Master Class with Christine Ohlman – CANCELED

  • Master Class: Canceled

After multiple postponements, we have canceled our Master Class with Christine Ohlman. We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation without firmly-established protocols for the type of indoor gatherings that we are trying to create so we must wait until there are. The comfort and safety of our community is always our priority.
We look forward to reviving our in-person events soon.

Summer Voice, Piano, & Music Theory Lessons 2020

Seven-Lesson Package

Choose seven dates between July 6 and August 31 on any weekday (no lessons available July 20-24).

Existing students may keep their current day and time if they wish.

Students wishing to receive two lessons in a given week are welcome to do so.

Three Payment Options:

  • Book and pay in full by June 15: $375 (6% discount)
  • Book and pay in full by the week of July 6: $380 (5% discount)
  • Two payments of $200 due at the beginning of July and August: $400

Included in tuition payments are: 

  • All materials ($25 value)
  • One hour per week studio time for practicing (20/hour value)

A La Carte & Drop in Rate Schedule (subject to  availability)

  • 30-minute lesson—$55
  • Materials—$25
Starter Binders are $50 each

Cancellation & Make up Lesson Policy.

We understand that “life happens” – especially during the summer months. Kindly provide us with a minimum of 24 hours cancellation notice for a given lesson date, and we will gladly work with you to reschedule the student’s class before the end of the summer session (August 31, 2020) without penalty.

Sign up using the form below or email

Steve Shelton to Host Tuesday Night Music Club in November

I met Steve Shelton a few years back at a gig he was playing with The Reactions at June’s Outback in Killingworth, CT. I had gone out to see my friends Bill Carroll (lead vocals and guitar) and Denise Parri (lead vocals) and met several musicians in one fell swoop who would become powerhouses later in my life. The rest of the band was Joe Pecoraro on drums, Bill Bailey on bass, Steve Shelton on guitar, and Rick Comes on lead vocals.

After that time, Steve must have started coming out to the Acoustic Open Mic I run at the Country Tavern in Guilford, CT because he soon became a large musical figure in my life, especially after he started bringing his daughter Dana to me for voice lessons. We quickly bonded!

I remember working with Dana on a particular jazz standard at that time and saying, “Well, unfortunately, the very best key by far for you for this song is G flat. Ask your dad if he’s willing to play it in G flat. Oh yeah, and see if he’ll write the chart for you.” I cringed waiting for his response the next week, but she came back with a beautiful chart and said, “No problem!” So I took a breath. But when I saw him the next time, he said, “G FLAT! Really?!?!” Ha ha! But they sure sounded great together.

Since that time, Steve has become lead guitar player for The Muddy Rudders as well as John Leibler’s project The Racket Downstairs.

You can read more about Steve’s musical background in a full-length interview I posted on Shoreline Musicians. You have to read it if only to find out about the dragon pants.

Sign Up by December 1 to Perform in the Christmas Concert

Rehearsal – Saturday, 12/14, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concert – Sunday, 12/15, 3:00 pm


Crescendo Music Loft is starting to work on its Christmas Concert available to all students. The concert is to be held here at our Loft space on Sunday, December 15 beginning at 3:00 pm where our students may shine before friends, family, and all of our students and staff in a supportive and comfortable environment.

A rehearsal with the band on Saturday, December 14 from 3:00-5:00 pm will be held to ensure that everybody is prepared the following day. This year’s band includes Justin Paglino on keys, Sandy Connolly on guitar, Ted Ervin on bass, and Gary Parrington on drums.

To best accommodate scheduling and other “nuts and bolts” matters in planning this event, we ask that all interested participants sign up to perform NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 1, 2019 so that we can rehearse the band, order the snacks, and prepare the song selection of each student/performer for the big event!

While we are calling it a Christmas concert because many of us here celebrate Christmas and like to play Christmas songs, all students are welcome to play any kind of holiday music they enjoy or whatever piece they happen to have been preparing at this time.

