On the days that Ashuelot Concerts come to Franklin School, there is a certain buzz in the air. Both the children and the teachers know that they have something extraordinary to look forward to. Teachers, tutors and students alike all cram into a very crowded music room and get ready for Nick to begin explaining what we are about to listen to. In the simplest of terms, Nick tells the children about the composer, a little about the piece and ALWAYS things to listen for. The music is stunning and played at a remarkable level of perfection, but somehow, this music, which might baffle some people, is completely accessible to the children and teachers alike.

Nick and Louisa clearly know children (of all ages) as well as they know music. They have an instant connection with students, tutors and teachers. I’d like to share a few stories from their visits: One of my favorite experiences was with a particularly difficult second grade boy. This little guy was sitting on the floor with his class. His teacher signaled me to watch him. He was crying… actually sobbing. When asked later what had happened, he said to me, “It was just so beautiful… I couldn’t help it.” I knew then and there that there was something unusual and extraordinary about Ashueot Concerts’ program.

On another occasion, there were some rambunctious children sitting right up front (of course!). I kept trying to settle them, but to no avail. After the performance, I tried to apologize for their behavior but Nick and Louisa just laughed and said, “They’re CHILDREN! We don’t expect them to act like adults.” It was at this point that I fully realized why Ashuelot Concerts was so different than any other group that I have brought into school over my thirty year career. They not only have a deep understanding of their music, but an equally deep understanding of children. The combination is pure magic!

Melanie Everard