The Academy Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble perform earlier this year. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

The Lawrence Academy of Music, home to music instruction for adults and children in northeast Wisconsin and beyond, is changing its name to the Lawrence Community Music School.

The name change, effective immediately, aims to add clarity to the school’s mission, Director Karen Bruno said.

“We are proud to serve residents of northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan and know that we build a strong, supportive community of music-makers within our programs,” she said. “Typically, more than 1,500 youth and adults enroll annually in private lessons, youth orchestra and bands, seven girl choirs, early childhood music classes, chamber music ensembles, classes for students with special needs, musical theater workshops, gamelan, and a variety of unique summer offerings.”

As the Lawrence Community Music School has grown and changed through its nearly 150-year history, so has its name. It was originally a preparatory program housed in the basement of the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. It became the Arts Academy in 1990 and moved into its current home, the former executive offices of the Fox River Paper Company at 100 West Water Street. In 2002, the Arts Academy became the Lawrence Academy of Music to specify its role as a provider of musical instruction.

“Now we are excited to change our name to the Lawrence Community Music School to better distinguish ourselves from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music and more clearly define our role in the wider community,” Bruno said.

In each of the school’s programs, teaching staff create a community of supportive musical learners, helping them develop musical skills, self-expression, and confidence in a collaborative, student-centered environment. In a typical year, the students present more than 75 recitals, concerts, and master classes to the public.

The Academy of Music, serving youth and adults, will now be known as the Lawrence Community Music School.

Most of the Lawrence Community Music School’s teachers have masters or doctoral degrees in pedagogy; many also have degrees in performance.

“Those who attend Fox Valley Symphony concerts or have students enrolled in local school music programs will recognize our teaching staff on stage and in the classroom,” Bruno said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person and group instruction at the school has temporarily ceased. Online private lessons, a video podcast series of early childhood music classes, and small group online instruction for students with special needs remain available.

“While the status of in-person fall instruction remains unclear, a wider range of online programming will be available if we are not able to gather in person,” Bruno said. “Teaching staff is committed to maintaining the high standards Lawrence is known for in all of its programs regardless of the instructional delivery method.”

For more information, visit http://go.lawrence.edu/cms. Karen Bruno can be reached at brunok@lawrence.edu.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu