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Indian Hill Music announces plans for new music education and performance center

State-of-the-art building designed by an award-winning team led by Cambridge-based Epstein Joslin Architects, Chicago-based LKAcoustics Design and Threshold Acoustics


Susan Randazzo, Executive Director of Indian Hill Music (IHM), today announced that plans for a new music education and performance center in the Town of Groton have been submitted to the Planning Board and shared with the public at an open meeting. Groton will be the new home of Central Massachusetts’s 31-year-old thriving regional center for music education and performance, which will be located at 122 Old Ayer Road.

Concept rendering, proposed site plan, The Music Center at Indian Hill

Concept rendering of proposed site plan, The Music Center at Indian Hill

Indian Hill Music has grown over the last three decades to serve 79 communities ranging from Boston in the east, Metrowest, the Nashoba Valley, Merrimack Valley, and as far north as Nashua and Hollis, New Hampshire.  IHM is one of only a small group of non-profit organizations nationwide that encompass a music school, professional orchestra, professional concert series and community outreach programs.

“This is an exciting time in the history of Indian Hill Music,” stated Ms. Randazzo, a founding member of IHM. “Adding to the specialness of the new location is that we will not only be returning to our first home, Groton, where both our school and the Orchestra of Indian Hill began, but the building will look upon Indian Hill, the beautiful landmark after which IHM was named.”

“We are pleased to have Gary Shepherd, Project Manager for Indian Hill Music, and Alan Joslin, Deborah Epstein, and Ray Porfilio of Cambridge-based Epstein Joslin Architects leading an innovative team that includes Chicago-based pioneering acousticians R. Lawrence (Larry) Kirkegaard of LKAcoustics Design Studio, and Carl P. Giegold of Threshold Acoustics; Theatre Consultant Robert Long of Theatre Consultants Collaborative in Chapel Hill, NC; Civil Engineers Lawrence (Larry) M. Beals and Todd Morey of Beals Associates, Inc. in Boston, and Landscape Architect Stephen Stimson of Stephen Stimson Associates in Cambridge. We could not ask for a better team.”

IHM’s new home will join a distinguished roster of national projects by some of the above named professionals, including Seiji Ozawa

Concept rendering of concert hall, The Music Center at Indian Hill

Concept rendering of concert hall, The Music Center at Indian Hill

Hall for the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performance Center, Williams College Theater and Dance Center in Williamstown, the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in California, the Summer Performance Pavilions for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium in New York, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, and Bethesda’s Strathmore Center.

Indian Hill Music has grown and prospered for the past 31 years in its present home in Littleton, MA next door to Groton. The designed new home will enable planned growth and further program excellence for years to come in an ideal setting overlooking its birthplace.

Lisa Fiorentino, IHM Chief Operating Officer, commented, “Indian Hill Music’s new home will include custom-built, state-of-the-art teaching studios and classrooms – 50% more than the current IHM facility offers, rehearsal spaces and two performance halls, comfortable community space for parents and students to gather between lessons and classes and before concerts, as well as administrative offices and on-site parking.”

Also joining Ms. Randazzo and Ms. Fiorentino in making the announcement were Carole Prest, Indian Hill Music Board Chair, and Bruce Hangen, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orchestra of Indian Hill.

“As both an Indian Hill Music student and Board Member, I couldn’t be more excited. We are thrilled to have such an all-star team designing our new home,” said Ms. Prest. “The new building will allow for IHM’s continued growth.”

Concept rendering of recital hall, The Music Center at Indian Hill

Concept rendering of recital hall, The Music Center at Indian Hill

Mr. Hangen added, “I am incredibly excited to have a new artistic home for the Orchestra of Indian Hill that will serve our performance and educational needs for the next half-century and beyond. The design team is truly sensitive to the high quality and varied activity that Indian Hill Music represents, and I am happy and confident that a new cultural oasis is being created for the arts in our region.”