Music Workshop Survey

Take Our Workshop Survey

Shure Market Development Specialist Laura Clapp is offering to teach a workshop at The Loft, and we need your feedback!

Beehive Queen Christine Ohlman of SNL Band to Give Workshop on Stage Presence

If there’s one person I would love to get instruction from on how to connect with your audience from a stage, it would be Christine Ohlman. She immediately puts you at ease and makes you feel like she understands everything about your life in an instant. Then she sings to you about what you were thinking or worried about over the past few days and assures you that all will be well. You can relax and bask in the attention of a queen and escape all your troubles for a few moments.

The first time I saw Christine perform was about 30 years ago on the main stage of a huge street festival in New Haven. With that crazy blonde beehive, how could you miss her? And she had the crowd stirred up to party-frenzy by the end of her first song. I thought to myself, “I wanna DO THAT!!” and kept my eye on her over the next 20 years.

Fast forward to two decades later, I was gathering myself to record a second album. I read somewhere that I (as a musician) should get advice from someone who was just a bit ahead of me in the direction I was looking to go. I immediately thought of Christine. I knew she was still performing locally and thought I’d just ask. I figured the worst that could happen would be that she’d say, “So sorry… too busy.” I took my friend Chris Penry with me to a show she was playing at what was then The Wharf in Madison, CT and caught her at the break to ask if she ever had time to have coffee with an aspiring singer. I figured I had 30 seconds to sell it. Well, wouldn’t you know, she said she’d be delighted!

We met at a Starbucks in Hamden, she in complete beehive regalia. She listened to some of my first album and spoke to me like an old friend. “Deep tracks, baby. If you’re not gonna write songs, find some deep tracks. Here are some examples in your style…” And she proceeded to help me find a direction in my music that has stayed with me until today. Not only that, she has stayed in touch with me and encouraged me over many years. A quintessential professional and the real deal. She is in person just as she is on stage.

One of my very favorite memories of her is when she performed at a festival held at Bishop’s Field in Guilford some years ago. After having seen her perform for thousands of people many times, there were only a few people in the tent that day. SHE GAVE THE SAME SHOW… as if she were standing on the stage in Madison Square Garden! I said something to her about it after the show, and her reply: “You have to, baby! Even if only one person comes out to the show, you give them what they came for!”

She remains the standard for me today for how to conduct yourself as a musician.

The moral of this story is, if you’re a performer of any kind who wants to learn how to make that powerful connection with your audience, you would do well to come to her workshop “The Audience & You” at Crescendo Music Loft on Tuesday evening, November 5 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm and hear what she has to say.

Rehearse with Brian Wilkens on Tuesday Nights in October

Brian Wilkens with The Green Stamps

Brian Wilkens is the kind of guitar player that some guys I know would admit to having a man-crush on. I’m not a guy, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the lumber jack sort of dress combined with the Kramer-esque hair that is always in entertaining stages of height. Or maybe it’s the KILLER GUITAR CHOPS & TONE that grab you by the jugular and transport you to places where there is justice in the world. He’s a cross between Neil Young and Jeff Beck, and his stage manner rises above everything. He knows how to work with a band, but, more importantly, he knows how to reach his audience.

I met Brian at an open mic that he was running with Tom Price at June’s Outback in Killingworth, CT a few years ago. Since that time, I’ve enjoyed many opportunities to perform with him. He is ever-friendly, open and easy going, and a quintessential professional. He convinced me to cover Lucinda Williams’ material simply by the way he played the opening riffs from Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Now her material is a staple in my repertoire.

Now that I am looking for music directors to help me run Tuesday Night Music Club, a revised format of what had been Gig 101, imagine my delight when he agreed to kick off the sessions starting this month! Anyone would be a lucky duck to get to play with Brian, and I hope many of you will take advantage of this opportunity.

Tuesday Night Music Club is meant to be a rehearsal format for musicians wanting to have the experience working with more experienced and skilled musicians. Beginners, intermediate, and professionals are welcome! Admission is $10, and I will be there to make sure you have what you need (CHARTS!) to feel confident entering the rehearsal room with Brian this month.

