The new Founders Hall performance space at 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth, part of the recently completed renovations. Contributed / Lisa Frates

After nearly four years of renovations totaling about $6 million, 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth will celebrate its expansion with a grand opening next week. 

The expansion doubles the the center’s capacity to teach music, said Executive Director John Williams, and allows for more opportunities to share music as well. Additional classrooms and studios, a cafe and pub, recording studio and community meeting spaces have been added, and the center plans to host concerts, film series and other events.

“I think people are blown away by what was created here,” Williams said.

Musicians gather in the new Founders Hall at 317 Main. Contributed / Lisa Frates

The grand opening will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, June 23, with a ribbon cutting, followed by speakers, tours and live music.

The nonprofit, founded in 2004, bought the historic building in 2015 despite its need for renovations because a Main Street site was important to its mission of strengthening community connections through music, Williams said. Architect firm Paul Designs Project was hired in 2019, and plans for the building started to take hold.

The goal of renovations was to create a space that met the needs of the music center, but also fit within the style and scale of Yarmouth village.


“We needed to create 10 additional classrooms, a 200-seat multipurpose performance space and other community gathering spaces,” Williams said. “It was not easy.”

Fundraising for the project began in 2020. Originally estimated at $3.2 million, the costs of project rose to $5.2 million in the wake of shortages of materials and labor and supply chain issues during the pandemic. With a buffer of $800,000 added for any unforeseen costs, the total cost came in at just over $6 million.

In fundraising alone, 317 Main has raised about $4.2 million for the renovations. Part of a $1.5 million grant from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in 2020 also went toward the renovations.

The renovations will allow 317 Main to serve not only as a music school, but also as a community hub, Director of Development Marshall Wallach said.

“This place was founded as a vehicle for bigger things,” Wallach said. “We can be a new kind of community resource not just to Yarmouth, but other surrounding communities as well.”

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