While the project is still in the approval phase, Groton Town Manager Mark Haddad has publicly given positive support for the move. In an article by the Lowell Sun dated April 2, 2016, that focused on IHM’s purchase of the Groton property, he was quoted as stating, “We’re very excited that an organization as well-run and well-organized as Indian Hill Music would make Groton their home base. It’s a positive step for making Groton a destination location.”

Ms. Fiorentino commented on the future move, saying, “We look forward to this new phase of the organization’s future, with a new, breathtaking state-of the-art building designed by today’s foremost award-winning architects and acousticians specifically to allow IHM to more fully pursue its mission.”

Indian Hill Music’s new home is expected to be completed and ready to open in 2020.

Indian Hill Music

Founded in 1985 to fulfill a need for quality music education, high caliber performances, and collaborative community partnerships for all ages, Indian Hill Music (IHM) is a thriving non-profit regional center for music education and performance located in picturesque Central Massachusetts and serving 79 communities.  IHM’s activities are motivated by the belief that music inspires both our hearts and our minds, encourages the growth and development of the “whole person,” and is integral to the lives of the individuals and communities we serve. At the core of IHM’s mission is a comprehensive and synergistic music education program, where studying music, attending performances and lectures, participating in workshops, and performing with others are key components. Through the integration of the music school and the professional performance series, and a commitment to giving music to the community, the transformative power of music is fully realized.

The music school offers lessons in 30+ instruments and voice for individuals of all ages, abilities, and musical interests, taught by a distinguished and experienced faculty of over 60 teaching artists with degrees from the world’s foremost conservatories. Private and group instruction in classical, contemporary, jazz, rock, pop, folk, Irish, Broadway, opera, and early music are offered. Performing ensembles include the Indian Hill Music Youth Orchestra and the New England Flute Orchestra of Indian Hill, which provide students with high-quality training and opportunities to collaborate and share music in the community. IHM also features an extensive array of workshops and lectures, Alexander Technique, masterclasses with guest artists, recitals in our beautiful hall, a variety of summer music programs, an annual Performathon, and honors piano and concerto competitions.

IHM’s professional performance season is anchored by concerts of the 70-member Orchestra of Indian Hill, the region’s premier professional symphony orchestra, led by Artistic Director and Conductor, Bruce Hangen. Indian Hill Music also presents live performances by music school faculty, Orchestra of Indian Hill musicians, and other acclaimed guest artists in the Faculty Showcase Recital Series, the Besas Memorial Concert Series, and the Kalliroscope Gallery Chamber Music Series.

Dedicated to enriching the communities it serves, Indian Hill Music has developed strong and flourishing relationships through a full complement of outreach programming, serving some 7,000 people annually. IHM provides $65,000 in scholarships annually to students on a need-basis, and $100,000 in outreach. In addition to its school music partnerships in the Ayer-Shirley Public Schools, Indian Hill Music presents the popular free Bach’s Lunch Concerts, a monthly series that regularly attracts hundreds of local seniors. IHM also offers a complimentary service providing compassion and comfort through the ancient tradition of singing at the bedsides of people who are ill or at the end of life via the Threshold Singers of Indian Hill Music.

Read biographies of IHM’s architectural and acoustic team members.

Learn more about Indian Hill Music’s educational offerings, performance schedule and community outreach programs.

All photos copyright Epstein Joslin Architects.

Indian Hill Music gratefully acknowledges the generous contributed revenue for this exciting new phase of the organization’s future, and the altruism of individuals, families, businesses, foundations, and government agencies that support our numerous programs. The programs of Indian Hill Music are also supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and with funds from the council administered by the Local Cultural Councils.

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Meet Joey Pierog, our Music for Aardvarks teacher!

JoeyPIndian Hill Music School Music for Aardvarks and ukulele instructor Joey Pierog cut his teeth in the children’s music scene as bass player with the popular New Hampshire-based children’s music group, Steve Blunt ‘n’ Friends. He has also toured Europe and the UK three times with artist Christian Cuff.

While overseas, he was surprised to discover just how much Europeans appreciate live music. He wondered why we Americans are so much less receptive. After playing the children’s circuit, Joey learned that that music appreciation is innate in young people and if encouraged, can grow to contribute to a more cultured, intelligent and ultimately happier human being.

After a show with Steve Blunt n’ Friends Joey found himself in a group of children playing percussion instruments, and began to lead an impromptu drum circle. The children were not only responsive but captive (figuratively speaking of course). They laughed and openly shared and switched percussion instruments, attentively awaiting the next instruction.

Joey was surprised and invigorated by how quickly they responded to tempo and rhythm, and started coming up with fun chants, directing solo breaks and dictating dynamic. Before he knew it a half hour had passed and he realized without trying he had gone from being a bass player in a band to leading a class, and a teacher was born!  Joey’s personal mission is to share that love and appreciation of music and help guide children (of all ages) through the beginnings of their own musical journeys. This summer he completed training in this early childhood curriculum, and is very excited to start sharing it with you!

As a performer, Joey has recorded two albums and performs regularly in the Boston area and throughout New England as upright bass player and vocalist with his bluegrass band, The Four Legged Faithful.  He has shared the stage with artists such as B.B. King, Greg Hawkes (of The Cars), and former Tower of Power front man William Edward McGee. His steady performing on stage and as a session musician, and his knack for versatility, has made him one of New England’s premier bass players. A 2007 graduate of Berklee College of Music, Pierog also works at the world-class Rocking Horse Studios in Pittsfield New Hampshire as an engineer and producer.


Joey and Gertrude on stage

Fun Facts

  • Joey is an avid hiker, and in addition to hiking mountains in Alaska and Japan has summited all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000 foot peaks
  • One of Joey’s best buddies is Gertrude, his upright bass. They have lots of play dates!
  • Joey spends many a morning tending to his very amateur garden and prides himself on his wide variety of rare and exotic weeds.
  • Raised in part by his very Italian great-grandmother Rose, Joey was taught how to eat. His love of good food is rivaled only by his love of good music. When Joey was a toddler, his mother went to pick him up from his grandmother’s house. Upon entering, his mother posed the question, “Why are you still feeding him? He’s asleep.” Rose simply shrugged, saying “Because he’s still eating it!”
  • As a toddler, Joey would often be present at his father’s band practices. Despite just how loud his dad would rock, he would remain content — at times even napping until the band would break between songs, when he would begin to fuss and cry in protest. A born rocker to say the least.
  • Playing in many drummerless groups, Joey has mastered the art of “foot tambourine” and is often asked to use this unique talent to push along the groove in many groups.

Learn more about Music for Aardvarks and register for classes!

Attend a FREE demo class!



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FB CoverFree Class Day Features New Programs for All Ages and a Kickoff Party for New Early Childhood Program, “Music for Aardvarks”

Saturday, September 10, from 10am – 4pm, drop in for a free day of music, fun, and learning at Indian Hill Music School, 36 King Street, Littleton, with free classes and activities for all ages, an instrument petting zoo, live music by Indian Hill faculty, free ice cream courtesy of Cherry Hill Ice Cream, Lunenburg and Townsend, and healthy snacks courtesy of WholeFoods Westford.

Celebrate the new early childhood program with a “Music for Aardvarks” kickoff party at 10am, with teacher Joey Pierog and special guest, program creator David Weinstone.  Learn about lessons and programs, and register.

The event is free and open to the public, with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and DCU – Digital Federal Credit Union.

“Our goal is to find the best instrument and teacher-student match for each individual. Students may begin private lessons as early as five years old, and many of our beginners are of retirement age,” said Robbins. “It’s never too late to start!”

Introducing New Programs
Along with traditional classical programs, guests can sample a variety of new offerings to appeal to all ages, interests, and abilities. “We are excited to offer a host of new opportunities for anyone in our community to learn and play music,” said Pete Robbins, the new Director of Education at Indian Hill. Children and adults will have the chance to try some of these on Free Class Day, including Beginner Ukulele for ages 5 – 8; Kids’ Musical Revue for young singer-actors and Percussion Power, a beginning percussion class for ages 8 – 12; Beginner Piano, Roots & Branches String Band and Voiceworks group vocal coaching for adult learners, and more.


Sing, dance, play, and learn with Music for Aardvarks teacher Joey P!

Music for Aardvarks Kick-Off Party
At 10am, the school will debut its new early childhood program with a lively, interactive kick-off party for ages six months to four years and caregivers.

“I am especially excited to bring Music for Aardvarks into our curriculum for our youngest students,” said Robbins, former Managing Director at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, of the popular New York City-based program. The class was designed by composer/rocker dad David Weinstone to build a child’s musical foundation, and introduce babies and toddlers to the joy of participating in music through relevant and lively original songs in diverse contemporary musical styles, beloved traditional songs, instrument play, games, and more.

“Participating in music, actively and at the earliest age possible, positively influences how children think, learn, and relate to others throughout their lives,” says Robbins. “We are incredibly lucky to be able to bring a program like Music for Aardvarks exclusively to the Indian Hill community, and to offer the unique opportunity for parents to try the class on Free Class Day.” Weinstone will join Indian Hill’s Joey Pierog in leading a class, performing some of his original Aardvarks songs, and hosting a meet-and-greet with parents.

Hands-On Instrument Exploration
Those who are interested in exploring private lessons will have the chance to try a large variety of instruments, meet instructors from all departments, ask questions, and register for lessons.

“Our goal is to find the best instrument and teacher-student match for each individual. Students may begin private lessons as early as five years old, and many of our beginners are of retirement age,” said Robbins. “It’s never too late to start!”

Learn more about Free Class Day and fall lessons and programs.

Indian Hill Music School is a non-profit community music school serving students of all ages (from newborn to seniors), skill levels, and styles. Our faculty of 60+ teaching artists offer private lessons, classes and ensembles for more than 30 instruments and in a variety of styles ranging from classical and jazz to Irish traditional, rock, Broadway, folk, and contemporary pop. Learning enhancement and performance opportunities include workshops, lectures, free recitals, master classes with guest artists, jam sessions, summer performance programs, and the regional Indian Hill Music Youth Orchestra and New England Flute Orchestra of Indian Hill Music. Founded in 1985 and located in Littleton, Massachusetts, the school is a full member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts.

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Socializing at the Hootenanny: (l-r) former IHM student Jake Riggert of Groton; IHM Percussion Chair Abe Finch and Carrie-Ann Finch of Methuen; and IHM Council member Karen Riggert of Groton.

Socializing at the Hootenanny: (l-r) former IHM student Jake Riggert of Groton; IHM Percussion Chair Abe Finch and Carrie-Ann Finch of Methuen; and IHM Council member Karen Riggert of Groton.

Indian Hill Music raised over $100K at our annual fundraising Gala on the evening of May 14th. The funds will go towards supporting our mission to share the transformative power of music, through education, performance, and outreach.

Over 200 friends of Indian Hill attended the “Hootenanny Gala,” which was held at Sunset Farm in Groton. Patrons came dressed for the occasion in “country glam” attire, from denim and boots to cowboy hats, vests, and colorful bandanas. Live and silent auction items included a custom-made Nantucket Lightship Basket, a trip to the Azores, and an opportunity to plan a concert program for the Orchestra of Indian Hill with Maestro Bruce Hangen. The evening culminated in a barn dance with live musicians and contra-dancing led by professional caller Marcie Van Cleave.

