Indian Hill Music Inc.

Littleton, MA   |


Now in its 35th year, Indian Hill Music is a thriving regional non-profit center for music education, performance, and community outreach. One of only a few organizations in the U.S. that combines a community music school, professional symphony orchestra, diverse concert series, and high-impact music philanthropy, Indian Hill Music serves 79 communities in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. We believe that music inspires both our hearts and minds, encourages the growth of the whole person, and is integral to the lives of everyone we serve. Our mission – to share the transformative power of music, through teaching and performing, and giving music generously when there is need – reflects the impact of music on people’s lives, and its ability to strengthen, heal, and inspire.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Lisa Fiorentino

Main address

PO Box 1484 36 King Street

Littleton, MA 01460 USA

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Formerly known as

Indian Hill Arts, Inc.



NTEE code info

Music (A68)

Performing Arts Schools (A6E)

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Indian Hill Music is one of only a few organizations in the U.S. encompassing a community music school, professional orchestra, diverse concert series, and high-impact music philanthropy. We were founded in 1985 to provide comprehensive music education when local schools were drastically cutting music and to provide orchestral, chamber, jazz and world music concerts not accessible in our region. These issues persist in many of the 79 cities and towns spanning from MetroWest Boston to Southern New Hampshire we serve. These are a mix of low-middle class and highly affluent towns. However, data from scholarship applications show there are working poor families in all these towns. Our service area also includes three of the poorest cities in the state: Lawrence, Lowell and Fitchburg. Due to the financial hardship many individuals and families are enduring due to the pandemic, we expect scholarship requests to increase significantly and are trying to raise enough funds to meet the need.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Music Education

Our Community Music School offers lessons in 30+ instruments and voice for all ages in all musical
styles – from classical and jazz to rock, roots, and pop. Whether you want to perform on stage, ace an audition, or play for your own personal development and enjoyment, we are here to help you grow as a musician.

Population(s) Served

Indian Hill Music’s professional performance season is anchored by concerts of the critically-acclaimed, 70-member Orchestra of Indian Hill, led by Artistic Director and Conductor, Bruce Hangen. We also present live concerts by celebrated contemporary performers in jazz, world music, and bluegrass as well as outstanding professional chamber ensembles and soloists.

Population(s) Served

We believe that everyone should have the chance to participate in music! That’s why we invested
over $150,000 last year in need-based student scholarships, free community events, free and low-cost
educational programs for high-need public schools, free monthly concerts for seniors, and services
like our unique Threshold Singers bedside choir for those in hospice care. These programs serve some
5,500+ people in 79 communities in our region.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Outstanding Nonprofit 2012

Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce

Affiliations & memberships

Leage of American Orchestras - Member 1995

National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Member 1990

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Indian Hill Music, a regional non-profit music center, sees every day how music transforms lives. We are renowned and highly respected for providing:

• Vibrant Experiences – Memorable performances by our professional Orchestra of Indian Hill, our conservatory-trained faculty, and notable guest artists across diverse genres
• Stimulating and Supportive Education – Our community music school focuses on personal growth and meaningful connections for students of all ages and abilities
• Giving Music Generously – We partner with high-need school districts and community-based organizations to provide music when there is need for people in our communities

After 35 years of creating a musical community of excellence open to all, we are now fulfilling a long-held dream of bringing all aspects of our organization together under one roof - creating synergies that were never before possible and providing a concert experience second to none.

In 2014, an incredibly generous donor offered to purchase land for a new campus and provide full funding for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art facility. After much deliberation, we gratefully accepted this gift. We are now in Year Four of constructing our new 126,000 sq. ft. facility on a stunning 110 acres in Groton, MA, expected to open in 2022. With a range of acoustically superb performance, teaching, and gathering spaces, the Music Center will allow us to significantly expand our impact and become a cultural and economic engine for the region.

