South Shore Conservatory unveils plans for Glick Family Center for Creative Arts Therapies

On Friday, June 14, South Shore Conservatory (SSC) revealed plans for the new Glick Family Center for Creative Arts Therapies, due to be built at its 135 Webster Street, Hanover location.  This center is made possible by a major gift from Diane and Gary Glick of Plymouth. President Czerny spoke from the heart on Friday, saying “Diane and Gary have used the phrase ‘Passion Meets Project’ which truly encapsulates their commitment to South Shore Conservatory.  Through their gift, Diane and Gary will support the programs of Creative Arts Therapies, but most excitingly, they will also give CAT a dedicated space which meets the needs of the individuals for whom SSC is an opportunity to learn and grow in their own unique ways.”

Diane Glick, Kathy Czerny, Gary Glick.JPG

Diane Glick, Kathy Czerny, Gary Glick

The goal for the opening of the Glick Family Center for Creative Arts Therapies is September of 2020. SSC is tremendously excited to see this project come to fruition. We are grateful to Diane and Gary for their generosity and commitment to making creative arts therapies accessible on the South Shore. Gary Glick, with his family beside him, addressed the audience on Friday, “We are so excited to be part of the future of this amazing work which not only provides access to the arts for all people, regardless of ability, but simultaneously provides the opportunity for people of all abilities to come together in the community of music.  Eve Montague says that ‘music is the great equalizer…and there is no wrong answer.’  This is the legacy that we want to create here on the South Shore – a legacy of equality, inclusion and community.”


For more information on South Shore Conservatory’s Creative Arts Therapies programs, visit


The sounds of summer

Radio days picBy Beth MacLeod Largent
As I write this, it’s been raining for WEEKS on end, and thoughts of a nice hot summer feel like a far-away dream of paradise that might arrive……someday, maybe, sigh. I try not to let the weather get me down too much, as I know that summer always arrives, in all its hazy glory, and with it, bulbs hidden under the cold wet ground finally flower.

It’s my joy to continue programming performances for South Shore Conservatory’s Summer Spotlight series, which includes our Saturday Evenings Under the Stars concerts for those looking for entertainment for date night, as well as Wacky Wednesday concerts for our younger audience members. I believe that now, more than ever, live performance is an integral part of life to be experienced and savored.

Why do I feel so passionately about this? Because when I go to a restaurant during the dinner hour and look around, I don’t see many families actually talking and interacting together, sharing the experience.  I see many families with children and adults in their own worlds, focused on some kind of electronic devise. That makes me work even harder, knowing what magic there is in sharing a live, in-the-moment experience, such as a family dinner, or a performance under the stars. Anything can happen, and that’s one of the joys of being part of something live.  Everything rolls out organically.

Hours of preparation and practice are only part of preparing for the performance. Since we are outside, the weather might have an impact, and we are prepared. Performances go on rain or shine. Some of my most treasured memories are of tiny puddle-jumping Wacky Wednesdays concertgoers in shiny rain boots, whose joy wasn’t marred by a few raindrops. Entertainers onstage are ready for anything, so don’t be scared of live performance and the weather.  Even a small clap of thunder can add a bit of excitement to an already electrifying performance!  Over the many years I’ve been at South Shore Conservatory, more often than not the sun shines on Carr Amphitheater summer performances.

This summer at Evenings Under the Stars, you’ll see the exuberance of an orchestra that loves playing together once a year (with a conductor who is native to Hingham), a blues master at the top of his game, and you might even bring your dancing shoes so you can boogie along with a Big Band! Dancing is encouraged at all our live performances, and there’s nothing sweeter than seeing our youngest concertgoers movin’ and groovin’ to, perhaps, their very first live performance of Vanessa Trien.

What else will you experience?  At Wacky Wednesdays, bubbles abound at most concerts, of course. We’ve got some return performers (Karen K & the Jitterbugs), and some new performers (Matt Heaton and the Outside Toys).  And on Saturdays, you can purchase your beverage of choice, or bring a fun picnic dinner along, with something special from home.  We want you to be as comfortable as you can under the stars.

Close your eyes and listen – is that a clarinet dancing its way over the strings? Do you feel your shoulders relaxing, your smile returning, your heart lightening? When you are out under the stars, these warm moments become lifelong memories to treasure – especially as the weather turns cold, and we move inside for warmth. Feel the tepid breeze, hear music masters at work, and just BE for an hour or so.  I promise our live performances will be a gift you’ll be glad you gave yourself and your family.

South Shore Conservatory’s Summer Spotlight performances run from July 10 – July 31.  For a full schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit  SSC is located at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham.

