Event DETAILS for September 17th – 40th Anniversary

Thank you very much for supporting Pakachoag Music School’s 40th Anniversary celebration event on Saturday, September 17, 2022 with the purchase of your ticket or sponsorship.
Please note that all tickets should be purchased in advance; NO sales At the Door.

PARKING and Entry

Click below for a map of parking options.   If you are arriving as a volunteer or after 5:30 pm, please allow extra time for parking and entry.

Tuckerman Hall Parking Map

Table Ticket holders qualify for early entry starting at 5:00 pm.   Light hors d’oeuvres available in the lower level Dean Hall.

Balcony ticket holders – entry begins at 5:30 pm.  Seating is unreserved.

Entry is via Salisbury Street.

Are you on our Event E-mail list?

Additional detailed information is going out by email to ticket holders.  If you are attending as a guest and are not on our email ticket list, feel free to email us at admin@pakmusic.org to receive email updates.


We look forward to a wonderful evening of celebration and music.  We are emailing persons who have purchased tickets with event details starting September 9th.  If your name/email is not in our ticketing system (most likely because you are attending as someone’s guest), feel free to email admin@pakmusic.org so we can add you to the confirmation list.

Raffle, Desserts, Entertainment, Celebration!  – Ticket sales open through Friday, September 16, 2022, assuming seats remain available.

Please note..

  • Seating is limited.  Tickets NOT available at the door.
  • $10 balcony seats – unreserved.  Entry for balcony seats begins at 5:30.
  • Individual table tickets:  $50 at table – SOLD OUT
  • Table of 8 – $400.  (Discounts now closed.)  SOLD OUT
  • At the top of the order page, you may notice a ‘login’ and ‘create account’ option.  We welcome you to create a donor and event account with Pakachoag, but this is not required to purchase tickets.

If you wish to combine/purchase both balcony tickets and table tickets, you will need to submit two separate orders, accordingly.

If you wish to purchase both a full table and additional individual seats, you will need to submit two separate orders.

We are unable to accept requests for seating individual ticket purchases at any specific table.  If you wish to be seated with friends/colleagues, please submit one order.  We will make every effort to seat group purchases at one table or adjacent tables.

Event is recommended for adults.  Children in audience should be at least age 8 and we recommend they be comfortable sitting for up to two hours 15 minutes.

Your email receipt is your ticket.  Please bring with you.

Thank you for your interest in creating change and impact through music with Pakachoag.

As Executive Director, with a team of committed faculty, board members, education and music enthusiasts alongside me, I am both excited and humbled to be leading Pakachoag Music School as we enter our 40th Anniversary Year.

Every student who comes to Pakachoag, whatever their age, has a story.  For many students, this is their dream.  For some, learning to play an instrument would never otherwise be possible.

Chris, a recorder student this past year, writes:

This is my first year studying the recorder.  I really like the recorder, whether I’m playing for my grandparents, or just goofin’ about.  I hope to be an architect when I grow up, but I also want to play the clarinet, that’s why I am doing the recorder.  I also like maths.  Thank you for your support [of my lessons].  Chris.”  As teachers, we know that playing an instrument brings fulfillment, contributes to self development and supports academic success.  Every gift opens a door that begins with music but which also provides a unique experience that continues with each student through life.

Thank you for visiting us on the web!  Below are ways that you can make a difference in the life of a child or teen.

Sincerely, Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director

Ways to Participate

To learn more about the upcoming 40th Anniversary Gala please visit our event page at PakMusic.org/40

The Gala is of course just one moment in time.  All that the School has been and has become, combined with the thousands of students served along the way, has been and is only possible thanks to the on-going generosity of donors and grantors.  While tuition is a large portion of our annual budget, tuition alone is never enough to keep the wheels turning and the music playing.

If you are a current donor or grantor, thank you.  You have made Pakachoag Music School a lasting reality.

If you are new to Pakachoag, we invite you to get to know us.  Come to the gala, email me at Sarah@pakmusic.org, or call me at 508-791-8159 x 103.

If you are looking to impact an individual student or contribute to a stronger Pakachoag and Greater Worcester community through music, we have several ways you can do that.

The Annual Harmony Fund

We accept donations to the Annual Harmony Fund throughout the year.  Gifts of all sizes are welcome.  You can learn more, print a form, or make a gift online here:

Individual Giving


Music Matters!

A gift of $100 to $10,000 to the Music Matters Program brings music instruction to students in need.  This includes fully free after-school, off-site small group music classes, as well as financial aid for traditional programs and the all-new Quinsigamond Youth Theatrical Company starting Fall 2022.   Your gift supports every student in experiencing music success, as we work to inspire on-going music learning for enjoyment and life-long health and well-being.

To make a gift, please visit the Individual Giving page here.  You can designate on the printable form or online that you would like your gift to support Pakachoag’s Music Matters out-of-school learning program.

Individual Giving


Sponsor a Student

With a gift of $500 to $1500, you can Sponsor-A-Student.  Gifts allow a child or teen of low-income to experience the thrill of becoming a musician.  Each student receives up to 40 weeks annually of one-on-one instruction, accompanied by at-home practice, under the tutelage of one of the School’s 30 teaching artists.

To learn more or to sponsor a student, click here.

Sponsor a Student


40th Anniversary Campaign

The 40th Anniversary Gala & Campaign offers opportunities for sponsorship, table and ticket purchases. A gift to the campaign positions the school for long-term sustainability, AND you’ll be helping us make the dream of a Steinway performance piano and endowment a reality.
Gala: Saturday, September 17th. Tuckerman Hall.

The 40th campaign continues through FY2023.

Ongoing sponsorships are available for student recitals, workshops,and special faculty events.  We can also help you set up your own fundraising page for Pakachoag with the latest donor software which links to social media.

Please email Sarah@pakmusic.org for more information about the 40th Anniversary Campaign.

Endowment, Planned Giving (Wills, Trusts, Estates)

We welcome larger gifts as part of a will or your own “planned giving”.  We can provide more information upon request. Please email Sarah@pakmusic.org.


Express Ourselves!

With Boston’s Ayla Brown! and Pakachoag Music School

A Guest / Faculty Special Event for Grades 2 to 5 Ayla Brown Singer Songwriter

Sponsored by AllWays Health Partners.  Your Health is Everything To Us

UPDATE:  Friday, June 10th:  We have just three spaces still available for this workshop.  Can’t come but interested?  Please check out our Summer Songwriting Class.

Singer, songwriter, morning show co-host at Country 102.5, Ayla Brown is coming to visit!

You’re invited to join our own Brenda Lau, winner of Panama’s Viva la Musica 2010, and Ayla Brown, 2006 semi-finalist with American Idol, for an exciting hour of singing, songwriting and sharing.

Express Ourselves will offer an hour of uplifting music, tips on how to create your own song, time for questions with Ayla and Brenda, and a taste of some of what you can learn if you sign on for Pakachoag’s Express Yourself summer songwriting class for ages 8 to 10.

What:  Express Ourselves Songwriting Sampler
When: Monday, June 13
Time:  5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Pakachoag Music at 10 Irving Street
The 2nd floor Vinton Hall

Brenda Lau, Singer / Songwriter

Ages:  Recommended for students in or entering grades 2 to 5, with parent or caregiver.

Space is limited.   Registration open until all seats taken.  Due to rising COVID cases at this time, we are unable to accommodate siblings for this workshop.

Cost: $12 / Family

If you are an ‘engagement partner’ family (Elm Park, Boys & Girls Club, ACE, Centro) or already approved for financial aid, you can note this on the registration form and the registration fee will be waived.


For a taste of Songwriting, you may enjoy this video of a recent visit with High Schoolers at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester.

Why Music with AllWays Health Partners?

Music and self-expression impacts our mental health.  Singing, playing or listening to music can improve well-being and quality of life.  It  can be a way of connecting to a community of people, and be therapeutic with both physical and psychological benefits.

