Private Lessons

Unlike group classes, private lessons are highly focused, more intense, and cater to each student individually. In these one-on-one sessions, instructors assess each student’s unique abilities and develop a personalized plan to progress his or her musicianship to the next level. Private lessons are a great course for beginning music students who want a solid foundation, intermediate students who want to advance their skills, and adult musicians looking for more personalized instruction

Tuition is paid monthly for private lessons

Cello
Instructor:
Emily Smith

Piano
Instructor:
Rebecah Zamora

Violin/Viola
Instructor: Kathyrn Poore

Low Brass: Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium and Tuba
Instructor: Jacob Hardy

High Brass: French Horn
Instructor: Margaret Dixon

Drum/Percussion
Instructor: Patrick Bain

 

Trumpet

Guitar/Bass
Instructor: John Copeland

Group Classes

Our course offerings aim to provide more than the traditionally taught instrumental and musical techniques. We aim to create opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds to experience music education in an inclusive environment, build a musical community, and encourage participation in the arts!

Tuition is paid by semester for group classes

Buckets and Boomwhackers – Grade 3-8
This class is an introduction into basic rhythm and percussion that is affordable, portable, and accessible to all. It is a fun and engaging activity for musicians of various ages and abilities, and a great ensemble to use to advertise and engage new students.
Instructor:
Patrick Bain
Class: 
Tuesdays 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM Aug. 29-Dec. 17

Register

 

“Horn Squad” Middle School Brass
A fun interactive group class helps young brass players learn, correct, and reinforce proper playing and breathing techniques. Through instrument specific and targeted instruction, students will learn playing fundamentals, practice-tips and methods, music reading and listening skills, basic theory, and instrument care! The perfect class for band students looking to enhance their playing abilities and get more individualized instruction than they receive in band class alone.
Instructor: 
Margaret Dixon
Class: 
Mondays 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM Aug. 29-Dec. 17

Register

 

Our Supporters

Credit: Ocala Style Magazine | Meagan Gumpert Photography

The David and Lisa Midgett Foundation designated an initial gift of $300,000 to support the Community Music Conservatory and continue to provide strong support to build programming and support scholarships for students. The DLM Foundation supports arts and education primarily in Central and South Florida. “Art moves us. Be it film, music, sculpture, a painting, or simply great design incorporated into an everyday item, art ties us to our senses and humanity like nothing else. Grant opportunities are by invitation only, focusing on arts and education.”

Learn more about David and Lisa Midgett: https://www.ocalastyle.com/angels-of-the-arts/

Education Consortium Donors

The consortium is a group of donors who have given $10,000 or more to support the Conservatory‘s equipment and facilities while ensuring its important community mission and programming for years to come.

Grace Dunlevy and Bob Levenson
William and Cindy Nassal
Tom Dobbins

Ways to Give

Supporters of the Community Music Conservatory create a solid foundation for several programs that will become an established part of the musical community of Ocala. By investing in the availability and quality of music education, as well as the fundamentals of music and music appreciation, we can and will inspire more Ocala residents to take part in the arts, and provide more opportunities for marginalized and/or underserved groups to participate in the arts. Click here to fill out a sponsorship form. Completed forms can be emailed to Pamela@reillyartscenter.com

Sponsor a Student Scholarship

Full Year Conservatory Scholarship – $1,800
This is a full year (3 semester) tuition scholarship and instrument stipend. Funds from this scholarship are applied to a full year of any class, and included instrument stipend will be applied to the cost of obtaining an approved musical instrument.

Partial Year Conservatory Scholarship – $600
This is a four month (1 semester) tuition scholarship and instrument stipend. Funds from this scholarship are applied to a single semester of any class, and included instrument stipend will be applied to the cost of obtaining an approved musical instrument.

Partial Year Tuition Scholarship – $450
This is a four month (1 semester) tuition scholarship that students can apply to any class.

