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Winchester Community Music School

 407 Highland Avenue
 Winchester, MA 01890
[P] (781) 721-2950
[F] (781) 721-9670
Laurie Russell
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-6510295

LAST UPDATED: 08/12/2019
Organization DBA Winchester Community Music School Trust
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Founded in 1981, the Winchester Community Music School serves nearly 900 students of all ages and abilities.  Our mission is to provide outstanding and diverse music education and performance, accessible to all, in Winchester, neighboring communities, and beyond.

Understanding the power of music to inspire, unite, and bring joy to learners and listeners alike, our core values include commitments to:

  • support excellence in teaching and a love of learning;
  • create a warm and welcoming environment for all ages and abilities;
  • support a generous financial aid program;
  • engage in outreach and service to our community.

At WCMS, we continuously nurture innovative offerings and fresh musical opportunities to reflect the needs of our students, who come from 30 towns and many walks of life.

Mission Statement

Founded in 1981, the Winchester Community Music School serves nearly 900 students of all ages and abilities.  Our mission is to provide outstanding and diverse music education and performance, accessible to all, in Winchester, neighboring communities, and beyond.

Understanding the power of music to inspire, unite, and bring joy to learners and listeners alike, our core values include commitments to:

  • support excellence in teaching and a love of learning;
  • create a warm and welcoming environment for all ages and abilities;
  • support a generous financial aid program;
  • engage in outreach and service to our community.

At WCMS, we continuously nurture innovative offerings and fresh musical opportunities to reflect the needs of our students, who come from 30 towns and many walks of life.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Aug 01, 2017 to July 31, 2018
Projected Income $1,641,956.00
Projected Expense $1,953,589.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • A. Private Lesson and Group Class Program
  • B. Ensemble Program
  • C. Early Childhood/Dalcroze Eurhythmics Program
  • D. Community Music Making/Outreach/Concerts & Events
  • E. Summer Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

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


Mission Statement

Founded in 1981, the Winchester Community Music School serves nearly 900 students of all ages and abilities.  Our mission is to provide outstanding and diverse music education and performance, accessible to all, in Winchester, neighboring communities, and beyond.

Understanding the power of music to inspire, unite, and bring joy to learners and listeners alike, our core values include commitments to:

  • support excellence in teaching and a love of learning;
  • create a warm and welcoming environment for all ages and abilities;
  • support a generous financial aid program;
  • engage in outreach and service to our community.

At WCMS, we continuously nurture innovative offerings and fresh musical opportunities to reflect the needs of our students, who come from 30 towns and many walks of life.

Background Statement


WCMS began with three faculty members serving 30 students using borrowed space in a local school. Winchester Community Music School today serves more than 800 students each week, ranging in age from 18 months to 101 years. Now housed in its own facility, the “Home for Music,” WCMS employs over 60 professional teaching artists and serves more than 5,000 people annually through programs and events at the school and in the community.

WCMS has experienced systematic organizational growth since the early 2000s, moving from a founding director to an executive director, revising its mission statement to reflect its current priorities, and embarking on a 10-year strategic plan and long-range vision to assess its outreach, investment in key resources, breadth of programming, and accessibility to all. Over the 10-year period, the school:

  • realized substantial growth in outreach into the community;
  • instituted and funded a capital reserve plan;
  • increased salary and health care benefits for its faculty;
  • updated programming; and
  • increased its commitment to financial aid.

It became clear that additional capital was necessary to fund the strategic plan initiatives and in 2008, on the cusp of the recession, WCMS launched a $1.5 million capital campaign. The campaign and the 10-year strategic plan were successfully completed during the 2011-2012 school year as the school celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Today, programming at WCMS reflects the interests of its students. The school offers traditional classical instruction but also quality instruction in jazz, rock/pop, and folk music. In addition, WCMS now offers a wide range of group learning opportunities for a more social, collaborative, and less expensive alternative to private instruction.