Indian Hill Executive Director Susan Randazzo said, “Our annual fundraising gala builds a wonderful sense of community among both long-time supporters and people who are just learning about us. It is a chance for everyone to feel connected to our mission and to have a great time in the process!”  Proceeds will benefit multiple Indian Hill programs, including its music school student scholarships, free community concerts and subsidized tickets, music partnerships with local schools, and senior outreach activities.

This year’s gala sponsors included Azores Airlines; Belmond Reid’s Palace; ISS Inc.; R.M. Ratta Corp.; Colonial Spirits; Epic Enterprises; Red Hat, Inc.; and West Acton Villageworks.

View more photos.

Indian Hill Music shares the transformative power of music, through teaching and performing, and giving music generously when there is need. The professional performance series features symphonic concerts by the critically-acclaimed Orchestra of Indian Hill, led by Artistic Director Bruce Hangen, plus chamber music, jazz, and family events. Indian Hill is also home to the regional Indian Hill Music Youth Orchestra and New England Flute Orchestra of Indian Hill Music. Serving hundreds of students of all ages and abilities with an international faculty of over 60 college and conservatory-trained teaching artists and 21 state-of-the-art studios, the Music School offers private instruction, group lessons and ensembles for all instruments and voice in classical, jazz, folk, rock, pop, opera, Broadway, and Irish traditional music. Indian Hill’s Community Engagement initiative brings performances and educational programs to public schools and community events, provides free concerts for seniors, and awards more than $65,000 in need-based scholarships. It is also the first community music school in the country to offer bedside singing for healing through its Threshold Singers. Last year, Indian Hill’s outreach activities served over 6,600 people in its service area. Indian Hill Music relies on the generosity of individuals, families, businesses, and foundations to support our many community programs. To learn more, call (978) 486-9524 or visit


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Student Spotlight: Saxophonist Andrew Bedard

Saxophone student Andrew Bedard of Westminster, MA has been studying at Indian Hill Music School for over 10 years, and recently performed at Symphony Hall in Boston in the Massachusetts All-State Band. A student of Bill Jones,  Andrew is a member of the Indian Hill Big Band and Jazz Lab ensembles, and is a graduating senior at Oakmont Regional High where he plays clarinet in the school concert band, and first tenor saxophone in the jazz band. He spent a few minutes with us to talk about his recent honors and where he’s headed next!

What was yourAndrew Bedard - Sax Student 2016 inspiration to play sax?

I started playing saxophone around 8 years old. I have an older cousin that plays so I would say that most likely planted the seed when I was little. My grandfather passed away shortly after I began playing and gave me a record of his. That’s when I really started listening and gaining a strong interest in it. Some of my biggest musical influences include but are not limited to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee Morgan.

What led up to you being selected for All-States?

I was selected as first tenor in the Massachusetts All-State Jazz Band through Audition. First I had to audition to make it into the Massachusetts Central District Jazz Band and receive an All-State recommendation. Then I had an audition to make it into All-States. I received the highest score out of all of the other tenor saxophone players that auditioned in the state. The whole experience was simply phenomenal.

What was it like to play at Symphony Hall?

The best way I can describe performing at Symphony Hall with the All-State band is it was like playing along with a record of mine. Everything was so precise. The band was tight and everyone had a great sound.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! What’s next for you?

Once I graduate high school I intend to major in Jazz Studies in college. I have been accepted to all of the schools I applied to, (UMass Amherst, the Hartt School of Music, William-Paterson University, New England Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music), and am currently in the process of deciding where I want to go.

What have all these years of music study taught you?

I think that studying music has helped me for the future in a lot of ways. It has helped me become more disciplined as being a musician demands a solid practice routine. It has added so much to my networking both in my career and socially. It has also made a great tool for me to give back to society and stay active in the community since a lot of the playing opportunities I have are at community functions or charity events. Ultimately it has given me countless meaningful life experiences and an opportunity to reduce my stress levels and express my creativity.

We wish Andrew the best of luck with college and future musical endeavors! For more info about Andrew, visit his website:


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