Express Ourselves Song Writing  is made possible with the generous support of AllWays Health Partners

About AllWays Health Partners

AllWays Health Partners, a Member of Mass General Brigham, is a health plan designed to support a healthier you – because to them, your health is everything.

Whether you’re looking for a therapist, need help managing a chronic condition, or working to get back to healthier habits, their goal is to help you meet YOUR goals.

To start living your healthiest self today, follow AllWays Health Partners on Instagram @allwayshealthpartners

Special thanks to our 40th Anniversary Event Sponsors [to date]:

Catherine Z. and J. Christopher Collins


For more information about sponsorships, and the 40th Gala and Campaign, please email sarah@pakmusic.org

The 40th Anniversary Gala

  • Saturday, September 17th, 6:00 pm Program
  • Hors D’oeuvres (with ticket) 5:00 pm
  • At Tuckerman Hall, Worcester
  • Tickets on Sale NOW!

We have opportunities for creating even greater impact for community music-making and education, as part of

SAVE!  Purchase your tickets now.

  • Early Bird:  $40 / $10 balcony.  Use code ‘Gala40‘ to apply discount at purchase.
  • Open Price:  $50 / $10 balcony
  • At the Door:  $60 / $15 balcony

Sincerely, Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director
March 2022


Life is a Cabaret! Come hear the music play!

For Forty Years, Pakachoag has been making music with and for community.  Observing this milestone is our way to say thank you….

  • To the thousands who have made music with us, of every age and background, during these 40 years
  • To the hundreds of donors, grantors, teachers, staff, board and volunteers who have lent their support in fulfilling the School’s mission
Gala Details

We’re excited to be preparing for our 40th Anniversary Gala and Campaign planned for Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Tuckerman Hall.    If you cannot attend the gala but would like to join in supporting this effort, you can submit a gift or pledge by clicking ‘Donate to Celebrate’.

Donate to Celebrate


Special thanks to the following donors who have made special gifts for the
40th Anniversary Campaign

Catherine Z. & J. Christopher Collins
Jane & Dennis Neslusan

The Stoddard Charitable Trust
The George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation
The Fletcher Foundation

Alison Snyder & Dr. Donald Allison
Patti and Paul Verderese
Gail Morgan & Bernie Lempicki

Sarah A. Collins
Daniel Collins (A)
Marion Nierintz, In Memory of William Nierintz

Marion Nierintz, In Honor of Kristjon Imperio
Barbara Groves, In Memory of Olliemay W. Burnett
Anonymous, In Honor of Sarah Smongeski

(A) – Alumna




Congratulations to Akshaya of Northboro for her recent acceptance into the Mass. Jr. Central District Orchestra.

Akshaya writes:

“I started playing violin at the age of 5. Hearing the older students playing all these difficult pieces I only dreamed of playing myself. After almost 10 years, I’ve played and started learning all the pieces I grew up listening to at concerts. I love being able to play the violin and share the music I make with others. At every concert I attend I remind myself what an amazing thing it is to know how to play music. And accomplishments like getting into Junior Districts are what push me to keep going and try new things in the field of music.”

Teacher Amy Matherly notes:  “I’m very happy for Akshaya. She plays beautifully and deserves to be recognized for her work.  I’m looking forward to the year when she will be able to experience the Festival Orchestra in person.”

This year’s festival is remote.

The Mass. Central Districts and All State festivals are sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.

Come Explore Spring Music Together ® with Pakachoag!

Fun. Fabulous. Uplifting. Magical. These are just a few of the ways that parents describe Music Together.  Come nurture your child’s inner musician and meet other families.

SPRING 2022:  We’re IN-PERSON / INSIDE (Sometimes Outside)

  • We currently have multiple open spaces in our
    Thursday 9:30 Auburn class; and
    Saturday 10:30 Emanuel Lutheran class.

Make new friends or invite your friends to join you!

Find complete Schedule Information here.

Want to know what class includes?  Learn About Music Together here.