The integration of music education and performance is a hallmark of our organization. Our new facility will enable us to expand and innovate, such as creating themed festivals featuring workshops and master classes with guest artists, student performances, and interactive music-making for attendees, all culminating in a major headliner concert. The facility will enable us to convene community music organizations and opportunities for school bands, choruses, or orchestras to gather for educational workshops, competitions and performances. We will offer professional concerts and educational programming to students and teachers from surrounding school districts. Our partnership with Lawrence Academy will allow for the use of dorms and dining facilities for residential summer programs.
Our goals reflect how we are adapting to the current crisis while simultaneously preparing for expanded operations in our new home:

1. During the pandemic, adapt existing and create new remote learning programs
2. Engage our musicians to create new virtual performance and educational programs to engage a broader range of audiences
3. Adapt the organizational growth path we began in 2015 to current circumstances
4. Widen the tent by increasing participation across all program areas
5. Lead a successful comprehensive fundraising campaign focused on significantly increasing annual giving, raising “start-up” funds, and growing our endowment from $3.5 million to $22 million.

Like all organizations, the pandemic has significantly impacted Indian Hill Music. While these circumstances are unprecedented, we have a history of prudent financial management and adapting creatively to best serve our students, faculty, professional musicians, and community partners. This approach inspires donor confidence and they have always responded with extraordinary generosity. Now, while adhering to the goals outlined above, we are making major changes in the delivery of our services, as we slow down plans for our ambitious future.
Adapt existing and create new programs
• Offer remote private lessons, diverse group classes, and special programs.
• Offer virtual student recitals.
• Share video performances by students, faculty and orchestra musicians on our website and in social media
• Plan virtual performances, lectures and other offerings to continue to engage our constituents with creative and meaningful content
• Offer telephone or FaceTime bedside sings by members of our Threshold Singers
Adapt donor cultivation and stewardship
• Create a virtual Evening of Gratitude for major donors
• Cultivate new donors and steward current donors through small group Zoom gatherings and events
• Plan small group cultivation events, adhering to the highest safety standards
Prudent use of our resources
• Careful scrutiny of all expenses
• Invest in low-cost technology to help us pivot to virtual service delivery
Since FY15, we have been steadily executing our growth plan across every aspect of our organization in order to build traction for the future, widen the tent of patrons, increase awareness of our organization, and prepare for the much larger and more complex organization we will become by applying the following strategies:
Establish the foundation for the future Music Center at Indian Hill
• Build a culture that helps manage and promote growth
• Make infrastructure additions with focus on capacity building
• Do extensive planning across all areas of the organization
• Revise Business Plan to provide long-term outlook

Continue the growth path
• School Programming – Provide more offerings, increase enrollment
• Performance – Diversify genres, more concerts, enhance experience, increase attendance with focus on increasing participation by new concertgoers
• Outreach – Increase presence in Fitchburg, Lawrence, and other high-need communities, serve more students, expand partnerships

Widen the tent
• Increase number of new patrons, donors, community partners, prospects
• Increase in marketing, awareness, and ambassadorial activities

Lead a successful comprehensive campaign
• Significantly expand pool of prospects.
• Cultivate and solicit donors at a range of giving levels
• Provide Board training. Develop action plan for each Board member’s individual prospect.
• Steward all donors appropriately

Indian Hill has grown dramatically and deepened our community impact by adhering to these principals, adapted from for-profit business management:

Be Analytical – Analyzing quantitative and qualitative data is critical when making decisions about what is most valuable to the community served and what is sustainable over the long term. For example:

• Which programs have the most impact in terms of number of people served and service outcomes?
• What is the cost to provide each program?
• What does our constituency think about the program?
• Are there ways to achieve efficiencies to maintain a high-quality program at a lower cost?
• What are the program’s indirect human resource costs?

Prepare to Make Trade-Offs – While every program we consider will likely add some value to our community, trying to do everything can lead to the organization being spread too thin. This may lead to a decline in quality of existing programs, as well as a lack of adequate financial resources to achieve the mission. Using analyses, we consider which programs offer the highest community impact at an acceptable cost. There are many aspects to consider—impact, quality, human resources, dollars. We look at each program separately as well as at the whole organization.

