History

Edward and Janet Simons, violinists and violists, began the school in 1956 to fill the need for quality music instruction within the schools and community at large. They believed that if students wanted to make music part of their lives, all they needed was that desire and $1. No student would be turned away for inability to pay full tuition. 57 years later, our commitment to the Simons’ mission remains unchanged.

Mission:
The Rockland Conservatory of Music is a community music school and center for the performing arts, created to provide quality professional music instruction to students of diverse ages, abilities and financial backgrounds and to provide a community forum for performing arts, culture and entertainment.

Vision: (in formation)
• Offers scholarship assistance to qualifying low-income students
          in order to receive instruction
• Brings talented musicians and other performers to the community
          to educate and entertain
• Aims to instill a life-long love of the arts to all students and participants

Incorporated in 1959 and chartered by the Board of Regents of the State University of New York, RCM is a not-for-profit organization under the 501(c)(3) tax law. The National Guild of Community Arts Education accepted the Conservatory as a full member in 1974. With a current enrollment of over 500 students, it is a cultural hub for music education in the ethnically and economically diverse County of Rockland.

Ed Simons is still involved with the school; he sits on the Board of Directors and occasionally conducts and teaches. He remains an active performer and is a conductor of the Rockland Symphony Orchestra. Take one look at this face, and you know his joy at hearing and seeing all the students at the school has no limit. And it has been that way since 1956.