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Community Music School Announces Spring Programs and New Director

Appalachian Community Orchestra

The Community Music School (CMS) at Appalachian State University is beginning another semester of exciting music programs in Boone and Hudson this Spring under the leadership of the new Director, Lisl Doughton. Activities are available for a variety of ages and experience levels. 

Registration is open now at music.appstate.edu/cms. Most programs begin the week of January 31. CMS offers “Pay What You Can” options for group classes.

Programs in Boone – Youth and Adults

In Community Drumming, Dr. Shawn Roberts will lead participants 4 and up in rhythms from around the world on the Hayes School of Music’s set of drums. Families are invited to register together and make music  

In the Appalachian Community Orchestra, musicians from middle schoolers to professors play great orchestral music side by side. Will Selle and Taryn Wooten, orchestra and band directors at Watauga High School, lead the orchestra, which is open to ages 12 through adult. Advanced musicians can also audition for the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, led by Dr. Régulo Stabilito. 

Community members have long been essential to the Appalachian Chorale, now led by Dr. Meg Stohlmann. No audition is required, and any singer who can carry their part in four-part harmony is welcome to join. The Appalachian Chorale will perform Will Todd’s “Mass in Blue”, an innovative mass in a jazz style, and will Zoom with the composer this Spring. 

Private lessons are now available in person at the Broyhill Music Center and online. App State students, faculty, and alumni are among the many private lesson instructors offering lessons through CMS. Tuition assistance may be available towards CMS lessons. 

Programs in Boone – Youth

The Appalachian Youth Chorale (AYC), CMS’s longest-running group program, invites students 7-14 to discover their voice in a community of singers led by Dr. Meg Stohlmann and supported by Hayes School of Music voice students. Watauga High School choral director (and Teacher of the Year) Brandon Winbush is the ensemble’s collaborative pianist. This Spring, AYC will perform songs inspired by Star Wars, the Wizard of Oz, Disney, and Dr. Seuss. 

App Rocks! is a rock band program for ages 10-14 led by Dr. Katy Strand. Students learn to sing on a mic, play electric guitar and bass, and play keyboard and drums, spending time on each instrument as they learn and perform hit songs.

Let’s Play Piano! offers two class levels in the Piano Lab in the Broyhill Music Center, led by Jenna Kyber and Julie Goforth. A fun and supportive environment builds up students’ skills and enthusiasm for piano. 

Let’s Play Ukulele! and Let’s Play Guitar! are taught by Tanner McAteer, a graduate student in classical guitar performance. Students explore beginning techniques on these versatile instruments and develop a musical avenue for self-expression.

Lisl Doughton Begins as Director of the Community Music School

Lisl Doughton

Lisl Kuutti Doughton became the new Director of the Appalachian State University Community Music School (CMS) in December 2021. A cellist and App State graduate, Doughton applies a lifelong love of music to her CMS leadership work.

“As part of the Hayes School of Music and App State, CMS is uniquely placed to make music instruction affordable to everyone while sustaining music as a profession,” Doughton says. “CMS employs twenty App State students, thirteen faculty and staff, and ten alumni in addition to excellent local teachers. We take the long view of the whole life cycle of the musician.”

From 2019-2021, Doughton served as the Program Manager for the Community Music School, managing registration and aspects of policies, advertising, budgets, and payroll. During this time, under the leadership of Dr. Nicole Sonbert, CMS has grown into a vibrant musical community offering private lessons and group programs for all ages. 

About the Community Music School

In collaboration with Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music, the Community Music School (CMS) offers music classes, ensembles and private lessons for all ages and skill levels. CMS’s mission is to Connect, Create, Engage, and Empower through music, fostering a dynamic community where diversity is valued and everyone is included in music-making. To increase access to music education for everyone, CMS offers Pay What You Can options for group programs and tuition assistance for private lessons. music.appstate.edu/cms

About the Hayes School of Music

The Hayes School of Music prepares young musicians for professional lives as performers, composers, music educators, music therapists, conductors and music industry professionals, ensuring the next generation of musical leadership for the state, region and nation. Noted for quality instruction by national and internationally recognized faculty musicians, the school offers four undergraduate degree programs and three graduate-level programs. Learn more at https://music.appstate.edu.