Compass Montessori Schools & St. Mary School, Littleton
4th–8th grade string students

Compass Montessori and St. Mary School logos
  • Gives young musicians a head start for success in orchestra and ensembles
  • Offers music theory, rhythm, counting, note reading, and ear training
  • Includes instrument instruction by CYSO staff
  • Each semester will end with a performance by students in the program

The CYSO Preparatory Music Programs offer training for beginning and continuing ensemble players, with emphasis on counting, note reading, rhythm, music theory, and ear training. Each class includes an hour of instrument instruction.

Melissa Hembree

Melissa Hembree, Cellist and Program String Teacher

Michigan native Melissa Hembree started cello at age 3, won her first competition in 7th grade, and played in a Yo-Yo Ma master class and soloed with the Grosse Pointe Symphony during her senior year in high school. She holds a Bachelor’s in Cello Performance from Indiana University, where she studied with Emilio Colon. In Houston, Texas she was Low String Specialist for the La Porte School District and Assistant Orchestra Director at Woodcreek Middle School, where she taught technique and repertoire to 180 beginning and intermediate string students. She moved to Denver in July, 2015 and opened a private cello studio serving the Littleton/Lakewood area.

See Melissa's video about the program

Melissa Hembree, cellist and program string teacher
CYSO ensemble onstage
CYSO violinist

Program Costs & Requirements

  • Tuition: $270/semester, payable by PayPal.
  • Students must have instruments, music stands, and all required textbooks.
  • Classes for both Compass and St. Mary start in September and continue through the end of May.
Enter Musician's Name:

This program is currently open to Compass Montessori students and St. Mary School, Littleton students only.


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Young CYSO violinist

Permission for Use of Images

The CYSO uses images of students to promote a wide range of programs and activities. For students' safety and privacy, the use of images is strictly controlled. Identification details—students' last names, addresses, phone numbers—are never published.

Please indicate whether or not you give CYSO permission to use your child's photo in the organization's publications, websites, videos, and external media.

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