Our History

An MCM's Maplewood Concert Band rehearsal Maplewood Community Music (MCM), a non-profit based in Maplewood, NJ, was founded in 2003 by Jim Buchanan and Susan Williams. Susan had played in the Rutgers Band and after a number of years without playing, she approached Jim Buchanan about starting a band. At that time, Jim was the Cultural Affairs Supervisor for Maplewood and had 34+ years of experience in music education/conducting. Jim suggested starting rehearsals for a concert band and a jazz band for which he became the musical director. The first rehearsal had only six musicians, but they grew and soon after, the bands performed for Maplewood area audiences in DeHart Park, the Maplewood Women's Club, Maplecrest Park, and Memorial Park. Over time, two additional ensembles were formed, Bones Unlimited (trombone ensemble) and Jackson Square (Dixieland band).

As the group became larger, its mission grew, too. The dedicated group of volunteer musicians and conductors continue to work towards MCM's major goals of giving hobbyist musicians the opportunity to play and perform in bands and bringing music to Maplewood and South Orange and other area communities. In addition, MCM is proud to support community events and community and youth music enrichment programs.

Since its formation in 2003, the organization has grown to over 50 musicians and now has three active ensembles. MCM hosts four to six events each season and our ensembles perform at 15 or more local events each year.

Our Mission

As MCM grew beyond its ensembles, several objectives drove the group. Its current mission includes several points:

  • to bring various types of music to Maplewood and the surrounding areas,
  • to provide local student and adult musicians with the opportunity to join a community ensemble and continue their love of playing and performing,
  • to perform youth outreach that supports the student musicians and inspires our youth to enjoy and possibly play an instrument,
  • to partner with other organizations to bring music-related events to the area, and
  • to provide resources including private lesson teachers and musicians for hire.


Our Staff

The Maplewood Community Music staff is a dedicated group of volunteers that ensure the organization runs smoothly, has resources, brings music to the community, and supports student and adult musicians who continue to enjoy and perform music.

Board of Trustees & Officers
President, Chair Stephen Rodner
Vice President, Co-chair Neal Weiss
Treasurer Irv Lustig
Secretary Jasmine Bloch-Krempels
Trustee-at-Large, Member-at-Large vacant

Executive Committee
Musical Director - Maplewood Concert Band Steve Kimmons
Musical Director - Swing Town Ben Williams
Musical Director Emeritus Jim Buchanan, Cofounder
Operations Manager - Maplewood Concert Band Jasmine Bloch-Krempels
Operations Manager - Swing Town Susan Williams, Cofounder
Development Chair Jasmine Bloch-Krempels
Finance Chair Irv Lustig
Marketing Chair Jasmine Bloch-Krempels

Additional Staff
Music Librarian Lee Koss
Publicity Jasmine Bloch-Krempels
Information Technology Kerrie Hurford

Our Ensembles

Our ensembles, made up of volunteer musicians, perform throughout the year in Maplewood and its surrounding communities. The ensembles perform a wide variety of music including classical, modern, swing, jazz, Dixieland, and more from all around the world. Performances are always free and provide enjoyment for the entire family.

Our Concert Band always welcomes new members. While players must have experience, we welcome amateur and out-of-practice musicians as well as college and high school student musicians. For more information, refer to information on the Maplewood Concert Band.

Youth Outreach

In an effort to share our love of music with our community youth and encourage them to appreciate music and even play an instrument, our ensembles are involved in a number of programs targeting our younger residents.

  • Our annual Children's Concert,
  • smaller ensembles perform at our schools to provide the music history of and increase the appreciation for a particular genre of music,
  • high school and college music students are encouraged to spend some time playing in our Concert Band to gain experience with a different group and conductor and to perform a service to the community,
  • and we-e-e love a parade!


Our Partnerships

Maplewood Community Music partners with other local area organizations such as area municipalities, schools, business districts, other non-profits, and more to perform at other music events and reach groups that might not otherwise be able to get to a performance.

Resources for Musicians

MCM also provides various resources such as listings of Private Lesson Teachers, Musicians for Hire, and Used Instruments for Sale.

Donations

Maplewood Community Music relies primarily on individual donations to continue its efforts in the community. Learn more: