A Musical Renaissance

317 Main completes an expansion project three years in the making.

a performance at 317 Main
Photo by Thau Kieu Photography
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Since 2004, Yarmouth’s Capt. S. C. Blanchard House, a sea captain’s home built in 1855, has housed 317 Main Community Music Center. This year, the organization opened its new addition, built on the site of the property’s former carriage house, tripling space for lessons, camps, jams, and more. Executive director John Williams explained why the expansion’s a big deal.

What does this new space represent for 317 Main?

It really is a dream come true for us. This allows us to stretch out and invite more people into the building than we’ve ever been able to accommodate in the past. We have also designed with environmental sustainability in mind. We used cross-laminated timber, we’ve got solar panels, it’s super insulated, and it’s heated with heat pumps. And we’re still at 317 Main Street.

What can people look forward to in the expanded space?

We’re currently serving about 650 students per week from 40 surrounding towns. Many of our students have never set foot in our building because of our space constraints. In the past, we collaborated with neighbors to host our programs. This allows us to consolidate under one roof and really build a community here. We have 10 new classrooms, a recording studio, a performance space, and also a café. It’s super exciting.

Coming up on 317 Main’s 20th anniversary, what are you reflecting on, and what does the future hold?

We are proud to employ 38 of the best teaching artists in the state. Our philosophy is to try to meet every student where they are on their musical journey in a space that feels both welcoming and accessible. There’s so much demand for creativity and community connection that we are excited to be able to expand into a new space that will allow us to offer even more to anyone who walks through our doors. We are looking at this as an opportunity and a responsibility to create a space that becomes a destination.