Colchester Middle School 

Welcome To Colchester Music!

CMS Students with Heather Bouchey,  Vermont Secretary of Education 

General Music 

The Colchester Middle School music department believes that every individual is innately musical. We work hard to create learning opportunities that encourage every student to engage with music - whether it be as a listener, performer, and/or a composer. We are proud to offer a robust music program where students can explore various styles, genres, and time periods of music, and discover their place witih it. General Music classes in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade focus on a well-rounded musical education. Our curriculum is comprised of rhythmic studies, melody and harmony, the science of sound, composition, music history, music literacy, and digital music production.


There are several opportunities to perform in CMS ensembles. We offer a Chorus and Concert Band from 6th through 8th grade. Chorus and Band opperate during the school day as a 6th grade group, and a 7/8th combined group.  Students are welcome to begin at any grade level, with no prior experience required. In fact, students are encouraged to jump in and participate - There is always room!

Concert Choir/Jazz Band

The Music Department also offers two select enesembles: the Concert Choir, and Jazz Band. Both of these ensembles are auditioned groups, and are open to all three grades. Concert Choir and Jazz Band often have more performance opportunties, and engage more with the broader communities (school assemblies, local concerts and festivals, etc.)


We encourage all parents to stay involved with their students progress in our classes and ensembles. Your students success in music will in part be due to your help from home. Please consider getting involved with our parent booster group, Friends of Colchester Music (link below). FCM helps fundraise for our CSD Music Program.  Always feel free to email us with any questions, concerns, or celebrations regarding your students and/or our program. 

Important Performance Dates

Important Audition Dates

About CMS Music Teachers

Daniel Leonard Choir Director, General Music 6-8

Mr. Leonard is excited to be returning to the CMS Music Department permenantly. In west Philadelphia he was born and raised, and before moving to Vermont, lived in New York City, where he worked as a musician and actor. He recieved his B.F.A in Theater from Marymount Manhattan College, and his MA in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  He plays a wide variety of musical instruments, and thoroughly enjoys singing and making music. He also enjoys gardening, hiking, swimming, camping, and generally being outside in nature. Mr. Leonard wants everyone to engage with music in one way or another - there is always room for more voices in the choir!

Michael Bjella Band Director, General Music 6-8 

Mr. Bjella is a woodwind performer, composer, recording artist and music educator at CMS for the 22-23 school year. He received his Masters Degree in Music Performance from McGill University in 2011 and since then has toured throughout Europe, North America and South America and recorded on over twenty albums. Mr. Bjella has been the music educator in Alburgh, VT for the past three years and believes music education to be a beautiful and tremendously effective means for emotional, intellectual and social growth. His hobby list is rather long and includes open-water swimming, carpentry, pie making, reading and playing tennis.

Emily Desautels Band Director, General Music 6-8 

Mrs. Desautels started teaching Music at CMS in 2010, but grew up through the Colchester School District! She received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education K-12 at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. Throughout her time there, she studied voice and also played tuba in the PSU Symphonic Band. She was a section leader of the PSU Chamber Singers, with whom she toured the US east coast, Canada, and Vietnam. After completing her student teaching in Nashua, NH, Mrs. Desautels moved back to Colchester and spent time in the district as a Paraeducator and Intensive Needs Interventionist before beginning her exciting adventures in the CMS Music department. In her free time, Mrs. Desautels teaches group fitness classes, and keeps an ever-growing flock of chickens and ducks in her backyard.