Beth MacLeod Largent is South Shore Conservatory’s Director of Performance, and a member of SSC’s voice department.

SSC students compete in Friday’s South Shore’s Got Talent!

Lucid Dreamers June 2019

Lucid Dreamers

South Shore Conservatory sends best wishes to vocalists Laurel Denneen and Olivia Monarch, and SSC rock band Lucid Dreamers, who are competing in Wellspring’s South Shore’s Got Talent, in our Carr Amphitheater, One Conservatory Drive, Hingham, Friday, June 7 at 7 pm.




Laurel Denneen

Laurel Denneen

It should be a fun night of great music, great food/drink, to benefit the Sprout Foundation Center for Jobs at Wellspring Multi-Service Center.





Olivia Monarch.JPG

Olivia Monarch

Good luck to all performers.

You are already winners in our book!


Creative Ways to Battle Summer Boredom

South Shore Conservatory's Summer Music Festival All-Star Band ensemble students express their creativitity.

SSC’s All-Star Band 2019 students express their creativity

By Su D’Ambrosio
I remember that exciting feeling on the last day of school, anticipating freedom from homework and the alarm clock.  When I was in elementary school, summer meant long days playing outside with neighborhood friends. In high school, I had a summer job, but still plenty of time for reading books for pleasure and enjoying days at the beach.  When I first started teaching in a public school, I discovered that teachers are just as excited as their students to have a break from the routine of lesson plans, grading and meetings.  Then… I had kids.

When my girls were young, summer was a challenging time of finding fun things for them to do all day. “I’m bored!” was a daily complaint, and I felt it was my job to occupy their time with activities and projects. Unlike my mom, who sent me outdoors in the morning to find my own adventures, parents today don’t always have that luxury. My mom didn’t have the same very real safety concerns that parents have today. Parents must look for other ways to fill the time.

Thankfully, there are lots of options. Summer is a great time for exploring the world of creativity. Without the pressure of homework and schedules, there is time to be creative or to take a deeper dive into something you already love. When my girls were young and told me they were bored, I was ready with art supplies to make cards for grandma, dress-up clothes to encourage acting out a story, bins and boxes to build a castle, or items from the kitchen to use to create percussion accompaniment for their favorite music. The beauty of a creative project is that there are endless possibilities. When they say, “I’m done,” there is always a way to extend the project or find ways for them to share it with others. These activities have the added bonus of true ownership for the children, and result in a sense of pride and accomplishment in creating something unique and special.

As my girls grew older, I explored arts programs at South Shore Conservatory (SSC), where they could expand their creativity and make friends with others who enjoyed singing, dancing, music, and drama as much as they did.  Maria spent many summers playing French horn with SSC’s Summer Music Festival, while Rosa participated in Let’s Put on a Show.  Although she aged out of the program years ago, she loved it so much that she returns every year as an assistant. In addition to developing their artistic, critical thinking and problem solving skills, both girls made long lasting friendships.  AND… they had a lot of fun. 

At SSC, our programs are designed to foster a sense of creativity in students, and provide opportunities for kids to actively participate in the creative process.  Whether it’s improvising music in a private lesson or jazz ensemble, creating choreography in ballet, or composing a tune at any number of our music camps, SSC students learn by doing and creating, and enjoy every minute of it!

Learn more about South Shore Conservatory’s summer programs at, call 781-749-7565 x10, or find South Shore Conservatory on Facebook.

Su D’Ambrosio is Director of Education at South Shore Conservatory.  She lives in Plymouth with her daughters Maria and Rosa, and her dog Bernie, who spends the summer finding creative ways to display all of his chew toys outside on the deck.


SSC Preschool named family favorite!

2019 Family Favorites
We are excited to be notified that SSC’s arts-integrated Preschool was voted a 2019 Boston Parents Paper family favorite among independent preschools and large preschools (more than 31 children)!

Congratulations to Preschool Director Rachel White, teachers Carol Forbes Scheig, Karen Hill and Sue Norris, and all the arts and literacy specialists who contribute to the success of the program.  It’s clear that someone is noticing your good work.  Had there been a PreK and Kindergarten category to vote on, we are certain our Afternoon PreK and Full-Day PreK/Kindergarten would have taken top prize for those categories as well! Excellent work done by Ms. Heidi, Ms. Martin, and Mrs. C as well!

Bravo to our youngest string students!

