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New England Conservatory Announces New Staff Appointments to the Expanded Education Division

May 25, 2023 | By Stephanie Janes

Adam Calus, Director of NEC Preparatory School and Cecilia Pinto, Director of Early Childhood Education, Will Broaden Access to Music Education for Youth

New England Conservatory (NEC) announces two director-level staff appointments to the Expanded Education Division: Adam Calus as Director of the NEC Preparatory School (NEC Prep) and Cecilia Pinto as Director of Early Childhood Education. Their hirings are part of a larger institutional initiative to broaden access to the arts and music education for young people across the City of Boston.

The two join Sarah Caggiano, NEC’s Executive Director of Expanded Education, in working to expand the division’s mission, with an immediate focus on broadening access to NEC Prep for Boston youth through scholarship opportunities and new initiatives. Pinto will develop and implement NEC’s pilot early childhood education program set to kick off in the fall with Ellis Early Learning and ABCD Head Start. The initiative, funded by a $14.5 million grant that NEC announced in December, will expand access to music education at the pre-K level.

“We are so thrilled to welcome Adam and Cecilia to our team. Both come to NEC with a wealth of experience and fresh perspectives that will strengthen the work of the Expanded Education division. I cannot wait to see all that they will accomplish in their new roles,” says Sarah Caggiano.

"I am so honored to be welcomed into the NEC community as the new Prep Director,” says Adam Calus. “I look forward to celebrating the traditions and excellence that NEC Prep has to offer while collaboratively and carefully considering what the future looks like with everyone in the community represented in the discussion. I cannot wait to dive in and continue building relationships with the wonderful faculty, staff, students, parents, and NEC leadership that make this school so special.”

“Joining the NEC community as the new Early Childhood Education Director is a great honor,” says Cecilia Pinto. “I hope to bring my experience, expertise, and passion to NEC's efforts of providing music education to young children from all backgrounds. My plan is to build on the Preparatory School's wonderful programs and integrate those with new partner collaborations, so we can remove barriers and open up new pathways for more children to have the opportunity to find their voice through music.”

About Adam Calus:

A singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Adam Calus holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music where he also took courses in Music Education, Jazz Composition and Conducting, and a Master of Music degree in Music Education from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. His graduate research focused on inclusive and anti-racist music education, pop music pedagogy, hip hop pedagogy, and creating classroom spaces where all students can bring the music they learn from the classroom into their world.

Calus is currently an Assistant Professor in Liberal Arts at Berklee College of Music, as well as the founder and co-director of a community music project called Beantown Sessions, aimed at creating inclusive music-making spaces in Boston and unifying the Boston music scene through public performances, JAMs, open studio sessions, and paid opportunities. From 2015 to 2020, Calus served as Arts Director at Charlestown High School where he revived the school’s music program.

Most recently, he served as the Founder and CEO of Education Through Music—Massachusetts (ETM-MA), which partners with under-resourced schools to provide music as a core subject for students. In this role, Calus oversaw all operations, including program development and execution, financial management, fundraising, marketing, and communications.

About Cecilia Pinto:

Cecilia Pinto is an Early Childhood and violin music educator, and a professional violinist who is passionate about music education and its potential to transform lives. During her years in Peru, where she is originally from, she was Chair of the Strings Department of the Suzuki Association of Peru. Later, she held the Strings Department Chair position at the Chicago Center for Music Education, where she also was the music director of the United in Harmony ensemble.

She received her Master of Music in Violin Performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Peruvian National Conservatory of Music. She has training in Dalcroze, Kodály, "Hola bebe" and the Suzuki Method. In addition, she has experience applying “the music learning theory” of E. Gordon and the Orff methodology in Early Childhood education.

Cecilia has been teaching Early Childhood Music classes for 14 years and violin for 18 years. She has created programs in 3 different countries (Uruguay, Peru, and USA) and in two different languages to students of many different backgrounds and in many different settings.

As a violinist, Cecilia has performed as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Andes in Colombia. She was awarded First (2004) and Second (2003) prizes in the National Violin Contest of Peru and was a member of several professional orchestras and chamber music groups.

Cecilia believes every child should have the opportunity to learn music, explore their potential, and find their own voice. She thinks that early childhood education is instrumental to overcome learning barriers, as well as to spark joy and love for music.

About New England Conservatory (NEC)
Founded by Eben Tourjée in Boston, Massachusetts in 1867, the New England Conservatory (NEC) represents a new model of music school that combines the best of European tradition with American innovation. The school stands at the center of Boston’s rich cultural history and musical life, presenting concerts at the renowned Jordan Hall. Propelled by profound artistry, bold creativity and deep compassion, NEC seeks to amplify musicians’ impact on advancing our shared humanity, and empowers students to meet today’s changing world head-on, equipped with the tools and confidence to forge multidimensional lives of artistic depth and relevance.

As an independent, not-for-profit institution that educates and trains musicians of all ages from around the world, NEC is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools. It cultivates a diverse, dynamic community, providing music students of more than 40 countries with performance opportunities and high-caliber training from 225 internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC pushes the boundaries of music-making and teaching through college-level training in classical, jazz and contemporary improvisation. Through unique interdisciplinary programs such as Entrepreneurial Musicianship and Community Performances & Partnerships, it empowers students to create their own musical opportunities. As part of NEC’s mission to make lifelong music education available to everyone, the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education delivers training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students and adults.




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