Constantly Evaluate in Order to Improve – There are always ways to improve – even with extremely successful programs. Keeping this top of mind is critical to grow programs, offer the highest quality experience, and continue to adapt to a constantly changing environment.

After every program, we celebrate the wins and discuss what could have gone better. In addition to internal evaluation by management, we survey patrons for their feedback. We maintain high organizational standards and constantly look to raise the bar. Keeping accurate records of after-event analyses creates a more reliable institutional memory and provides the data for identifying trends, which lead to further changes that improve programs and services.

Value the Experience – Successful arts organizations offer exceptional experiences to their patrons – consistently. We always consider the patron experience from beginning to end. Patrons provide answers to critical questions: Were you welcomed to the event? Did you express concerns? If so, were they addressed? Was the experience high quality? Did it meet your needs and expectations? Considering the entire experience from the patron’s point of view and making adjustments helps us provide the best possible experience to our community.

Be Fiscally Responsible – We rely on charitable contributions to carry out our mission. We consistently show solid financial management and have gained the confidence of our donor base. We understand that while donors need an affinity for our mission, they are more likely to give to a well-managed organization. Donors have confidence that we employ solid financial and organizational management practices.

Indian Hill Music now serves over 1,400 students compared to 1,050 in FY15. We will continue to offer the most comprehensive music education in the region and provide students with free masterclasses, workshops, lectures, recitals, performance opportunities, and free or discounted attendance to many of our concerts. Private lessons will remain the core of our student base, while strongly emphasizing group learning opportunities, which our new space makes us uniquely positioned to offer at a robust level. Our large, acoustically treated spaces will be a major differentiation point for our school in a competitive sense.

Since closing our Littleton headquarters in mid-March due to the pandemic, our school faculty have pivoted to remote private lessons and 92% of our students continued their lessons in this new format. In addition, we are offering early childhood classes, weekly family singalongs, ukulele clubs for adults, and group piano, as well as a virtual Performathon scholarship fundraiser, Voice Soiree, and student recitals.

Currently, we present 36 professional concerts (6,313 tickets) compared with 15 (4,518 tickets) in FY15. Our new building will allow us to increase the number and kinds of concerts substantially. The main performance spaces will be the 1,000-seat concert hall (with access to lawn seating for an additional 1,300), 300-seat hall, a large multi-purpose room, 75- seat recital room. We will feature artists in many genres: classical, Pops, jazz, folk, bluegrass, world, country, rock, and more. We will present prominent artists due to the larger capacity of our halls and, with advanced technology and a larger stage, we can greatly expand repertoire. How the pandemic will impact these plans in the long term is unknown. In the short term, we are revamping summer and fall programs and planning virtual performance events as we expect live concerts will not take place for many months.

In outreach, we plan to continue our free Bach’s Lunch Concerts for senior citizens. While seniors are currently unable to leave their facilities, we are exploring offering video performances by our most popular performers to the facilities to show their residents. Likewise, until our Threshold Singers (hospice bedside singers) are permitted to resume live sings, we will be offering FaceTime sings and recordings of our repertoire to provide the comforting presence of our music to these vulnerable populations. As funding and school schedules and protocols (due to pandemic changes) allow, we hope to expand our work in the Fitchburg, Lawrence, Clinton and Ayer Shirley school districts.


Indian Hill Music Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Indian Hill Music Inc.

Board of directors
as of 5/12/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Peter Ashton

Community Volunteer

Term: 2015 - 2021

Jonathan Panek


Jeffrey Fuhrer

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Melissa Maranda

Rollstone Wealth Management

Carole Prest


Peter Ashton

Community Volunteer

Troy Siebels

Hanover Theatre

George Allison


Kimberly Harriman

Orchestra of Indian Hill

Simon Jones

Kirsta Davey

Phil Francisco

Stephen Irish

Enterprise Bank

Dave Riggert


Deb Verner

Community Volunteer

Robert Anderson


Ralph Brown

David Moulton

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes