What makes NEMPAC unique in the music and performing arts market? In addition to distinguished faculty and quality programming, the close ties we’ve cultivated with the greater-Boston community differentiate us as an educational school and a professional performance center. 

We credit much of this community engagement to the humble beginnings from which we sprouted and continue to blossom. You may not know that five North End mothers created NEMPAC back in 2001 to address the dearth of music education opportunities for youth in the neighborhood. These mothers ran NEMPAC out of their homes for the first few years of our 501(c)(3)’s operation! 

Fast forward to present day and here we are, continuing to invest in the limitless artistic potential of children. In doing so, we give kids the music and life skills they need to then go out into the world and give back to their neighborhoods. It’s this neighborhood feel that makes NEMPAC so special. 

To celebrate how NEMPAC grew out of the community, this week’s blog post spotlights some of our cherished community partners. We owe a debt of gratitude to the nine alliances below because they make our vision of music and performing arts a reality. 

The City of Boston 

Did you attend one or more of our beloved Jazz in the Park Summer Concert Series this month? From Mixcla to Gabrielle Goodman to Scanzonatti to Sawaari, our star-talented lineup of solo artists and musical ensembles transported Boston’s Greenway North End Parks into the city’s premier outdoor destination for rhythm, syncopation, and all things jazz. The Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department generously provided the lighting, sound, and technology for free Tuesday concerts these past four weeks in July. 

The City of Boston also graciously permits NEMPAC to perform at venues such as Christopher Columbus Park, The Great Hall at Faneuil Hall, as well as The Prado (Paul Revere Mall). By giving NEMPAC a platform at these public parks and city-owned venues, the City of Boston supports our mission of making music and performing arts programming accessible in the community. 

Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston granted NEMPAC a 2,200 square-foot building in the North End located at 48-50 Tileston Street this past July. As many of you know, the spatial limitations of our current 590 square-foot facility located in the Paul Revere Mall resulted in waitlists for NEMPAC’s after-school music education programming. 

Space restrictions also prevented us from servicing all of the aspiring musicians seeking instrument lessons and vocal instruction, as our current building couldn’t accommodate the considerable number of students interested in our offerings. We are honored and humbled by the City of Boston’s amazing generosity and look forward to settling into a new home that empowers us to meet the community’s demands for music education.

Good Shepherd School

This Charlestown-based preschool offers half-day, full-day, and after-school programs for students aged two through five. Our faculty members provide arts education at the school to expose students to musical instruments and vocal performance at an early age. 

Harvard-Kent Elementary School

Our faculty members create music and performing arts curriculum for kindergarten through fifth graders at this elementary school in Charlestown.

The Warren-Prescott School

We also offer in-house instrument and vocal instruction to the students in grades one through eight who attend The Warren-Prescott School in Charlestown. 

Charlestown Working Theater (CWT)

We partner with this performing arts school and theatre to produce a professional children’s holiday musical every December.  From Twelfth Night to A Christmas Carol, these musicals bring the stories of the holiday season to life for community members of all ages. 

In the spirit of true collaboration, CWT staffs the stage and production directors’ posts, and NEMPAC staffs the music director post. December 2019’s performance is slated to be The Nutcracker/Mouse King! 

We aim to make music a more approachable art form in the greater-Boston area by providing on-site music instruction at CWT. NEMPAC faculty members offer instrument and vocal lessons at the theatre as part of our private music program. 

Boston Landmarks Orchestra 

Our NEMPAC Youth Choir partners with Boston Landmarks Orchestra for an annual holiday concert featuring Handel’s Messiah. Last December, the fourth annual holiday concert held at Saint Leonard’s Church captivated audience members with festive songs to greet the season.

One of the facets of this alliance that makes it so special is how the orchestra members so graciously share the spotlight with the next generation of NEMPAC musicians who are learning the craft. What an honor and a privilege for our youth artists to be able to say that they’ve performed alongside the Boston Landmarks Orchestra at such a young age! 

This past December, the annual holiday concert sold out and was standing room only. Due to this stupendous display of community support, we’re excited to announce that we’ve secured a larger venue for this year’s production at Faneuil Hall’s majestic Great Hall.

Nazzaro Community Center

We proudly partnered with this Boston-based physical fitness center back in October 2018 for our annual Halloween Party. This festive event—complete with a musical trick or two and plenty of treats—welcomed new and returning members of the NEMPAC family to an afternoon of Halloween-themed fun. 

Eliot K-8 BPS Innovation School 

This public school in the North End is located very close to NEMPAC. This wonderful proximity between buildings only enhances our years-long collaboration, while allowing us to offer pick-up and drop-off for students at the Eliot Lower and Upper Schools. Several NEMPAC faculty members teach students there via full-time, in-school music education. 

Aside from classroom learning, we provide an after-school, tuition-based band program for children, as well as a free after-school vocal program for students in grades three through eight. Last June, we hosted an instrument petting zoo at Eliot School to help students figure out which musical instrument they’d like to pursue in the band. 

St. John K-8 Catholic School

NEMPAC offers a part-time, in-house instructor to St. John’s who heads up music education and choral programming for students. Our faculty members also lead an honors youth choir for children to explore vocal studies in an after-school setting. 

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Here at NEMPAC, we’re proud to say that our community partnerships help us help artists of all ages and abilities reach their fullest potentials as musicians, performers, and people.

What’s your favorite community event or program made possible by our alliances in the greater-Boston neighborhood?