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Organization DBA CMCB
Community Music Center of Boston
Former Names South End Music School (1968)
Boston Music School Settlement (1968)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission is to provide excellent music education to individuals and groups of diverse backgrounds and abilities, transforming lives citywide.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide excellent music education to individuals and groups of diverse backgrounds and abilities, transforming lives citywide.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Projected Income $2,596,000.00
Projected Expense $2,578,689.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Early Childhood and Summer Programs
  • Ensembles & Performing Groups / Free John Kleshinski Concert Series
  • Music Therapy
  • Private & Group Music Lessons
  • School Outreach

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide excellent music education to individuals and groups of diverse backgrounds and abilities, transforming lives citywide.

Background Statement

Founded in 1910 as two settlement schools, CMCB was the first music school in New England dedicated to serving immigrant children, and was a charter member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education in 1937. In 1956, we offered music therapy for the first time with therapists working with WWII veterans. In 1978, we began our historic partnership with the Boston Public Schools (BPS), which over three decades has provided music education in more than 70 schools citywide—approximately 60% of the total number of Boston public schools. Recent achievements include:

  • Completion of our 2009-2011 Strategic Plan, despite the effects of the Great Recession.
  • Celebration of our milestone Centennial in 2010 throughout the City of Boston with a series of 100 free neighborhood-based concerts and special events. Highlights included a five-month feature exhibit at the Boston Public Library at Copley.
  • Our 35-year outreach partnership with the Boston Public Schools was featured as a best practice in the Boston Foundation’s report,The Arts Advantage.
  • In 2008, CMCB received unconditional full accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools.

Impact Statement


CMCB has begun our final year of our three year strategic plan, which was approved by our board of directors in September 2013. The focus of the plan is on increasing equitable access to instruction and improving overall program quality. In the service of these goals are parallel objectives to strengthen CMCB's human resources, improve our facilities and equipment, strengthen capitalization, and increase visibility--always a challenge!In addition to partnerships with 18 public schools (providing music, dance and performing arts instruction during the school day), CMCB has grown our afterschool satellites to seven locations in Chinatown, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Dorchester, Roxbury, Fenway, and Jamaica Plain. Most of these sites are designed to serve youngsters who are too young to travel on their own by public transportation to our South End home.Our total number of students at all these venues is approximately 7,000--the fourth year in a row that we have attained that number. We also continue to nurture a rich network of community partners, including The Learning Project, Project STEP, and Mssng Lnks. CMCB hosts the latter two organizations each week at our South End home. And as a happy result, we get to know young musicians who we might not otherwise meet--and they become part of the extended CMCB family.

Needs Statement

In 2015-2016, CMCB needs funding to support and offset the operating costs of an ambitious slate of capacity-building activities, including:
  1.  Ongoing contributions to support our Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to students who are in moderate to severe financial need. 
  2. We continue to upgrade current hardware and software, as well as purchase new electronic equipment to build out our new electronic music and composition program, named BeatShop Boston.
  3. Outside expertise to help CMCB further refine its outcomes measurement tools and systems.
  4. Volunteer and financial support to grow our free and public John Kleshinski Concert Series. Support helps offset costs for booking high-quality artists and musicians as well as collaborations with other neighborhood art organizations.

CEO Statement

Music performance and music education are, of course, inextricably linked.  In the service of both activities, CMCB offers a rich program of faculty, guest artist and student recitals.  For the past fourteen years, we have hosted pianist Sarah Bob’s New Gallery Concert Series--or “New Gal”--alongside our own John Kleshinski Concert Series and we are proud to have been an incubator for Sarah’s remarkable fusion of new music and visual art.

CMCB has assisted many musicians and organizations in their early development. In the 1980s we hosted the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. A little later, we nurtured several gifted artists including the composer Bill Banfield in a venture called Young Artist Development Inc. (YADI) and percussionist Michael Parola in a chamber music theater trio called Aequalis. YADI no longer exists but Banfield is now a professor at Berklee College of Music. Aequalis has morphed into the Core Ensemble, still led by the indefatigable Parola. The Core returned to the Music Center in February 2014 to perform “Of Ebony Embers, Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Many other richly productive collaborations came to mind: in the 1990s we partnered with the Handel & Haydn Society as it initiated its Vocal Apprenticeship Program. Sandra Piques Eddy led H&H’s treble choir at the Music Center before leaving to become a featured mezzo soprano with the Metropolitan Opera. I got to see Eddy at the Met this season in the American premiere of Nico Muhly’s opera “Two Boys.” The Vocal Apprenticeship Program continues as a mainstay of H&H’s educational programming.