In addition, the school's financial aid program serves more than 60 students from 11 different communities in the Greater Boston and North Shore region.

Community-wide music-making activities are encouraged through “drop in” events, often free and open to all, including Open Mic nights, Broadway on Highland evenings, and Blues Jams. A strong music therapy program has increased WCMS’s ability to reach children with special needs as well as older adults at assisted living, retirement communities, senior centers, and nursing homes. The school's community outreach programs benefit people of all ages in the community—from young children to senior citizens.


Impact Statement

WCMS is proud of its continued growth and development.  During 2011-2012, the school's many accomplishments included:
  • completion of a $1.5 million capital campaign;
  • restructuring of administrative staff for increased efficiency;
  • installation of Apple computers in each teaching studio to allow teachers to use recording software and internet-based tools such as YouTube to enhance their teaching methods;
  • addition of 23 parking spaces to our grounds;
  • awarding of financial aid grants to 60 students each semester;
  • offering numerous free or low-cost professional performances to the community, some in collaboration with other local arts organizations.
WCMS's goals for the current year include:
  • restoring annual giving to its pre-recession level;
  • developing and engaging our Advisory Board more than ever;
  • establishing Faculty Department Chairs to foster collaboration and creativity among our teaching artists;
  • strengthening our connections with neighboring communities to increase the value of WCMS programming.

Needs Statement

In 2012, WCMS completed a 10-year strategic plan, culminating in a $1.5 million capital campaign. The priorities of the campaign were to invest in teaching excellence, strengthen student financial aid, support innovative programming, and renew our home for music. With these achievements in place, we are ready for a new round of strategic planning and organizational capacity building.

WCMS is a mature organization yet also an energetic one. Leading to 2019, we will channel our strength and energy into the next phase of organizational life. Supplemental funding will allow us:

  • to create our next five-year strategic plan;
  • to establish a Director of Development and Communications position to promote collaborative community relationships and facilitate organizational capacity building;
  • to establish a self-sustaining development program to support long-term initiatives; and
  • to implement the innovative programming ideas that are continually generated by our creative community of teaching artists, students, staff, and volunteers.


CEO Statement

WCMS is at a unique and exciting place in its history.  Over the past decade, the school has added robustness and quality to its breadth of programs while continuing to maintain its warm and welcoming atmosphere.  Having established this important balance, WCMS is now poised to take its next big step.  Leadership and program staff are aligned to carefully research, plan, and implement the short- and longer-term goals for WCMS.  I am energized to be a part of this organization and look forward to the school's future growth.

Board Chair Statement

My family began taking lessons at the Winchester Community Music School in 2009 and the school quickly became a focal point in our lives because of the warm and welcoming community created by outstanding faculty and staff. Six years later, WCMS continues to be a place in which my family gathers with friends and fellow musicians to explore, grow, perform, listen, and share.
I am a classical musician; I studied at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and played principal viola in the Yale Symphony. After taking a few years off, I started playing the viola again—mostly because I wanted to be a part of WCMS's supportive and vibrant adult learner community. It was a little daunting to pick up an instrument again, but WCMS made my reentry to music a wonderful experience. I've been taking viola lessons at WCMS for 5 years, I play in classical chamber music festivals in the Boston area, and I have even picked up the fiddle to perform and record with a few local bands.
Both of my sons, Ben and Jack, began in the early childhood music and movement classes as toddlers, progressed through the Eurhythmics program, and are now taking private lessons in piano, double bass, and violin. Ben and Jack love music and as a parent, I love seeing them begin to master their instruments and find their musical voices. The boys have even formed a bluegrass “string band” and spend time on weekends working out fiddle and bass arrangements of Suzuki songs. The teachers at WCMS are excellent and understand how to spark each child's love of music and at the same time teach the fundamentals of musicianship and technique.
As one of my board chair predecessors commented, I am continually amazed with the competency and efficiency of the faculty and staff of WCMS. I feel honored to work with talented faculty and staff and a dedicated Board of Trustees and I'm excited about implementing the strategic priorities we developed in 2013-2014. Together we all work hard to fulfill the school's mission to provide outstanding and diverse musical education and performance, accessible to all, in Winchester, neighboring communities, and beyond.

