them into our broad range of offerings and guiding them toward best fit activities and faculty, and supporting them through their first year of study.

Over the past year, Amanda Harang has overseen rapid growth at our Guilford location, working effectively with both faculty and student families. Last month, Amanda added the title of Individual Lesson Coordinator to her position as Guilford Branch Coordinator, and expanded to full-time hours. Amanda’s primary responsibility on Audubon Street will be to coordinate returning student and faculty schedules for individual lessons, ensuring that scheduling-related communication is timely and clear.

In July, Crystal Neuhauser took the helm of our Development operations as Director of Philanthropic Partnerships. A graduate of ECA and a former professional actor who went on to a distinguished development career in higher education, Crystal believes passionately in the power of the arts to teach important life skills and create opportunities. She has already made her presence felt with her infectious positive energy and deep expertise (not to mention her extravagant homemade desserts!).

Professional opera singer and Yale School of Music alum Aaron Sorensen has joined Crystal’s team as Development Associate. If you hear the rumble of a deep bass voice… that’ll be Aaron.

Aaron replaces Brandon Gallego, who has moved over to Finance as Bookkeeper. Brandon is supporting Shantel Garcia, who joined NMS late last year as Financial Controller, and who will be promoted to Director of Finance & Administration after her return from maternity leave in December.

NMS was also fortunate to hire a particularly strong cohort of new faculty members over the summer:
NEW Music Faculty:
Will Cleary, jazz sax and winds; Justin Green, violin; Tina Lee Hadari, Saturday ensembles;
Ashley Hale, classical trumpet; Eben Pariser, guitar – singing and strumming;
Sarah Reed, chorus (Audubon) and voice (Guilford); Paul Scanlon, musical theater;
Clifford Schloss, ASAA teaching assistant; Hideki Yamaya, early music guitar and lute, ensemble director
NEW Dance Faculty:
Deron Beasley, hip hop and jazz; Judie Clark, contemporary dance; Christina Davino, tap and jazz;
Stacy Richetelli, tap, jazz and musical theater/dance; Karen Williams-Baranski, triple threat

Led by our Director of Programs, Noah Bloom, NMS continues to develop new programs to better serve Greater New Haven. These programs are predicated on our belief that the arts can teach important life skills, spark personal potential, and bring together diverse communities.


After-School Arts Academy (ASAA) for Grades 3-5:

Now entering its second year, our After School Arts Academy has expanded to 4 days per week and doubled in enrollment. This unique program combines creative instruction in music, dance, drama, and film with a personal development component. Students have an opportunity explore their personal learning styles, and to develop important skills such as collaboration, communication and growth mindset. Supported by our generous donors, ASAA is tuition free for families earning less than $75,000 per year, and offers a sliding scale for those with a household income up to $100,000. Diverse by design, the program brings together kids from across the socioeconomic spectrum, and a variety of backgrounds and experiences. To make participation even more accessible, we will be adding after-school transportation to NMS from select New Haven Public Schools.

Founded on our experience that arts education can propel students toward academic success and support a college trajectory, DELTA combines our City Initiative program, now in its tenth year, with our Dance Initiative, and adds a leadership development component. DELTA’s music pathway provides tuition free individual instruction and ensemble participation to income-eligible students from New Haven Public Schools (NHPS), while the dance pathway provides tuition free participation in multiple weekly dance classes to students from both NHPS and Achievement First schools. Some 100 students are expected to benefit from the DELTA program this year. In addition, we have merged our NMS Concert Band with All City Symphonic Band, which will now rehearse at NMS, deepening our partnership with NHPS and the Yale Music in Schools Initiative.


ASAP – As many of you know, over the past few months, we switched to a new software platform for registration and billing. Thank you for bearing with us as we worked out the kinks that unavoidably accompany a move of this type. We hope that you now find our online registration easier to navigate, and your invoice easier to understand.

Website – Please take a moment to visit the new website (you’re already here!) that we launched in June. In particular, try out our new search functionality at https://nmsnewhaven.org/lce/, which allows you to navigate our multitude of offerings in a way that is simple and visually intuitive.


So that’s about it for now… As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions! Please contact Director of Student Services, Anne Tubis, at [email protected] – or just reach out to me directly, at [email protected]. I’m always glad to hear from our student families.
With best wishes for a year of joyful discovery,