 Today we work with two wonderful organizations. Project STEP has been leading the effort to promote string instruction for black and Latino youth for thirty years. Mssng Lnks is the new kid on the block. Founded by our own choral director Sam Martinborough, Mssng Lnks addresses the underrepresentation of singers-of-color in musical theater and classical vocal music. 

In all our efforts, we acknowledge the excellent role that local philanthropists and grant-makers have played in supporting organizations like CMCB that are devoted to arts education, especially for youth. We applaud them—they know who they are!—and thank them for facilitating a sustained and harmonious conversation of artists, dancers, musicians and educators throughout greater Boston. 



Board Chair Statement

Our family’s first involvement with CMCB was through our four daughters, who were counselors in the SummerARTS program and students in piano, violin, guitar and voice. When we realized the broader scope of CMCB, and how it brought music opportunities to thousands of children across the city of Boston, I became active on the Board as its Treasurer and now as Board Chair.

The organization’s successes are clear: a solid financial structure and dedicated staff efficiently providing priceless music education and music therapy to a broad range of students, regardless of their financial means. 

The challenges are to continue to evolve creatively and stay relevant to the changing needs of a diverse city.  Initial success in delivering programming through satellite locations needs to be extended, so that students can be better reached in their own neighborhoods. The depth and quality of music instruction needs to be developed for genres such as jazz, rock, hip-hop and other expressions that may not even have names yet. The variety that exists in early childhood programming and that offers so many alternatives to young children needs to be duplicated for other age groups, such as senior citizens.

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
City of Boston- Citywide (please select all areas as well)
City of Boston- Allston/ Brighton
City of Boston- Back Bay
City of Boston- Beacon Hill/ West End
City of Boston- Charlestown
City of Boston- Chinatown/ Leather District
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Downtown
City of Boston- East Boston
City of Boston- Fenway/ Kenmore
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Mission Hill
City of Boston- North End
City of Boston- Roslindale
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- South Boston
City of Boston- South End/Bay Village
City of Boston- Harbor Islands
City of Boston- West Roxbury

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts Education
  2. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Performing Arts Schools
  3. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts Services

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Early Childhood and Summer Programs

Our Early Childhood Program is designed for children ages 5 months-7 years and supports the development of cognitive and social skills.  Classes provide fun and formative programming, ushering in a lifelong love for music and preparing student for private instruction. Offerings include:
  • LittleNotes 1-3 (ages 5 months-2 years)
  • Music and Movement (ages 3-5)
  • Beginning Instruments (ages 4-7) - group instruction in beginning piano, strings, or recorder


CMCB's summer offerings include SummerARTS and SummerMusic for four weeks each July-August. SummerARTS includes daily instruction in music, dance, drama and visual arts plus a culminating final performance for kids and C.I.T.s ages 4-14.
Modeled on Venezuela's El Sistema program, SummerMusic provides in-depth daily instrumental instruction in strings and winds, plus weekly performance opportunities and cultural field trips to students entering grades 5-7.
Budget  $0.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success      
Program Long-Term Success        
Program Success Monitored By      
Examples of Program Success       

Ensembles & Performing Groups / Free John Kleshinski Concert Series

To offer all students a high level of instrumental expertise, group engagement and performance opportunities, we offer a full range of ensembles:
  • Beginning Band
  • Junior Wind Ensemble
  • Junior String Ensemble
  • Intermediate/Senior String Ensemble
  • Senior Wind Ensemble
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • A Capella High School Chorus
  • Frame Drumming
  • Youth Chorus
  • Jazz Combos
  • Jam Band
  • Adult/Senior Chorus

CMCB ensembles meet once each week. Rehearsal times range; however, beginning-level rehearsals are no less than one hour and more advanced ensembles can run past two hours. All ensembles perform 3-5 times per year at CMCB and in the Greater Boston community.

