Cape Cod Music, Art, Dance Classes
Mission & History
Inspiring Joy through the Arts
Over Five Decades of Excellence
Careful faculty selection and thoughtful program development have contributed to the Conservatory’s success. More than 60 outstanding individuals comprise our faculty of teaching artists. Each one has an exceptional educational background along with extensive teaching and performing experience.
Ensemble and Performance Opportunities
Performance experience is also an important part of a complete arts education. Workshops, master classes, recitals and concerts—on campus and in various venues throughout the community—form the fabric of each year. Each one brings rich and rewarding opportunities for students to refine their skills and showcase their talents.
Community Minded, Community Connected
In the nationally recognized MusicWorks! Everyday education program, children at more than 27 schools now listen to classical music for five minutes at the beginning of each school day and learn about the featured composer and composition. In the Music Memory program, students from participating schools study 16 pieces of the world’s great music then compete in a Name That Tune style contest, supported by a forty-piece live symphony orchestra.
We also host a Young People’s Concert for middle school students each year and bring Lesson Plans for the Classics, a companion multi-media lecture series to the Cape Symphony's Masterpiece Concert Series, to participating schools.
We are a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and also partner with other local Arts organizations and artists to sponsor programs, exhibitions and events that enrich our community.
On April 5, 1956, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts granted a charter to the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music and Arts. Although a non-profit school from its first days, the Conservatory charged tuition to all except a limited number of scholarship students until 1964. At that time, the Board voted unanimously to commit more funds to scholarships and make the Conservatory programs more accessible to the public.
The Seventies, Eighties & Nineties
In 1971, Julliard graduate Richard Casper assumed the directorship and broke ground for the present West Barnstable campus. A year later, the Conservatory hosted a fundraiser and Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops Orchestra performed for the first time on the Cape to a sold-out audience of 2,500 at the Cape Cod Mall. In 1973, Van Cliburn performed at the inaugural concert for the new Conservatory campus.
To accommodate students from the Upper Cape, the Conservatory established an extension in Falmouth by renting Highfield Hall, a large Southern plantation-style mansion built in 1875.
In 1972, upon learning of a plan to develop 500 homes on the Highfield Estate, benefactors Josephine and Josiah K. Lilly purchased the 487-acre estate and gave it to the Conservatory which used Highfield Hall as a studio for lessons. (A thrift shop, appropriately named Encore, occupied a front room.)
In 1975, the Conservatory decided to erect a new building on the property, and a year later the new Center opened on its current Highfield Drive location. Because Highfield Hall was no longer needed, it sadly endured two decades of neglect. A group of volunteers, Friends of Historic Highfield, worked to save and preserve the historic building, which is now owned by the town of Falmouth. Highfield Theatre is still owned by the Conservatory and has been used for 60 years by the Falmouth Theater Guild and the College Light Opera Company. Volunteers with The Highfield Theatre Restoration Project (HTRP) have spearheaded numerous fundraising and renovation projects over the years.
The New Millenium
2235 Iyannough Road, Route 132
West Barnstable, MA 02668
60 Highfield Drive
Falmouth, MA 02540
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