Ted Ervin says, “Come for the locks. Stay for the licks!”

Joe McCarthy to Teach Afro-Cuban Hand Drumming Class

Thursdays, October 3, 10, 17, 24
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Limited to 20 participants

Afro-Cuban Hand Drumming

This group class will focus on some of the foundational rhythms and grooves of Afro-Cuban music and the percussion instruments that play them. Mambo, Cha Cha Cha and 6/8 will be covered, in addition to the techniques required to get the proper tone and feel. Instruments include: congas, bongos, timbales, bells, guiro, chekere, etc. We will create song forms and focus on improvisation, ensemble playing and the importance of listening.

There is no experience required, and instruments will be provided.

Reserve Your Spot Now!

Introducing The Groove Club: New Music Opportunities for Teens on the Connecticut Shoreline

As many of you know, we here at Crescendo Music Loft strive to build community through music in offering teens a space where they can gather in a safe and comfortable artistic environment in support of organic musical experiences.

As such we are pleased to report on the success of our increasingly popular monthly event “The Groove” which itself has spawned three supporting youth events:

  • Uzo – a monthly teen leadership team
  • Get Your Act Together – a monthly preparatory and musical training class for those not quite ready to perform at The Groove
  • Uzo’s House Band – a supporting backup band for musicians/singers who want to rehearse and ultimately perform at the Groove with a live band.

Crescendo Music Loft remains committed in continuing its support of these events by providing space, heating and cooling, musical equipment, PA system, as well as ourselves – Sandy and Ted – onsite to assist and manage as necessary (even though Uzo is technically in charge of these events). Despite our best intentions in offering our resources at no charge, we find the rather ravenous appetites of the teens in attendance to be overwhelming to our operating budget! Sandy’s “southern manners” necessitate that we provide food and beverages to all attendees free of charge which has, unfortunately, become a bit of a strain.  In short, sustenance has become a bit unsustainable (pun intended)!

Tentatively, our solution is to implement a proposed monthly fee structure (Groove Club season passes) of $25, $30, $35 which will cover food and drinks as well as free admission to The Groove and the three youth events described above and enrolling participants into “Uzo’s Club” as titled by our team leaders.

Your feedback is encouraged and greatly appreciated – please let us know what your thoughts and/or alternative suggestions might be so that we might find a way to continue providing these teen community events at the lowest possible cost to our hungry and talented youth!

Click here to see all that we have to offer for teens, as well as 

Set List for Bio Psycho Social on October 1

Set List for Bio Psycho Social on October 1

Our Gig 101 class is planning a concert for the evening of Tuesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m., and we would love to have anyone who wants to sit in with us as long as you can practice with us on a Tuesday night at The Loft. Please contact Sandy at and let her know which Tuesday you would like to rehearse and what tunes you would like to play. 

he event on October 1 will be open to the public, BYOB, and potluck, so bring friends!

Song Title


Original Key

Performance Key


Youtube Link


Amy Winehouse

E Flat



At Last

Etta James





Jimmy Buffett




Wicked Games

Chris Issak/ Acoustic Version

B Dorian

B Dorian


Like A Star

Corinne Bailey Rae



Proud Mary

Creedence Clearwater Revival




Bennie and the Jets

Elton John/ Haley Reinhart


B Flat


Let’s Stay Together

Al Breen




Me & Bobby McGee

Janis Joplin




Hell on Heels

Pistol Annie’s




Days Like This

Van Morrison

E flat

E flat


If I Ain’t Got You

Alicia Keys




Tequila Sunrise

The Eagles



Rockin’ in the Free World

Neil Young

E Minor

E Minor


You Oughta Know

Alanis Morrissette

F# Dorian

F# Dorian


Secret Agent Man

P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri

E Minor

E Minor


Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

Steve Perry




I Wish

Stevie Wonder

E Flat Minor

E Flat Minor