75th Campaign

SugarHill

Sugar Hill, Dalton; Home to BMS Founder Winnie Crane from 1932–1991.

Celebrating our 75th Anniversary, please enjoy images from our April, 2016, Gala concert.

Also, we are looking for memories from BMS alums (students, faculty, parents, board members) which we will be posting on the Music School’s Facebook page, so please send your memories to Tracy Wilson via email or postal mail to Tracy at BMS, 30 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

In December 1940, the articles of incorporation were official to form the Pittsfield Community Music School. The original building was located in the old Police Station on School Street. As our founder Winner Davis Crane wrote to her board members: “The building is ideal as it is centrally located, the rooms will adapt themselves perfectly to our needs, and its thick brick walls are naturally sound-proof. The city has removed the cell blocks and the window bars.” Can you imagine practicing in a former jail cell? In 1941, the school had 40 students, taking lessons twice a week, and added a department of dance four years later.

“Sugar Hill”, the Senator W. Murray Crane House, with its long sweeping lawn and driveway, was Winnie Davis Crane’s home from 1932 until her death in 1991. BMS will be hosting one of our anniversary events at Sugar Hill to celebrate our 75th anniversary—stay tuned for more on this!

Mrs. Crane purchased our current property at 30 Wendell Avenue in 1943. It had formerly been the home of five-term Mayor Bagg, and the original carriage barn remained behind the main house. In the mid-1990s, the carriage barn was renovated to make way for a fully handicap-accessible 90-seat recital hall and a catering kitchen, in addition to a few more teaching studios. In 2015, we have fourteen teaching studios, the recital hall and a dance studio which we use for yoga, programs for youngsters, and rentals. During the 2014-2015 school year, we saw 300 students of all ages (toddlers through age 88) coming for weekly lessons, classes or ensembles, all taught by one of our 35 talented and experienced faculty members.