Inspiring and educating the next generation of music-lovers and music-makers is key to the mission of the Sherman Chamber Ensemble. SCE frequently offers public performances for children and families, as well as a range of educational programs suitable for assembly, classroom and after school scheduling. Past engagements have included the Sherman Library, Sherman Historical Society, Sherman Parks & Recreation Department, After School Arts Program (ASAP), Dutchess (NY) Day School, Kent Center School, Kent Memorial Library, The Kildonan School (Amenia, NY), the Pawling (NY) Central School District and three full-scale Song to Symphony productions at The Sherman School. Contact SCE at 860-355-5930 or by email to inquire about a visit by SCE to a library, school, camp or other youth organization in your community.

Since 2009, SCE Artistic Director Eliot Bailen and theater and music faculty from area schools have offered weeklong workshops during which participants write and produce their own musical theater piece, which is performed for family and friends at the end of the week. Due to other projects, no summer songwriting workshops are scheduled for 2015.

The centerpiece of SCE's educational work is the Song to Symphony (STS) model developed by Artistic Director Eliot Bailen, which has been featured in the New York Times and other publications. The Song to Symphony program motivates children to write, create and perform their own original musicals where they feel ownership and pride and are deeply hooked into music through an unforgettable musical experience.

More specifically, Song to Symphony is a large-scale musical production that involves a large segment of the school population in the creation of a musical/theatrical production. The emphasis is on taking songs written collaboratively in the classroom and showing how classroom work can be broadened into a memorable symphonic experience. The songs the children write and perform are accompanied by a professional symphony orchestra with orchestrations written by Eliot Bailen. In the full-scale version, the songs are set in the context of a related dramatic script and sometimes accompanied by additional material created and/or performed by older students.

Mr. Bailen has implemented nearly 20 full-scale STS productions at locations in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. The most recent full-scale Song to Symphony production at The Sherman School took place in the fall of 2014.

  • Answers to Questions about Song to Symphony
  • Cellist Combines Composing and Performing to Reach Children, The New York Times

    SCE musicians are available to provide master classes, assembly programs, after-school enrichment activities and "mini-STS" short-term songwriting residencies throughout the region. Inquire for rates and availability.

    In 2010, the Sherman Chamber Ensemble established a scholarship in memory of Kemp Mandeville, a dedicated SCE Board member and musician whose many accomplishments included launching our annual bluegrass jamborees. Each year a cash grant is given in Kemp's memory to a graduating 8th grader from The Sherman School who has demonstrated aptitude in and passion for music.

    Scholarship Winners
    2015 - Warren Wolfert
    2014 - Emily Spagnuolo
    2013 - Liam Pitt
    2012 - Jessica Gleason
    2011 - Fletcher Christian Hyslop
    2010 - Noah Roulat

    Proceeds from the sale of the Best of SCE Bluegrass CD benefit the scholarship fund. Donations to support this program are also gratefully accepted in Kemp's memory.