Experience the joy of making music in an ensemble!

Summer 2018! Register now!

WOW-VIPs are 5-day sessions designed to give students of violin, viola, cello, and contrabass an immersive experience of making music together. Our experienced, enthusiastic, and dedicated faculty provides private and group instruction in each instrument. Each day from 10-4, students play in orchestra as well as in smaller chamber ensembles; they also sing in chorus and participate in music improvisation/composition class. There is time for snacks, lunch, and recreation. The last day of each session culminates in a performance for family and friends.

The next VIP will run from July 16-20,  2018. Students who have had three years of instruction (whether in school or in private lessons) are encouraged to apply. No audition is required; a short video demonstrating the student’s current playing is requested to aid the faculty in choosing appropriate repertoire.

CIAO! was founded in September 2013 by conductor and music educator James Bergin to provide an opportunity for  elementary, middle, high school, and college students, as well as adults to perform in a chamber orchestra.

Repertoire includes standard classical music, old-time favorites, and ethnic music from various countries. In addition, CIAO! performs new music by living composers written especially for the ensemble, introducing the players to contemporary musical styles.

CIAO! rehearses weekly at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamstown and once a month at the Sweetbrook Care Center during the school year.

CIAO! regularly presents concerts to benefit local and international organizations including: the Berkshire Food Pantry and the Friendship Center Food Pantry; families impacted by the closing of the North Adams Regional Hospital; a music school in Haiti that was destroyed in the earthquake in Haiti; Grace Villa, a home for orphaned and endangered girls in Kabale, Uganda; the Northern Berkshire Santa Fund; and Berkshire Children and Families Kids 4 Harmony program.

On Sunday, November 20, 2016, CIAO! will perform at the second annual Messiah Sing at St. John’s Church, accompanying the choruses of Part I and and beloved Hallelujah Chorus from Part II.

CIAO! is open by audition to players of violin, viola, cello, and bass who have had at least three years of instruction. 

FutureCIAO! is a chamber orchestra open to students of violin, viola, violoncello, or contrabass who have had at least one year of instruction on their instrument. Conductor James Bergin founded the group in order to prepare students for participation in CIAO!, which performs more advanced repertoire. 

Repertoire for FutureCIAO! has been specially selected and in many cases arranged by James Bergin to provide an introduction to ensemble playing for students of stringed instruments that will supplement their school programs and music lessons.

FutureCIAO! rehearses weekly at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamstown and once a month at the Sweetbrook Care Center during the school year.

FutureCIAO! performs in CIAO!’s benefit concerts, which support local and international causes. It  gives young musicians the experience of performing before an audience and not just in a practice room.

For further information, you may email