Instrument Scholarship Fund – Amount up to you!
This scholarship fund is used on a case-by-case basis for students in need of financial assistance in obtaining a musical instrument of suitable quality, for use in any class in which they are enrolled.

General Programming – Amount up to you!
This scholarship fund is used to support additional costs within the Conservatory. Costs may include: piano tuning, instrument and equipment maintenance, purchase of teaching materials and curriculum, purchase of classroom furniture such as children’s chairs and music stands, purchase of instruments used for ensemble and group teaching, funding for educational outreach, funding for philanthropic endeavors, and more.

Support Today

Teaching Studio Sponsorship – $25,000

Includes a 5-year sponsorship recognition

Join the Education Consortium – $10,000

A central tenant of our expansion is the new Community Music Conservatory, a gift of the David and Lisa Midgett Foundation. The Conservatory’s mission is to provide accessible music education for all with excellent and innovative programming. Launch offerings include Buckets and Boom Sticks, a percussion-oriented class to create a love for music and performance in children, Class Guitar for youth and adults, and fundamental music classes like Music Appreciation and basic Music Theory for all ages.

With the Foundation’s initial gift of $300,000 to establish this incredible musical asset for Ocala, we are seeking 25 gifts of $10,000 and above to further support the brick and mortar, and enshrine programming for the first five years.

Donors joining this special consortium will be recognized in a unique and prominent place in the Reilly Arts Center’s new lobby.

Sponsorship is 100% tax deductible and includes sponsor recognition at the level of giving.

Interested in learning more, contact Pamela Calero Wardell at pamela@reillyartscenter.com

Scholarships

The Ocala Symphony Orchestra and Reilly Arts Center’s mission is to connect as many people to music and the arts as possible. The Community Music Conservatory is a professionally run music school, and provides scholarship opportunities to students wishing to participate in group classes or private lessons. Scholarships are limited and awarded based on financial need and merit. Applications are reviewed at the beginning of each month.

Full Year Conservatory Scholarship – $1800
This is a full year (3 semester) tuition scholarship and instrument stipend. Funds from this scholarship are applied to a full year of any class, and included instrument stipend will be applied to the cost of obtaining an approved musical instrument.

Partial Year Conservatory Scholarship – $600
This is a four month (1 semester) tuition scholarship and instrument stipend. Funds from this scholarship are applied to a single semester of any class, and included instrument stipend will be applied to the cost of obtaining an approved musical instrument.

Partial Year Tuition Scholarship – $450
This is a four month (1 semester) tuition scholarship that students can apply to any class.

Instrument Scholarship Fund – Amount up to you!
This scholarship fund is used on a case-by-case basis for students in need of financial assistance in obtaining a musical instrument of suitable quality, for use in any class in which they are enrolled.

Apply

Download Community Music Conservatory – 2022 Financial Aid Application Here
Please email the completed application to Margaret@reillyartscenter.com

 

Interested in funding? Click here

 

Meet the Staff

Matthew Wardell, DMA

Matthew Wardell, DMA

Artistic Director

MATTHEW WARDELL (b. 1983) began his tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra in 2009. When appointed Music Director of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, the Ocala Star Banner declared, “Wardell brings an impressive resume of musical and conducting training … Maybe more important than his musical credentials is Wardell’s youthful enthusiasm and unabashed zest … Wardell is not only a daring and dynamic choice as the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s new conductor, but a smart one.”

