CMS celebrated its 40th Anniversary in style on Oct 14, 2023 with a concert that will not soon be forgotten! Broadway music director/pianist extraordinaire (as well as Essex native, current Lyme resident, and CMS board member) Todd Ellison arranged and presented a fantastic star-studded evening of music for a sold-out crowd at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook.
Broadway stars Christopher Sieber, Marissa McGowan, Klea Blackhurst, and Norm Lewis each wowed the audience with solo and ensemble selections, accompanied by Todd (piano) and CMS faculty members Tom Briggs (drums) and Matt McCauley (bass). It was such a treat for all in attendance to experience the incredible artistry and energy of these top artists in an intimate venue.
CMS trombone student Annamarie Mueller performed a wonderful rendition of “Send in the Clowns”
If the stars on stage weren’t already enough, Amanda Kloots, Jane Lynch, and Barry Manilow sent congratulatory video greetings!
A wonderful short film was premiered: “CMS at 40 Years,” created by Addie Keyworth and Fallyn Belisle under the guidance of Chris LeQuire of Valley (HS) Media.
We can’t express enough thanks to Todd Ellison and Friends for this special evening that was historic for CMS and our community both musically and as a very successful fundraiser that will help sustain the school’s future! Thanks to all who attended and supported CMS, and to our headline sponsors: The Bauman Family Foundation, Whelen Engineering, Bluewater Millwork & Construction, Essex Meadows, Carter Gowrie, Jeffrey Mehler CFP, Middlesex Health, and Reynolds Subaru, as well as the other sponsors of this event, which can be found here. And thanks to the CMS 40th Anniversary Planning Committee for their incredible work planning this amazing celebration: Jeff Mehler (chair), Elizabeth Carl, Susan Carpenter, Mary Dangremond, Todd Ellison, Lisa LeMonte, Paddy Hurley, Margaret Very, and Rick Wyman.
The evening’s performers backstage at the Kate (left to right): Norm Lewis, Gavin Lodge, Annamarie Mueller, Christopher Sieber, Todd Ellison, Klea Blackhurst, Marissa McGowan, Matt McCauley, and Tom Briggs.