Community Music School Announces Spring Programs and New Principal

Appalachian Community Orchestra

Appalachian State University’s Community Music School (CMS) is beginning another semester of exciting music programs in Boone and Hudson this spring under new Principal Lisl Doughton. Activities are available for a variety of ages and experience levels.

Registration is now open at Most programs begin the week of January 31. CMS offers “Pay What You Can” options for group classes.

Programs in Boone – Youth and Adults

In Community Drumming, Dr. Shawn Roberts will lead participants ages 4 and up in rhythms from around the world on drums from the Hayes School of Music. Families are invited to register together and make music

In the Appalachian Community Orchestra, musicians ranging from middle schoolers to professors play great orchestral music side by side. Will Selle and Taryn Wooten, band and orchestra directors at Watauga High School, lead the orchestra, which is open to ages 12 through adults. Advanced musicians can also audition for the Orchester symphonique des Appalaches, conducted by Dr. Régulo Stabilito.

Community members have long been essential to the Appalachian Choir, now led by Dr. Meg Stohlmann. No audition is required and any singer capable of playing their part in four-part harmony is welcome. The Appalachian Chorale will perform Will Todd’s “Mass in Blue,” an innovative jazz-style mass, and Zoom with the composer this spring.

Private lessons are now available in person at the Broyhill Music Center and online. App State students, faculty, and alumni are among the many private course instructors offering courses through CMS. Tuition assistance may be available for CMS courses.

Boone Programs – Youth

The Appalachian Youth Chorale (AYC), CMS’s longest running group program, invites students ages 7-14 to discover their voices in a singing community led by Dr. Meg Stohlmann and supported by voice students from the Hayes School of Music. Watauga High School Choir Director (and Teacher of the Year) Brandon Winbush is the ensemble’s collaborating pianist. This spring, AYC will perform songs inspired by Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, Disney and Dr. Seuss.

App Rocks! is a rock band program for ages 10-14 led by Dr. Katy Strand. Students learn to sing on a microphone, play electric guitar and bass, and play keyboard and drums, spending time on each instrument as they learn and perform hit songs.

Let’s play the piano! offers two levels of class in the Piano Lab at Broyhill Music Center, led by Jenna Kyber and Julie Goforth. A fun and supportive environment builds students’ skills and enthusiasm for the piano.

Let’s play the ukulele! and play the guitar! are taught by Tanner McAteer, a graduate student in classical guitar performance. Students explore starting techniques on these versatile instruments and develop a musical avenue for self-expression.

Lisl Doughton becomes Head of Community Music School

Lisl Doughton

Lisl Kuutti Doughton became the new director of the Community Music School (CMS) at Appalachian State University in December 2021. Cellist and App State graduate, Doughton brings a lifelong love for music to her work as management of CMS.

“As part of the Hayes School of Music and the App State, CMS is uniquely positioned to make music education affordable for everyone while maintaining music as a profession,” says Doughton. “CMS employs twenty App State students, thirteen faculty and staff, and ten alumni in addition to excellent local teachers. We take a long-term view of the entire musician’s life cycle.

From 2019-2021, Doughton served as Program Manager for the Community Music School, managing enrollment and aspects of policies, advertising, budgets and payroll. During this time, under the leadership of Dr. Nicole Sonbert, CMS has grown into a vibrant music community offering private lessons and group programs for all ages.

About Community Music School

In conjunction with Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music, Community Music School (CMS) offers music lessons, ensembles, and private lessons for all ages and skill levels. CMS’s mission is to connect, create, engage and empower through music, fostering a vibrant community where diversity is valued and everyone is included in music creation. To increase access to music education for all, CMS offers Pay What You Can options for group programs and tuition assistance for private lessons.

About Hayes School of Music

The Hayes School of Music prepares young musicians for professional life as performers, composers, music teachers, music therapists, conductors and music industry professionals, ensuring the next generation of musical leadership for the state, region and nation. Noted for the quality teaching provided by nationally and internationally recognized faculty musicians, the school offers four undergraduate degree programs and three graduate degree programs. Learn more at

Comments are closed.