CMCB's John Kleshinski Concert Series provides free, family-friendly and high-quality concerts of diverse musical instruments and genres every month from September-May. 
Budget  $0.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Music Therapy

Since the 1950's CMCB has used music therapy to help groups and individuals with social, cognitive, physical and/or emotional challenges achieve clinical goals and quality of life.  Our experienced professionals serve 450 students a week, on-site at CMCB and in partnership with human service agencies.  Our students are children, teens, adults and seniors experiencing:
  • Autism/PDD
  • Mental Health
  • Neurological/Medical Disorders
  • Alzheimer's and Dementia Disorders
  • Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities
  • Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • Social and Learning Challenges
  • Physical Disabilities
  • And more...
Benefits of music therapy include:
  • Improved interpersonal relationships
  • Development of communication
  • Enriched self-awareness and expression
  • Increased attention span and memory
Budget  $144,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Elderly and/or Disabled People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success         
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Private & Group Music Lessons

CMCB offers group and individual music instruction for students all ages and abilities, in nearly 30 instruments and in every style of music from classical and jazz to pop and world music.  We also provide performance training, ensemble and orchestra coaching, technique classes, music theory and composition.  Programming begins in early childhood and continues through one's golden years.  Our students range in age from 5-month old babies through seniors more than 80 years of age.
Budget  $0.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  Artistic mastery and/or development.  Enjoyment of music as core to emotional, physical and intellectual health/wellness.
Program Success Monitored By  Evaluations, ongoing feedback, performance measurement, annual merit-based Lapin Competition, participation in annual Performathon, auditions for/participation in outside orchestras and/or ensembles, acceptance to conservatories and/or noted institutions of higher education with strong music departments, and more.   
Examples of Program Success  Recent placement for CMCB students include the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) Eastern District orchestra festivals, both Junior and Senior levels; the Sphinx Academy Summer Program at Oberlin Conservatory, an intensive chamber music and solo performance program designed for aspiring Black and Latino string players ages 12-17; Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra; Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the New England Conservatory Preparatory Training Orchestra.

School Outreach

CMCB's nationally-recognized outreach, launched in the Boston Public Schools in 1978, provides hands-on music and performing arts instruction to more than 5,000 BPS students each week, ranging from Pre-K through high school.  Our instruction is aligned with city and state curriculum standards, and CMCB's 34 years of partnership expertise helps schools build the capacity to ensure their programs can be successfully administered and sustained financially over time.
Our professional teaching artists provide the following to public and private schools, for fully inclusive classrooms of students:
  • General Music Education
  • Chorus
  • Recorder
  • Dance
  • Drumming
  • Drama
  • Visual Art
  • Band
  • Music Literacy
  • Violin, Viola and Cello
  • Tin Whistle
  • Creative Writing
 CMCB's public school partnerships for 2011-2012 number 24, up from 21 in 2010-2011.  We pride ourselves on our ability to work flexibly with outreach schools working with a wide range of budgetary, scheduling and performance concerns. 
Budget  $0.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) K-12 (5-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success 
Students demonstrate music literacy and the ability to sing and play music from diverse styles, genres, and cultures on pitched and non-pitched instruments.  BPS partners demonstrate increased ownership of program, financially and programmatically, collaborate successfully in administering, fundraising and implementing in-school programming.
Program Success Monitored By  Formative evaluations, student evaluations, visitation reports, performance reports, BPS partnership management, level of parent involvement and more.
Examples of Program Success  --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Any discussion of artistic mastery for underserved populations must begin with core values of access, and CMCB scholarships are essential to continued access. If students in financial need, students of color, students from underrepresented city neighborhoods can’t even get their foot in the door to start taking lessons, then deeper commitment to music—and its life-long benefits—is unachievable. CMCB may first ignite a spark in the heart and mind of a student in a BPS classroom, once a week in a group setting; however, it is scholarship support that enables that child to enter the extended orbit of on-site opportunities at CMCB. The extended recession has deeply impacted Boston families while demand for need-based aid is up, particularly for immigrant families and communities color.  Demand for both instruction and scholarship is on the rise, with an expected $250,000/year in scholarship support anticipated in the coming years.  Board President Kurt Cerulli often notes the proportional increases in both tuition revenue and scholarship expense as proof that CMCB’s mission of access is as alive and healthy as ever. 