Geographic Area Served


WCMS serves over 30 communities in the Greater Boston and North Shore region.  Many of our students come from Winchester and surrounding towns.  However, our programming and faculty draw students from Boston/Cambridge, MetroWest, the North Shore, and southern New Hampshire.

Organization Categories

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

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



A. Private Lesson and Group Class Program

The majority of WCMS's students are enrolled in private lessons or group classes and the school offers instruction in a variety of musical genres including traditional lessons in classical music, jazz, pop/rock, blues, and folk music. WCMS offers instruction in all orchestral and band instruments, voice, piano, guitar, and harmonica. The staff and faculty work with each student individually to create a well-rounded musical education experience. The school offers high quality instruction to musicians of all levels, from beginners to pre-professionals, and has students ranging from toddlers to adults.

Budget  $1,000,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
WCMS students are often the leaders in their school choral, band, and orchestral programs.  They participate in regional music festivals and many of Boston's youth performing organizations.  Students of all ages experience the beauty, joy, and challenge of music and music education.
The school's adult students have created a social network for themselves through evening house concerts for one another and creating informal chamber ensembles and bands on their own.
Program Long-Term Success 
The wonderful aspects of learning music reach far beyond the mastery of singing or playing or an instrument.  Important life skills are developed through music study, including:
  •  patience;
  • commitment;
  • perseverance;
  • logical thinking;
  • goal setting; and
  • time management.

WCMS has enjoyed having many students continue their musical studies into college and beyond.  The school also has developed a reputation for families to enjoy making music together, where parents will take up an instrument, having been inspired by their child's enthusiasm.

Program Success Monitored By  Student achievement in music is highly subjective.  At WCMS, the private lesson and group class program is successful when individuals make progress at their own ability levels.  Students are measured through periodic progress reports, performance opportunities (optional), and performance evaluations (optional).
Examples of Program Success  A shy young teenager began guitar lessons at WCMS a few years ago.  She also played violin in her public school orchestra.  Over the course of a year or two of private lessons, she was asked to join one of WCMS's teen rock bands.  She was the only female in the group.  One day, during a performance, her father commented to the school's executive director how much his daughter had changed over the course of the past few years.  She now was a leader in the band, announcing songs from the stage and possessed a sense of self-confidence that he was very proud of as her father.  This young lady eventually was accepted in Berklee College of Music and is completing her music degree.

B. Ensemble Program

WCMS offers ensembles and bands for children, teens, and adults. The ensemble program encompasses classical chamber groups, jazz ensembles, pop/rock bands, vocal groups and early childhood ensembles. All ensembles meet weekly, are coached by a member of the WCMS faculty, and perform at school events and at outreach opportunities in the community. 

WCMS offers a full range of ensembles including:

  • Classical chamber music ensembles;
  • String Sinfonietta;
  • Singing for Young Children;
  • Jazz Ensembles;
  • VoiceWorks for female singers;
  • Beatles Ensemble;
  • Rock Bands for teens and adults;
  • Blues Ensemble;
  • Percussion Ensemble;
  • Saxophone Ensemble;
  • Trumpet Ensemble;
  • Motown Ensembles; and
  • Jenks Recorder Ensemble.
Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success  The students that participate in the ensemble program are characteristically those who are interested in applying their musical skills in a more interactive setting.  These students are the ones that will also participate in their school music programs and avail themselves of opportunities of regional music festivals and youth performing organizations.
Program Long-Term Success  Playing an instrument or singing in an ensemble enhances musical understanding and improves a student’s ability to perform in solo recitals or large ensemble settings such as school bands, orchestras, and a cappella groups. Participants develop important instrumental and voice skills, such as:
  • Ensemble cueing;
  • Group intonation;
  • Rhythmic interaction; and
  • Leadership and listening skills.
Program Success Monitored By  The ensemble program's success is monitored by the retention of its participants year after year as well as growth of new ensemble opportunities.  This is an area of the school that continues to develop as more students seek involvement in playing in an ensemble.
Examples of Program Success  The Jenks Recorder Ensemble began as a collaborative program between WCMS and the Jenks Senior Center over 25 years ago. This ensemble, of which there are still a few founding members, continues to meet weekly at WCMS.  The average age of the members is 80+ years old.  They have formed long-time friendships and have seen one another through hardships and joys.  The group has become far more than a musical ensemble but more of a way for this group of individuals to continue to create music together in a welcoming, community environment.

C. Early Childhood/Dalcroze Eurhythmics Program

WCMS believes that all children are musical.  The school's early childhood classes allow parents and children to explore their musical world in a supportive and fun environment. Children have the opportunity to sing, listen, move, and play instruments while learning the rudiments of music.

The curriculum is based on the philosophy of Swiss music educator Emile Jaques-Dalcroze and all WCMS early childhood faculty members are professionally trained teachers and musicians.  The early childhood classes offer an age appropriate curriculum that allows students to make a natural progression through the program and into private instrumental lessons and music theory classes.

Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Children Only (5 - 14 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success  At WCMS, we see the Early Childhood Music program as a way to build community among young families.  This is seen in the friendships that develop among parents. Play dates and social gatherings are common outcomes for the participants in this program.
Program Long-Term Success  Benefits of early childhood music education include:
  • Music performance and movement develops self-esteem and confidence in children;
  • Listening to music develops the auditory discrimination in the child;
  • Ingenious movement facilitates children to learn various concepts like balance, coordination, and rhythm; and
  • Through music, children can enhance cognitive skills like counting as well as learning the alphabet.
Program Success Monitored By  The school monitors the success of the program by retention of students.  This is particularly true once children are age 4 and older.  It is at this point when children become more independently engaged in their musical activities and start on a path of future musical study. 
Examples of Program Success  Many WCMS students start in this program and graduate into private instruction when they are age appropriate.  So often, the private lesson faculty members will comment on how quickly a child who has come through the Dalcroze program achieves success in playing an instrument.  The rhythm and tonal aspects of music have become so much a part of these young students that they only need to focus on the physical aspects of learning to play the instrument.  It's simply amazing what children can musically absorb at such a young age.

D. Community Music Making/Outreach/Concerts & Events

WCMS is committed to being a musical resource for the larger community beyond those enrolled at the school. WCMS fulfills this commitment in a variety of ways:
  • Community Music Making Activities such as Open Mic Nights, Jam Sessions, Broadway Nights, and Workshops;
  • Outreach performances and education in the community; and
  • Concerts and Musical Events such as Faculty Recital Series, Concert for Kids Series, Faculty Ensemble Concert Series, MusicFest, and Music MAYnia.
Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  A number of immediate successes are seen as a result of this program.  The school benefits from increased visibility in the community, participation in other programs as a result of these activities, and increased fund raising potential.
Program Long-Term Success  The long term success of these types of activities is difficult to pinpoint. However, a goal of WCMS is to serve as a musical resource for the community.  If community members continue to avail themselves of these activities, then the school feels that the program initiatives are successful.
Program Success Monitored By  Program success can be tracked in a few ways, each unique to the type of activity involved.  The concerts and events are tracked by attendance and feedback from the audience members.  The community music making activities are tracked by participation and feedback from participants.  The outreach activities are less measurable.  This is an area that WCMS needs to address in its strategic planning process.
Examples of Program Success  A testimonial from an early participant in the WCMS Open Mic events: "I used to play the guitar and write songs in my late teens and 20s. Now, almost 30 years later, I have begun to write and play again.  Open Mic Nights at WCMS provide the perfect forum to perform again and to become connected with both my music and an audience that supports and motivates me."

E. Summer Program

WCMS offers summer lessons and programs to allow for learning at a flexible and more relaxed pace. The summer program enables students to continue with lessons, take up a new instrument, test out a new genre, and participate in a summer ensemble program. The six-week semester provides an opportunity for focused study, rapid growth, and collaborative music.
The WCMS faculty has also developed a number of special programs to enrich the summer months with focused learning.  These programs include:
  • Chamber Music Festival;
  • Festival for Pianists;
  • Instrument Adventure;
  • Music Adventure;
  • Rock & Blues Band;
  • Summer Percussion Ensemble; and
  • The Underground Summer Session. 
Budget  $50,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success  Due to the short time frame of the summer program, successes are often performance oriented.  Many of the programs offer a public concert or a parent visiting day at the end of the program to demonstrate what was learned.
Program Long-Term Success  Many look to the summer as a time of enrichment.  WCMS believes that all of the long-term successes of the rest of our academic year program apply to summer as well.  However, summer is a time when students can be more focused and have more time to develop their musical skills.  This often leads to great advancement in technique as well as enthusiasm for their musical endeavors.
Program Success Monitored By  Summer programs are typically evaluated by written and online surveys by participants.  This gives the WCMS faculty and administration feedback for program development in the future. The more successful programs are noted for their high level of returning students year after year.
Examples of Program Success  A testimonial from a 2012 Summer Chamber Festival participant:  "My playing and overall musicianship improved in the program because I became more receptive to my fellow musicians and learned to listen better.  It was great to mingle and be a part of a fun program with other people interested in similar things."

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Laurie Russell
CEO Term Start Apr 2001
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Laurie Russell, Executive Director of the Winchester Community Music School, holds a Bachelors of Music degree in music education with an emphasis in percussion performance from The Hartt School. With over 20 years of experience in community arts administration, Laurie has taught public school instrumental music, and served as the Associate Director of The Hartt School’s Community Division and as a faculty member of the National Center for the Arts in Early Childhood. 

Deeply committed to the philosophy of accessible community arts education, she has served as co-chair of the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Northeast Chapter and has presented or facilitated at numerous National Guild conferences on the topics of early childhood music programs, evaluation and assessment, strategic planning, and marketing. Laurie continues to serve as a board member of various civic organizations and is an active member of Rotary International, Music Educators National Conference, and Pi Kappa Lambda. 
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Cornelia Nichols Sept 1981 June 2001

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Sara Schwidt Assistant Director --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Member 1985
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


WCMS collaborates each year with more than a dozen area non-profits, human service organizations, and businesses with whom the school partners to provide outreach performances and/or instruction.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 63
Number of Volunteers 168
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 80%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 11
Caucasian: 55
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 44
Male: 23
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
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 --

Risk Management Provisions

Disability Insurance
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Business Income
Employment Practices Liability
General Property Coverage
Inland Marine and Mobile Equipment
Medical Health Insurance

Reporting and Evaluations

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


Board Chair Mr. John Vietz
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term June 2018 - June 2020
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Salma Abounadi Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Brian Albrecht Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Karen Maruyama Bolognese Community Volunteer --
Ms. Kiersten Christensen Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Catherine B. Crabtree Community Volunteer --
Mr. Ralph Dinneen AIA, LEED AP Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Richard P. Eno Self-Employed Voting
Ms. Holly Handlin Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Douglas Hodgkins Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Kevin P. Kavanaugh CPA Soane Labs Voting
Mr. Michael Loria Community Volunteer --
Mr. Todd O'Brien Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Michael Sharon Community Volunteer --
Ms. Jody Collins Skinner Community Volunteer --
Mr. John S. Vietz Vietz Family Partners Voting
Ms. Robin Vos Community Volunteer --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mrs. Cynthia Andrews Community Volunteer NonVoting
Ms. Annie Bartlett -- --
Ms. Laura Bossert Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Drew Bottaro Weston Financial Group NonVoting
Ms. Dianna Carbone Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Walter F. Chick Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mrs. Jeanne Codori-Hurff Community Volunteer NonVoting
Ms. Mary Costello Community Volunteer NonVoting
Ms. Sara Delano Retired NonVoting
Mrs. Kelly Dietel -- NonVoting
Mr. Mark DiOrio J.D. The Bulfinch Companies, Inc. NonVoting
Ms. Patricia Dowden -- --
Mrs. Karen Erikson -- NonVoting
Mr. Zachariah Hickman Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Hugh Hinton -- NonVoting
Ms. Anne Hoffman J.D. Lynch, Brewer, Hoffman &Fink, LLP NonVoting
Ms. Carol S. Kent R.N. Retired NonVoting
Mr. James E. Kent Retired NonVoting
Mr. Terry King Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Chris Kinton -- --
Ms. Gretchen D. LaPan -- --
Ms. Kathryn Maffei Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Justin L. Magee Cummings Properties, LLC NonVoting
Mr. Ted Martin Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mrs. Sara McCabe Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Brian Milauskas Kidstock! NonVoting
Ms. Carol C. Moriarty Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Andy Morrison Community Volunteer NonVoting
Ms. Stephanie Murray -- --
Mr. Garrett Nagle Community Volunteer NonVoting
Ms. Janel Nagtegaal Neighborhood Cooperative Nursery School NonVoting
Mr. Stephen Nardone -- NonVoting
Ms. Cindy Neels Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mr. Douglas New Community Volunteer NonVoting
Ms. Wendy Jo New EDUPRO NonVoting
Mr. Martin J. Newhouse J.D. New England Legal Foundation NonVoting
Ms. Cornelia Nichols Retired NonVoting
Mr. Shukong Ou AT&T Services, Inc. NonVoting
Mrs. Mitali Prasad Washington Capital Management NonVoting
Dr. Sheila M. Puffer Ph.D. Northeastern University NonVoting
Mr. Peter E. Pulsifer -- --
Ms. Lynne J. Rahmeier Retired NonVoting
Mr. Allan Rodgers J.D. Retired NonVoting
Mr. Fred Santino Community Volunteer NonVoting
Mrs. Barbara Shegog -- NonVoting
Mr. Bruce A. Stevens Berkshire Blanket NonVoting
Ms. Gabrielle R. Stott Retired NonVoting
Ms. Sandra M. Thompson Retired NonVoting
Ms. Cynthia Umscheid -- --
Dr. Mary E. White Ph.D. -- NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 14
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 1
Gender Female: 7
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 86%
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

  • Board Development / Board Orientation
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Scholarship

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In addition to WCMS's Board of Trustees and Advisory Board, the school also has an active group of volunteers.  WCMS's Encore Volunteer Group is made up community members, parents, adult learners, faculty, and staff who generously share their time and talents to help WCMS serve its mission.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $1,755,332 $1,843,238 $1,486,150
Total Expenses $1,678,569 $1,570,542 $1,523,213

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$23,504 $108,690 $11,800
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $128,673 $153,864 $204,501
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,291,136 $1,219,195 $1,169,809
Investment Income, Net of Losses $279,724 $352,280 $41,077
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- $51,892
Revenue In-Kind $31,872 $5,068 $4,164
Other $423 $4,141 $2,907

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $1,345,388 $1,246,085 $1,056,050
Administration Expense $250,937 $225,114 $333,918
Fundraising Expense $82,244 $99,343 $133,245
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.05 1.17 0.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses 80% 79% 69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 54% 38% 50%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $6,277,186 $6,216,210 $5,920,144
Current Assets $298,279 $315,818 $324,105
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $307,029 $322,816 $299,446
Total Net Assets $5,970,157 $5,893,394 $5,620,698

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $2,900,000.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

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 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 0.97 0.98 1.08

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

WCMS also has a funded Capital Reserve Plan through 2029 which is used to address long-term maintenance for the school's building and major assets.  The plan is reviewed and funded yearly as part of the annual budget process.
In December 2011, WCMS completed a $1.5 million capital campaign.  The FY2010 and FY2011 financials reflect the donations from this campaign.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs 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?