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Wardell began his undergraduate work in percussion and composition at the University of Florida and received his Bachelor of Music cum laude at the University of North Florida working under Charlotte Mabrey. Wardell continued his education by earning a Master of Music at the University of Florida and is currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree there with his mentor, Raymond Chobaz. Wardell has served as a guest conductor with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Gainesville Orchestra, Florida Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Ocala Civic Theatre. In addition to purely orchestral pursuits, he thrives in the theatre and has appeared as conductor for the fully staged productions of A Little Night Music, La BohèmeToscaThe Miraculous MandarinPhantom of the OperaSusannahThe ImpresarioDido and AeneasDie FledermausSunday in the Park with George, and Camelot. As a composer, Wardell wrote music for the award-winning NPR podcast, Odd Ball, and co-wrote a new full-length score to the 1923 silent film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Wardell spent five summers at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians in Hancock, Maine studying with Maestro Michael Jinbo. He was fortunate to have been recognized as both an Osher and Quimby Family Foundation scholar and serve several summers in Hancock as an Orchestra Assistant. Wardell has been selected and participated in masterclasses with Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops and BBC Orchestra, Thomas Cockrell of the University of Arizona, and studied for an extended time with conductor and composer Peter WesenAuer in Salzburg, Austria.

Matthew is a champion of all kinds of music. He believes programming traditionally core repertoire hand in hand with underrepresented composers and new music believing that good music is just that – good music. He is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League and has served on the boards of the Ocala Municipal Arts Commission (OMAC), Young Professionals of Ocala (YPO), and The Centers. In addition to his musical pursuits, Wardell is passionate about being involved in his community and served six years as an elected official on Ocala’s City Council from 2015 to 2021. He enjoys traveling, good company, and attending Jacksonville Jaguars games – and even once attended a game that the Jaguars won. In 2019, he married the love of his life and partner, Pamela Calero. Matthew and Pamela have one dog, Buckley, who is probably up to no good at this very moment. Learn more about Wardell here: https://www.matthewwardell.com/

Pamela Calero Wardell

Pamela Calero Wardell

Executive Director

Margaret Dixon

Margaret Dixon

Director of Education and Community Outreach

Margaret Dixon began her relationship with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra in 2010 as a hornist on stage, but she quickly took on additional roles with the ensemble. In 2016, Margaret assumed leadership of the orchestra’s Symphony for Schools Program, helping it grow to reach over thirty Marion County Schools. In 2019, her duties expanded to include the positions of Librarian and Personnel Manager of the Orchestra, and in 2021 she was appointed Director of Education and Community Outreach for the Reilly Arts Center.

Margaret has a great passion for teaching and spreading the joy of music, especially to youth and underserved communities, and having her own music school has been a dream of hers for the last decade. Music is such a natural and human form of expression, and it opens the door to such a wealth of opportunities. From traveling the world performing to singing holiday tunes with your family, the possibilities and reach of music are endless and should be available for everyone. Margaret’s philosophy is that anyone can learn music, regardless of age, experience, background, socio-economic status, or physical or mental ability. You dont have to be great to enjoy making music, you only have to be willing to try. Music creates deeper personal connections, encourages community, builds confidence, inspires creativity, and even has mental and physical health benefits.

Margaret is still an active performer and music educator. She holds the Principal Horn position in The Gainesville Orchestra, the Second Horn position in the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, and she is a well-known and regularly requested performer throughout North-Central Florida. She has also performed with Orchestras in the surrounding states, recorded with Carl Fischer and the Trade Winds Ensemble, and has played in numerous performances around the world.

Margaret has a successful private studio of students of varying abilities and age ranges, and she currently holds the position of Adjunct Professor of Horn for the College of Central Florida. She provides group coaching at several local middle and high schools, and she has worked extensively with local collegiate institutions, including Santa Fe College, College of Central Florida, and the University of Florida. Margaret’s younger students are typically the top performers in their county and in the state, many have received college scholarships and have gone on to pursue successful careers in music performance and education. Her adult students are all active players in their respective communities, and they always have a great time!

Margaret’s business experience includes several years managing the former music school and retail store Great Southern Music. It was in this position that Margaret honed her leadership, organization, and communication skills, and learned first hand the pitfalls of the typical music school.

Margaret has had the privilege of studying with some of the finest horn players in the country, including renowned teachers and performers Lowell Greer, Michelle Stebleton, Michelle Baker, Joseph Anderer, and Robert Watt. Margaret holds a Bachelor’s in Music from the University of Alabama where she studied with Professor Charles “Skip” Snead, and a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Florida where she studied with Dr. Paul Basler.