2019 Strings Competition Division 1.jpgCongratulation to our youngest string students who participated in our annual String Competition!  Shown here:

  • Front Row, Left to Right: Elsie Weymouth, Alex Yi, Olivia Reinig, Hannah Reinig, Lily Effinger
  • Back Row, Left to Right: Lilly Weymouth, Stella O’Connor, Georgina Leland, Julia Effinger

Accessing memory through music

Marcia and Abbot - Restaurant

Marcia and Abbot enjoy time out at restaurants

By Marcia Vose
When my mother was in her mid-seventies, she developed signs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and from there, declined steadily over the next 12 years until her death at age 86. I served as her caretaker for a short while, but then she progressed into assisted living, and finally to a dedicated Alzheimer’s facility in Wellesley.

Ironically, I noticed signs of memory problems and confusion in my husband about ten years ago. He had suffered a fractured skull from a boating accident while in his mid-twenties, and consulted a neurologist, who diagnosed mild cognitive impairment stemming from this accident. The neurologist had no idea of the future, except to say that, with this diagnosis, Abbot would be highly susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. Three years ago he underwent brain surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and while we noticed improvement in his symptoms, it lasted only a few months. Finally, two years ago, the doctor diagnosed early AD.

Oddly, I was relieved to finally have his condition diagnosed, and if there is good in everything, the experience with my mother gave me an idea what the future might hold for my husband. Because his symptoms are caused by both conditions, however, his progression is difficult to predict. Currently, he has lost his short-term memory, and gets confused easily, particularly when he is away from his usual routine. But he has retained his sense of humor and is verbal, so we still have a lot of fun together and hope to remain in our home for as long as possible.

Abbot is very social and he loves to go out to lunch, but it is still difficult to find enough things to do at his level. He often spends hours in front of television. His balance is so precarious that he has had to stop balance classes at the Duxbury Senior Center, but he is still able to attend some of the programs there.

I first heard about the SSC Memory Café when I was volunteering at South Shore Conservatory (SSC). I was intrigued by the idea of a program for both caregivers and their loved ones with memory afflictions.  The “café” concept became immediately apparent, as we were welcomed with coffee, tea and breakfast treats. This seemed to put everyone at ease, and those who were able to, talked informally until the program started.  We then began with creative crafts and made a flowerpot to take home. The second half involved a music activity with Eve Montague, Director of Creative Art Therapies, who led us with her acoustic guitar. She is incredibly gifted in engaging those with disabilities, handing out instruments to everyone, playing easy songs and singing.

Recently, Eve passed out bells and chimes, each representing a single note, and taught us about the pentatonic scale. She had us playing songs using these instruments, with fun and laughter ensuing. Eve asked one participant, who is not very verbal, to lead the musicians in making up a song, and he muttered, “I need an example.” Eve suggested he try to lead the group in playing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and to her astonishment, he tapped the appropriate players in sounding the correct notes. How he did this so perfectly is astounding!

Both my husband and I enjoy seeing others in the same situation, and have even formed a little group with those who come regularly. There is relief in forming a bond with others whose experience in the regular social world often leads to feelings of isolation and uselessness. We usually go out to lunch after the café, both of us in high spirits. That joy is priceless!

The SSC Memory Café in Hingham meets the third Thursday of each month from 12:30 – 2:30 pm.  The SSC Memory Café in Duxbury meets the first Tuesday of each month from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Participants are encouraged attend both of these monthly cafés, offered free of charge through the generous support of The Middleton Family Foundation and the Harry C. and Mary Elizabeth Grafton Memorial Fund.



Discovering the Dancer in All of Us

Full Ballet

By Su D’Ambrosio
Even before a child can walk, they can dance. It is truly remarkable to watch a very young baby immediately notice and move to music in their environment.  I even remember my daughters responding to music in utero, with very clear preferences!  As when our children show interest in any of the arts, we delight in watching them participate freely as babies and toddlers, and wait to decide when it is time for formal instruction.  When you find a teacher who understands how to create an environment that fosters skill development, while honoring the child’s creative, joyful spirit, this becomes a catalyst for increased engagement and understanding. 

South Shore Conservatory (SSC) dance faculty members Adrienne Zopatti and Kaitlyn Mazzilli bring their deep experience as preschool educators into their ballet and hip hop classes, for a perfect combination of fun and learning. I love walking into one of their classes, and seeing elements of focused skill-building, side by side with free, improvised activity. Whether it’s ballet or hip hop, all dancers are given the opportunity to learn a skill and play around with it to truly understand how to master it in their bodies, connect it to other moves, and make it their own.  Sometimes, in other venues, this crucial step is skipped.  Often students learn and master a move or a skill, are instructed how to apply it to one, specific choreographed routine, and then move on to something else.  They learn “a dance” but not necessarily “how to be a dancer.”

Thinking back to that dancing baby reminds me that we are all dancers, and the trick to nurturing our basic instinct is to stay connected to that essential, hard-wired artist inside. This is true for music as well. Dancing isn’t a “use it or lose it” skill.  We are born with it and it never goes away. People who say “I can’t dance” or “I can’t sing” have adopted a mindset over time spent away from dancing or singing. Or, even worse, they might have experienced negative comments or feedback convincing them, “you can’t… you’re awful…” causing them to stop trying. Many of us, myself included, are very judgmental creatures, constantly comparing ourselves to others, deciding that we are “bad” at dancing because we see others who are better.  Unlike our dancing baby self, we become uncomfortable dancing or singing, especially in public! But, given the opportunity to move or sing in the privacy of our own homes, I have no doubt we would rediscover our innate connection to the arts.

If you need a reminder of the innate joy of movement, you are invited to attend our end of year Dance Department Spring Concert on May 18 at 2 pm at Pembroke High School. All students from our Hingham and Duxbury campuses, from ballet to hip hop, will share organized, choreographed pieces as the joyful, confident, creative dancers they are, ready to apply skills learned on their own terms every day.  The cost of admission is $12/adults; children 18 and under are free.

Learn more about South Shore Conservatory’s dance department at, call 781-934-2731, x11, or find South Shore Conservatory Dance Department on Facebook.

Su D’Ambrosio is Director of Education at South Shore Conservatory.  She lives in Plymouth with her daughters Maria and Rosa, and her dog Bernie, who stays in touch with his artistic inner puppy as he dances the Bernie Hop all around the house!


SSC Community Voices celebrates 10 years

SSC CV Too! maybe hero imageBy Eve Montague
Prior to my work here at South Shore Conservatory (SSC), I had the privilege of working with children and young adults in a specialized school setting.  These students lived with neuromuscular and progressive diseases, and music was their great equalizer.  They had opportunities to sing in chorus and school musicals; however, once they turned 22, very little arts opportunity existed in their community.

It is very difficult for people who learn differently to fully integrate into traditional choruses.  Most community choruses and church choirs are not able to provide the support and accommodation non-traditional learners may require to fully participate. Ten years ago, in my new role at South Shore Conservatory, I offered a choral singing opportunity for individuals who may learn differently, trialing it for just six weeks.  Twelve singers came that early June evening, and at the end of the summer we presented a concert that was met with great enthusiasm.

In the fall of 2009, SSC Community Voices chorus began a full year of rehearsals at our Duxbury campus, and had grown to about 18 singers.  We saw our audience base increase, and we welcomed other singers who were looking for a new opportunity to give back to their community into our group of joyful vocalists.   Spring of 2010 saw us singing at the Massachusetts State House at the invitation of our State House representatives.  Since that time, we have sung at numerous events in our communities, including, a Statewide Arc of Massachusetts event, art show openings, community arts festivals, and we sang the national anthem at the opening of 2016 Special Olympics, Massachusetts.  We continue to hold annual winter and spring concerts to standing-room-only audiences.  The enthusiasm of these singers is infectious!

Today, we are delighted have 80 singers participating in two choruses.  We are most grateful to the Cordelia Family Foundation for underwriting our SSC Community Voices program, which includes a sister chorus, SSC Community Voices Too!, at our Hingham campus.  This generous gift allows SSC to offer this special chorus for a nominal amount per semester, removing the financial barrier of entry and making it accessible for all.

SSC Community Voices is a powerful example of what can happen when access and opportunity are created.  So many of our singers require significant support in their lives, both at home and at work, and they are most often on the receiving end of services.  When they sing in our chorus, they are in a position of ‘giving’ to their family, friends, and community.  Their gift of song and the confidence of performing with and for others carry benefits across their lives.  Increased self-esteem, sharing, friendships, an outlet for relaxation and leisure, and increased health benefits are only some of the things our singers gain when part of SSC Community Voices.

A sense of belonging, an opportunity to meet new people and develop new friendships, and a chance to participate in a traditional community opportunity is very real when one sings in a chorus.  Our audience often comments on the “joyfulness” of our singers and the energy of our concerts.  Our singers cannot wait to sing for you!!

Join us Sunday, May 19, 1 pm at Laura’s Center for the Arts at the South Shore YMCA, 97 Mill Street in Hanover, as the combined Hingham and Duxbury SSC Community Voices singers celebrate their 10th anniversary in song.  This spring concert is free and open to the public.  For more information on SSC Community Voices or SSC’s Creative Arts Therapies programs, contact Eve Montague, Director of Creative Arts Therapies at
781-934-2731 ext. 20, email, or visit