Chelmsford Public Schools student-musicians attend Stringfest

Berklee College of Music clinicians host workshops, hold performance for youths

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (January 12, 2024) – Clinicians from Berklee College of Music came in to work with and perform for Chelmsford Public Schools students during Stringfest on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

The lead clinician this year was Mimi Rabson from the Berklee College of Music, who specializes in teaching improvisational skills in jazz, rock, world music and other contemporary idioms, as well as technology and recording techniques for strings.

“The goal of Stringfest is to allow the string students across Chelmsford to meet, interact and explore new styles of music together, while celebrating orchestra music in our town,” said Luke Miller, music educator at McCarthy Middle School. “This brings together students from multiple schools as one way to prepare for the transition between buildings and programs next year.”

During the event, professional musicians and educators who specialize in a certain style or genre of string music come in to work with Chelmsford student-musicians.

“The students participate in workshops of age/ability-appropriate music in a particular style or genre to introduce them to other types of music-making than we typically explore in the classroom,” Mr. Miller said. “This is a low-pressure event where the students themselves are not putting on a performance, and are solely there to experience, learn, and enjoy the process of making music in a new style.”

Students were grouped by age and ability level for the workshops. Fifth graders participated in a beginner workshop, sixth and seventh graders collaborated during an intermediate workshop, and eighth graders joined high school students for an advanced workshop.

“Students have really enjoyed this event in the past, and it is a great way to bring together all of the string students from Parker, McCarthy and CHS, and to celebrate orchestra music in Chelmsford,” Mr. Miller said.

Stringfest, which is sponsored by Chelmsford Friends of Music, concluded with a performance by the guest artists which allows for the student-musicians to hear the style of music they have been practicing in action.

“Our three orchestra teachers, Kate Comeau, Luke Miller and Lisa Tiano, have done an amazing job planning this event to expose students to professionals in the industry, develop their performance skills, and give them an opportunity to collaborate with students in other schools,” said Christy Whittlesey, the fine arts coordinator for Chelmsford Public Schools.

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential.  This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students.  For more information, please visit