CEO/Executive Director Dr. David Lapin
CEO Term Start Aug 1983
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

David Lapin (since 1981), Executive Director. Ph.D., M. Philosophy, Yale University; B.A., Queens College. Dr. Lapin is a past president of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and has served on boards of the Boston Annenberg Challenge, the Boston Center for the Arts, and Mayor Menino’s citizen committee for air rights development of the Massachusetts Turnpike. He has been a member of the Board of Visitors of the Walnut Hill School and has taught at Yale University and Cornell University. David has served on adjudicating panels for the Harvard Musical Association, Berklee College of Music and Longy School of Music.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
William Fickes Artistic Director --
David Lapin Executive Director --
Catherine Miller Director of Marketing --
Mr Brent Parrish Director of Development Brent Parrish, Director of Development. M.T.S. Boston University, B.A. Union University. Brent focused his education in social ethics and conflict resolution, and brings a deep appreciation of musical experience to the development office. He recently worked in development and as board liaison with the International Community School with the AmeriCorps*VISTA program in Atlanta, GA and has a diverse background in for-profit and non-profit work. Brent joined CMCB's staff in February of 2013.
Marie Tai Administrative Director --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS) 2008
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Member 1937
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
National Association of Schools of Music - Accreditation 2008
-- --


CMCB has approximately yearly 40 community collaborators, including 24 outreach partnerships in the Boston Public schools and numerous non-profits and human service agencies with whom we partner for outreach and/or "satellite" instruction.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 14
Number of Part Time Staff 75
Number of Volunteers 20
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 6
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 6
Caucasian: 70
Hispanic/Latino: 5
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): multi/bi-racial
Gender Female: 37
Male: 40
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Tri-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Kurt Cerulli
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cerulli Associates
Board Chair Term Sept 2010 - Sept 2012
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Janet Bailey Janet Bailey Associates Voting
Mr. Patrick Benzie Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Mary Carney Northeastern University Voting
Mr. Kurt Cerulli Cerulli Associates Voting
Ms. Leslie Colburn Drake Petroleum Company Voting
Ms. Kathleen Emrich Retired, Ellis Neighborhood Association Voting
Mr. Gerard Fong Fong & Kaston, LLP Voting
Mr. Christopher Goddu Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Mark Greeley Altium Voting
Ms Jill Hatton Retired Voting
Mr. William Higgins General Services Administration, O'Neill Federal Building Voting
Mr. William Knowlton Ropes & Gray Voting
Ms. Sarah Leggat Northeast Channel Group, LLC Voting
Mr. James Piatt Piatt Associates Inc., Architects Voting
Mr. Ted Pietras Gibson Sotheby's International Realty Voting
Ms. Deborah Rambo Catholic Charities Voting
Ms Mercedes Ridao Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Barbara Roberts Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Robert Taylor Taylor & Burns Architects Voting
Mr. Martin Thomson Tenor Voting
Professor Karen Wacks Berklee College of Music Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 19
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 10
Male: 11
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Audit
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In terms of governance, CMCB also has a 70-member Corporation (akin to a Board of Overseers). See attachment at conclusion of our Giving Common profile.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $2,530,638 $2,668,476 $2,715,490
Total Expenses $2,451,420 $2,324,184 $2,086,792

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,042,076 $1,309,733 $1,296,118
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,316,424 $1,305,557 $1,090,451
Investment Income, Net of Losses $158,138 $40,321 $318,063
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $8,652 $5,440 $4,249
Other $5,348 $7,425 $6,609

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $1,877,137 $1,779,909 $1,570,571
Administration Expense $472,833 $428,651 $390,466
Fundraising Expense $101,450 $115,624 $125,755
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.15 1.30
Program Expense/Total Expenses 77% 77% 75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 10% 9% 10%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $3,688,443 $3,616,870 $3,263,500
Current Assets $3,278,207 $3,182,145 $2,850,030
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $18,695 $26,340 $17,262
Total Net Assets $3,669,748 $3,590,530 $3,246,238

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $2,577,370.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 4.5%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 15.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 175.35 120.81 165.10

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's audited financials.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?