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History

The MSU Community Music School was founded in East Lansing in 1993 to serve as the outreach division of the MSU College of Music. The purpose of CMS is to bring non-degree granting music education and music therapy programs to children, youth, families, the elderly, and those with special needs in the Greater Lansing area. Two hundred students were part of CMS’s inaugural year, and today, enrollment has grown to 3,000 annually.

September 1993 CMS opens its doors on-campus at the then MSU School of Music under Director John Martin.

June 1995 First CMS Summer Band Camp is held.

September 1996 CMS Singers founded as the “Junior Choir” and the first music therapy client is enrolled.

June 1996 First Children’s Choir Camp is held.

January 2002 Enrollment reaches 1,600 students and CMS moves off-campus to 841 Timberlane St. in East Lansing, leasing the space from the East Lansing Public Schools.

August 2002 The MSU Children’s Choir is one of twenty-three choirs to perform at the Sixth Annual World Symposium on Choral Music held in St. Paul, Minnesota.

September 2003 New Horizons Band for adults launched.

June 2003 Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp is established by Richard and Judy Winter in memory of their son, Eric.

January 2004 Bruce Taggart is named Acting Director of CMS.

February 2006 The MSU Children’s Choir wins two Grammy’s: Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance for a compilation CD titled, “Songs of Innocence and Experience” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom.

February 2007 CMS’s parent unit becomes the MSU College of Music.

August 2007 Rhonda Buckley named Associate Dean of MSU College of Music and Executive Director of CMS.

May 2009 Founding Director of the MSU Children’s Choir, Mary Alice Stollak, retires.

July 2009 CMS-Detroit opens its doors at 3408 Woodward Ave. in Detroit as one of four programs housed in the MSU Detroit Center and CMS Rock Camp is launched in East Lansing.

September 2010 The Young Men’s Chorus is offered for the first time.

August 2011 Jaime DeMott named Director of CMS-East Lansing and Beginning Strings Camp is launched.

September 2011 The Young Women’s Chorus is offered.

April 2012 MSU Faculty Emeriti Association awards CMS the “Outstanding Contribution by a Unit Award” for its many contributions to the cultural lives of current and emeriti MSU faculty.

April 2012 Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp is awarded the City of East Lansing’s Business Recipient Crystal Award for its outstanding contributions and dedication to enhancing the East Lansing community.

October 2012 MSU purchases a new site for CMS-East Lansing and construction begins on the future building.

January 2013 CMS-East Lansing moves into its new location at 4930 S. Hagadorn Rd.

August 2013 CMS officially becomes a founding school for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.

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