Patrick Bain

Patrick Bain

Percussion/Bucket Drumming

Patrick Bain has been actively performing in various professional and academic settings throughout Gainesville since 2015. He received bachelor’s degrees in Music and Mechanical Engineering as well as a Performer’s Certificate for percussion from the University of Florida where he studied percussion with Dr. Kenneth Broadway and drum set with Clyde Connor. Since graduation, Patrick has performed with ensembles in Gainesville and throughout the state as an orchestral percussionist.

During his education at the University of Florida, Patrick received numerous opportunities to perform throughout the state as well as internationally, including WASBE with the American Chamber Winds, ClarinetFest with the Professors Clarinet Choir, and the Festival des Anches d’Azur with the University of Florida Wind Symphony. He also served as a member and section leader for the Florida Drum Line in the Gator Marching Band. Patrick was awarded the Francis Millikan Reitz Scholarship Award in 2016, given for being “the most outstanding undergraduate music student demonstrating excellence in performance, musical service, service to the University and community, and promise for future development.”

Patrick has taught students aged elementary through college as a private lesson instructor, group lesson instructor, and performance technician for drum lines and front ensembles. When he is not practicing, performing, or teaching percussion, Patrick works as a quality engineer in the medical device industry.

Kathyrn Poore

Kathyrn Poore

Viola/Violin

Emily Smith

Emily Smith

Cello

A recent arrival in Gainesville, cellist Emily Austin Smith maintains an active performing and teaching career. She completed bachelors degrees in Cello Performance and English and a Masters Degree in Cello Performance and Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she studied with Alan Stepansky, former Associate Principal Cellist of the New York Philharmonic. Emily has recently performed with the Fayetteville Symphony and the Duke New Music Ensemble, and as a substitute with the North Carolina Symphony and Carolina Ballet. She served as both cellist and Executive Director of WireTap New Music, a group she co-founded in Durham, North Carolina.

Emily has performed in a number of orchestral and chamber music festivals across the country, including Spoleto Festival USA, Weekend of Chamber Music, Texas Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, ENCORE School for Strings, and the Indiana University Summer String Academy. She has worked with members of the Takacs, Emerson, Cavani, Lark, Shanghai, Juilliard, and Jupiter Quartets, and has studied with Alison Wells, Amir Eldan, Brinton Averil Smith, and Eric Kim, and participated in masterclasses with Richard Aaron, Susan Moses, Gary Hoffman, and Jeffrey Solow. During her time at the Peabody Institute and The Johns Hopkins University, Emily was the recipient of the B&O Women’s Club Award in Performance and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society.

Emily has taught students of all ages and levels in a variety of settings, and has received Suzuki teacher training from esteemed pedagogues Dr. Tanya Carey and Ronda Cole. She completed her Master of Music degree in Cello Performance and Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was mentored by Bai-Chi Chen of the Peabody Preparatory Institute. While in Baltimore, Emily taught in the orchestral program at the Baltimore School for the Arts and was a regular substitute teacher at OrchKids, the Baltimore Symphony’s El Sistema inspired after-school orchestra program. Emily also served as an administrator at Kidznotes, an El Sistema inspired program in the Triangle region of North Carolina.

When she is not performing, teaching, or practicing cello, Emily enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time outdoors with her husband and scruffy shelter dog, Lily.

Sean Thomas

Sean Thomas

Bucket Drumming

Rebecah Zamora

Rebecah Zamora

Piano

Rebecah started her music training at a very young age with her mother, who was a piano teacher. Three siblings later, her mom didn’t have as much time to devote to her musical growth so she took lessons from a local piano teacher for 4 years. At 15 years old, she began teaching young students from her church and later on attended the College of Central Florida and studied under Gaylyn Capitano. Recently, Rebecah has been attending Berklee College of Music’s online course to complete her Bachelor’s in Arts.

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