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CVSM seeks funds for drive

November 26, 2000

CVSM seeks funds for drive



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Cumberland Valley School of Music annual fund-raiser is again under way to help offset the cost of lessons and other program expenses.

For the last decade the Cumberland Valley School of Music has lured musical masters to the area to perform and has offered hundreds of students instrument and voice lessons.

"Over its 11-year history, the CVSM has brought talented individuals of all ages to their fullest potential and provided untold pleasure to area residents through the performances the school sponsors," said Gene Herritt, a board member and Resource Development Committee chairman. "Individual contributions are an important part of keeping these opportunities alive in our region."

The school opened in 1990 and is one of only 220 schools accepted as a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, and the only one within a 90-mile-radius of Chambersburg, said Andrew Sussman, executive director.

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A nonprofit organization, most of the tuition income CVSM receives goes directly to the music teachers, so the fund-raising campaign and special events like a dinner-dance planned for February are necessary to make up the balance, Sussman said.

The school needs to raise $65,000 in contributions this year to meet its $420,000 budget and cover remaining expenses, which include rent, music, program expenses and scholarship assistance.

The school's mission also states it will not deny anyone lessons due to financial need, Sussman said.

"We rely on the community to keep the school operating. But if you look at the number of opportunities we present, it's easy to see we are trying to contribute back to the community," he said.

Nearly 600 students take classes every week from 57 faculty members teaching in Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Mercersburg. Last year, more than 500 students performed at more than 100 venues in the area.

But private lessons are only a fraction of what CVSM offers, Sussman said.

"We have hosted a wide variety of diverse programs," Sussman said. "In March we will have a legendary jazz saxophone player and the next month we will have a tribute to an opera singer."

William Reilly, one of the top vocal coaches in Manhattan who has coached pop-singer Celine Dion and President Bill Clinton during his first campaign, has come to Chambersburg twice to hold master classes and workshops for vocalists.

The school offers a wide selection of classes, workshops, camps, drama programs and ensembles and sponsors the CVSM Community Symphonic Band, the youth chorus - the Cumberbunds - and the CVSM Concert Jazz Band.

"This is a small community, so one of the amazing things to me is we are a member of a national guild. People travel from a 40- to 50-mile radius to come to us," Sussman sad.

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Cumberland Valley School of Music, 1015 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg, PA 17201. Those interested may call 717-261-1220 for more information.

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