September 20, 2019
Education Latest News | Larry Lord | Bangor Metro | 'Mount' Katahdin | Today's Paper

Maine Academy of Modern Music finds new Portland home

PORTLAND, Maine — For those about to rock, salute your new home.

The Maine Academy of Modern Music, a nonprofit independent music school for students of all ages and abilities, will be moving to a new home at 125 Presumpscot St. on Aug. 1.

Jeff Shaw, MAMM’s executive director and founder, said the move is the culmination of several years’ worth of searching, but also a matter of the right place appearing at the right time.

Until Shaw and MAMM’s board of directors settled on the 1901 Building at the Roundhouse Complex, they had never been able to have all their students under one roof.

“A lot of our students don’t even get to see each other,” Shaw said, adding the organization has been renting space throughout Portland, including a room in a building at Woodford’s Corner, at the Breakwater School, and at the Williston-Immanuel United Church. He said it also rents space outside Portland, at Saco Middle School.

The new facility is a two-story brick building on the same campus as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office. The first floor has four rooms for band practices and lessons, and Shaw’s office, while upstairs there is a large space which can be used for bands and other functions.

“My goal is to the fill the building 24/7,” Shaw said, adding that a yoga class and open-mic nights could fill the function space when MAMM isn’t operating. “We’re looking for partners to help. We’re looking for this to be a hub for the community.”

Shaw said the building’s proximity to downtown Portland and the suburbs, and easy access to Interstate 295, will make MAMM “much more visible.”‘

Shaw said the academy will begin moving in on Aug. 1, and the organization’s three summer camps, the first of which begins on Aug. 10, will take place at the new facility.

A grand opening is planned on Sept. 19, which is P laying for a Change Day, a worldwide event where musicians perform to bring music into the lives of young people.

MAMM has most of the music and band equipment it needs, but is still in need of furniture and a refrigerator, he said.

MAMM opened in the fall of 2007, and last year served 750 students.

“We were very intentional in taking our time to get to this point,” Shaw said. “But the stars aligned and here we are.”

 



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