Changing lives through the power of learning, sharing and making music for almost thirty years.

Manchester Community Music School began in 1983 with a small youth string orchestra, conceived and supported by May and Sam Gruber.  Over the next ten years, private lessons on an increasing number of instruments were added, and early childhood arts programs were introduced.  The School moved around the city as necessitated by growth.

In 1993, the Music School settled into the fifth floor of 83 Hanover Street.  Grand pianos were delivered via crane through the windows as board members and friends finished the drywall and painting.  The space served 200 students well, and was appreciated for its intimacy and coziness.  Over the next nine years, the school grew, expanded into the fourth floor, and then grew some more.

“Cozy” became “cramped”.  Trumpets were drowning out the violin lessons, and teachers and staff were sharing tight quarters. The studios and halls of the Music School were literally overflowing with music.  It was time to find a permanent home to accommodate the school’s growth for years to come.  Coincidentally, Mount Saint Mary Academy, a private, nonprofit elementary school, was experiencing similar growth issues.  The leadership of both organizations saw the value in forming a strategic partnership to share the same facility, while remaining distinct educational institutions.

In 2003, with philanthropic support from businesses, foundations and several individuals, the school was able to acquire our present facility at 2291 Elm Street.  Today, we enjoy a facility with much room for growth and a wonderful home for music in Manchester.

We are grateful for the support of thousands of students, parents, musicians, donors and community members who have empowered the Music School to fulfill our mission of:

  • Providing music education to thousands of New Hampshire children and adults;
  • Giving free professional, amateur, and student performances to the community;
  • Bringing talented musicians and music educators to live and work in New Hampshire;
  • Changing lives through the power of music;
  • Educating the leaders of tomorrow;
  • Making musical memories for all ages;
  • Sharing the music.