WCMS embarked on strategic planning in the fall of 2013 and in 2014, adopted the following five priorities as a result of strategic analysis of over 200 stakeholders:

Program Development and Expansion

Marketing and Strategic Communication

Customer Experience Enhancement

Succession Plan Development

Performance Space Expansion

Fundamentally, these priorities work towards increasing the school’s ability to meet the developing and changing needs of its students and audiences. In tandem, the school will work on internal and external capacity building strategies to ensure WCMS’s success of sustaining this breadth of programming.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

The five strategic priorities each have clear goals:

Program Development and Expansion: Create and implement programming that provides greater artistic growth within each musical discipline. This helps WCMS continue to fulfill its mission to provide outstanding and diverse music education.

Marketing and Strategic Communication: Develop strategies for more effective communication with internal and external audiences. WCMS will utilize traditional media and emerging technologies to communicate with constituents in Winchester, neighboring communities, and beyond. WCMS has already embarked on a collaboration with Babson College MBA students to review its IT strategies and website, as well as partnered on a Google AdWord Campaign. In August 2014, WCMS began the process of re-platforming its current website.

Customer Service Enhancement: Assess and enhance customer service at key points of contact. WCMS is committed to cultivating a warm and welcoming environment to ensure WCMS is accessible to all. We will strive to be responsive and adapt to the changing needs of our constituency. A key issue identified during strategic analysis is the desire of the WCMS families to have online registration. In May 2014, WCMS rolled out online registration for its group music class activities for its current families as a test case.

Succession Plan Development: Develop a comprehensive succession plan for WCMS leadership and key staff. WCMS will develop a succession plan in order to continue to thrive and fulfill our mission.

Performance Space Expansion: Generate feasible option(s) to expand WCMS’s performance space. We will investigate opportunities for expanded performance space to accommodate outstanding and diverse music education and performances.

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

WCMS’s board, administration, and faculty have embraced these five priorities as a shared vision for the future. The strategic planning process was timed to align well with the school’s budgeting process to allow for work toward some goals to be accomplished as part of its normal operating budget. The board and key staff began creating action plans and KPI’s for each priority in June 2014. The award of the Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant in 2013 has provided the seed money to help WCMS build capacity and work towards these strategic priorities.

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

The board has set imperatives for each of the five priorities and assigned qualitative and quantitative indicators to each priority to measure success.

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

Since developing the strategic plan, WCMS has laid the foundations in each priority area. Highlights of our ongoing work in each priority area include:

Program Development & Expansion

Based on input from a January 2015 programmatic survey of our constituents, there are three main areas of focus for this priority: programming, particularly in the area of supplemental classes and ensembles; goal setting & student expectations; and performance opportunities. 

Marketing & Strategic Communication

The marketing staff, working with the External Relations Committee of the Board of Trustees, focuses their work to develop strategies for more effective communication with internal and external audiences. 

Customer Experience Improvement

The main focus in this area has been the research and choice of an online registration database program. The transition to this program took place fall 2017. Shifting to online registration has allowed WCMS to streamline the registration process and make the enrollment process more accessible.

Succession Plan Development

WCMS restructured its administrative team to respond to the current administrative needs of the school, better align staffing and board positions with the strategic priorities, create more overlap between positions, and add capacity to enable WCMS to respond to new initiatives and enrollment growth. 

Performance Space Expansion

WCMS has created an ad hoc board committee to generate feasible option(s) to expand the school’s performance space allowing us to fulfill our mission to keep outstanding and diverse musical performance