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aka Worcester Chamber Music Society   |   Worcester, MA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 20-8538873


The Worcester Chamber Music Society enriches the community through professional concerts and educational programs.

The ensemble is dedicated to increasing public awareness and support for the chamber music repertoire through concerts, educational, and community outreach programs. In addition, we are committed to the nurturing and encouragement of young musicians by providing educational outreach programs, performance opportunities, training, and scholarships for the advanced study of music.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms Tracy Kraus

Main address

323 Main Street

Worcester, MA 01608 USA

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Subject area info

Arts and culture

Arts education

Performing arts

Musical ensembles and groups

Population served info

Children and youth


At-risk youth

NTEE code info

Performing Arts (A60)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms


What we aim to solve

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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?

Concert Series

We perform fifteen concerts per season in Worcester and the surrounding towns in Worcester County. Our concerts are accessible and affordable including free admission for children under 17. We provide free tickets to area senior centers.

Population(s) Served

Annual free family concert and free senior citizen concert. Music on Main free community concert series.

Population(s) Served

The WCMS Chamber Music Camp  is a non-competitive, intensive chamber music program for strings, woodwinds and pianists age 12 and up,including adult amateurs. Located at Clark University in Worcester, MA, our program is tailored to suit both college and community level

Population(s) Served

Launched in 2012, Neighborhood Strings is a new initiative of the Worcester Chamber Music Society that offers free music lessons in string instruments to youth from the Main South neighborhood. Neighborhood Strings seeks to connect the musicians of the WCMS with urban youth, forming deep ties that transform the lives of the students, the musicians, and ultimately the public face of the community through music.Our focus is not just on the child as a musician, but the child as a contributing member of society.

 The program seeks to provide affordable, high-quality arts education; to be open and easily accessible to
the neighborhood; to foster family involvement; and to have sustainable public

Students (ages 6-15) receive weekly private or or small group lessons during after-school hours, with most students attending 2-3 times a week. Students receive instruments on loan and are expected to
practice at home. The lessons culminate in “performance parties” which
gives the students the chance to demonstrate their achievements and involve the
entire family. We help connect students with additional college-age mentors or “practice
buddies.” from Clark University and Holy Cross College.

Since year two, the program has offered a teen leadership group, the “NS Club.” The club targets youth 6th-grade and older and invites them to attend a weekly session that includes discussion of civic issues and chamber music. The club also cultivates social rapport and a sense of buy-in.

Through established partnerships with Clark University, Woodland Academy and the Learning First Charter School, WCMS targets students in the Main South and Downtown neighborhoods and provides internship opportunities for Clark students interested in music education and community development.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Chamber Music America - Member 2006

Chamber of Commerce 2010

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of multi-year grants received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Neighborhood Strings

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Number of students receiving personal instruction and feedback about their performance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Neighborhood Strings

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

To deepen the quality and professionalism of our musical offerings and to advance further the creation of art for the benefit of the greater Worcester community.

To continue to make our concerts and community programs accessible to serve our diverse community.

To expand our reach and depth through our educational programs to support the under-served youth of Worcester and further advance our visibility within the community.

We have seen an increase in diversity and community partnerships through our unique concert offerings, expanded community concert series and partnerships with other Worcester cultural institutions.

Education is a key component of the society's work. Our program seeks to transform the lives of immigrant, refugee and underserved urban youth (ages 6-15) living in the Main South and Downtown neighborhoods of Worcester throughout the school year. We provide free instruments, music programming, a teen club, performance opportunity, and intensive mentorship 2-3 times a week.

Worcester Chamber Music Society is a highly regarded musical organization, whose members are Grammy nominated and have performed with ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Symphony Orchestra to name a few. Our experienced teaching artists are compassionate educators who are committed to the highest educational standards and best practices to reach underserved youth.

Our community partnerships continue to grow. Through these relationships, we are better able to grow our audiences, keep our concerts affordable, and expand our outreach. In addition, we have an active Board of Directors, with established committees that serve to support the work of the organization.

In 18 years, we have grown from four concerts a year to seventeen, serving all of Central Massachusetts. Our Neighborhood Strings program now serves 100 students at two sites in Worcester. Our Chamber Music Camp continues to grow and provide a healthy source of earned revenue.

Looking forward, we hope to expand our Neighborhood Strings program to serve the many kids currently on our waiting list. To do this, we will need expanded support from sources beyond Worcester. We are seeking active partnerships with social service agencies to enable us to support our youth and their families beyond music-making.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 8.09 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 7.5 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 10% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of WORCESTER CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY INC’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$5,303 $31,920 $61,726 $146,036 -$17,184
As % of expenses -1.6% 8.2% 17.9% 46.1% -4.0%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$12,446 $24,777 $54,583 $138,893 -$24,494
As % of expenses -3.6% 6.3% 15.5% 42.9% -5.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $396,101 $379,231 $383,407 $365,484 $549,582
Total revenue, % change over prior year 5.6% -4.3% 1.1% -4.7% 50.4%
Program services revenue 25.7% 42.9% 13.8% 21.8% 18.2%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.2% 0.4% 0.1% 0.1%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 74.3% 56.9% 85.9% 78.1% 81.7%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $335,383 $388,070 $344,535 $316,659 $432,371
Total expenses, % change over prior year -0.4% 15.7% -11.2% -8.1% 36.5%
Personnel 54.4% 45.6% 62.5% 68.1% 70.4%
Professional fees 2.0% 1.8% 1.3% 1.2% 1.5%
Occupancy 2.4% 2.3% 2.8% 3.1% 1.8%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 2.5% 1.1% 0.1% 1.5% 1.0%
All other expenses 38.7% 49.3% 33.3% 26.0% 25.3%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $342,526 $395,213 $351,678 $323,802 $439,681
One month of savings $27,949 $32,339 $28,711 $26,388 $36,031
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $29,600 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $370,475 $427,552 $380,389 $379,790 $475,712

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 7.6 6.4 8.9 14.9 7.4
Months of cash and investments 7.6 6.4 8.9 14.9 10.5
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 3.3 3.8 6.5 12.6 8.6
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $213,155 $208,330 $255,046 $392,756 $267,260
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $112,341
Receivables $2,922 $290 $22,000 $6,100 $82,034
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $53,500
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 21.4% 35.7% 50.0% 64.3% 73.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 9.0% 9.0% 12.3% 7.5% 7.0%
Unrestricted net assets $130,838 $155,615 $210,198 $349,091 $324,597
Temporarily restricted net assets $116,740 $76,000 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $116,740 $76,000 $59,350 $54,785 $130,360
Total net assets $247,578 $231,615 $269,548 $403,876 $454,957

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Ms Tracy Kraus

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 04/04/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ellen More

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Term: 2022 - 2024

Cheri Carty

Bay State Savings Bank

Ellen More


Jeffrey Paster


William Kadish

Gbeton Somassee

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Esther-Faith Tendon

Ascentria Care Alliance

Nicole Dow

Dow Shoes

Feingold Deborah


Martin Peter

Bowditch and Dewey

Green Karen


Heard Stephen


Bibeau Kenneth


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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/26/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/26/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.