More detailed information here.

Health and Safety policies are here.

Tuition information here.  AND…

Register Here

Registering less than one week ahead?  PLEASE ALLOW two to three business days for us to confirm your registration.  We will follow up as soon as possible.




This season’s student spotlight is Seth Boudreau, high school senior and student of Amy Matherly.  Seth first came to Pakachoag as part of our Music Together program all the way back in 2005 age 1!  He began violin lessons in 2009, age 5.  As part of the School’s Suzuki program, Seth began lessons with Sheila Reid and a few years later continued with Dr. Leah Zelnick.  With schedule challenges and teacher transitions, Seth eventually landed with Amy Matherly.

What do you like about your lessons?

I’ve had Mrs. Matherly as my primary violin instructor for most of the years that I have been there, [at Pakachoag].  What I enjoy most about my lessons with Mrs. Matherly is her style and acceptance for the variety of pieces that I like to play and perform. She has always encouraged and allowed me to experiment with different styles of music. I have frequently switched from Fiddle style music to Jazz to Classical and she is always willing to work it into my lesson.  I have played in many Middle and High School performances, and she helped me practice the pieces that I would be playing.

Do you have a favorite piece?

Fall 2019: Pre-pandemic. Sophomore Year, with fiddler friends.

It is challenging to pick a single favorite song out of all the different pieces I have played. However, I am excited [to be performing soon] the Bach Double Violin Concerto with a group of students and teachers from the school.

Do you have other interests outside of music?

As a student who has always been busy with club and High School sports and would often come from sports activities, such as soccer or track practices and games, directly to violin rehearsals and concerts, it has made it challenging to keep up with music.  But ultimately, I’m glad I have stuck with it and continued my lessons with Mrs. Matherly, especially since they are now in person again. Music has been a big part of my life ever since I started at 5 years old, and I am glad that I have continued to grow through my violin playing at Pakachoag Music School.

You are a high school senior this year.  What comes next?

After High School, I plan to attend college and will major in Computer Science.  I am currently looking at my options for college.   I am currently taking an Advanced Placement Music Theory course in High School that I enjoy very much and may continue when I am in college.

From Teacher Amy Matherly: Working with Seth

Seth and I have fun working on a wide variety of musical styles including fiddle, classical and jazz.  He loves music that is flashy and dramatic. Pakachoag recital audiences have been treated to his performances of pieces like Csardas and Funky Hippo along with years of appearances with the Fiddle Band. He is a true music lover who participates in jazz band, show pit band and music theory classes at school.  I have enjoyed watching him learn and grow over the past 10 years.


Dear Seth, we love that you have been able to take AP theory and ensembles at School; and been involved for so long here at Pakachoag.  As I reflect back on the pictures at top of page – wow.  I remember you had taken a year or so off at one point.  I think I remember your mom saying you were begging her to come back — you realized you were missing violin [and perhaps us too]. 

I sincerely congratulate you on sticking with your music for so long while juggling sports and academics.  You have reached the 10 year milestone for lessons recently which means you join a select group of students who have reached “10”.  We wish you much success as you prepare for this next stage of life.   I hope you will continue to make and find friends in music. 

 Sincerely, your friends in music, Sarah S., ED and all at Pakachoag.

Summer Music Classes

Summer at Pakachoag includes classes and lessons for all ages.  For an overview by age, please visit our Summer Session overview web page.

Interested in a class? We’re ready to register as of March 1st, 2022


Suzuki Violin First Steps

Courtyard Flute Academy


Early Childhood Music and Movement Classes – ages birth to five years.  Registration Opens April 1, 2022

Summer Music LessonsSchool Age & Adult – Registration opens in April.

Black Voices Vocal Seminar / Workshop – 

Summer Fiddle Club

Summer Safari Keyboard and Literacy Introduction – coming soon.  For early elementary.

Private or ‘Come-with-a-friend’ Small Group Lessons

Registration opens in April.

More information available at:  Summer Music LessonsSchool Age & Adult.