Our Story…

The Uptown Music Collective was founded by Dave Brumbaugh, a Berklee College of Music Graduate who was born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He set the school’s artistic vision in motion at the founding of the Collective in 2000, embracing the Berklee education model and delivering the same lessons-classes-workshops format to his students.

He started out with just a handful of students in guitar lessons. Those who couldn’t pay for lessons would give their time, helping Dave clean and organize equipment, or tidy up lesson spaces. The family quickly grew…

As the demand for his teaching spread, so did the vision of what he could offer his students – an all-encompassing musical experience that would help them hone their musical ear, polish their stage presence, reach technical expertise, really know music, and, most importantly, grow into hard-working and inspired young people.

Since then, the school has evolved, developing a reputation for “walking its talk,” and delivering highly-respected programs that have a lasting impact on students, families, and the community. Our student body includes children as young as three and adults well into their seasoned years, and each and every individual contributes their own light to our work.

Through our growth, we’ve been inspired by our student’s engagement and thirst for more. They bring variety to our ideas, and have been a key factor to our success. By listening to those we teach, we’ve reached our audience in more ways than we ever dreamed we could.

We want to spark and nurture artistic ability, personal growth, and appreciation for music. We strive to engage students where they are, helping them build the skills necessary to play music at a high caliber of technical demand, focus their attention on performing artfully in all they do, emphasize the application of their musicality to many different genres, and develop into disciplined, respectful, and confident humans.

This leads us to our students…the whole reason we do what we do.

Our Students


The soul of who we are, Uptown students love learning music, playing it together, and being a part of something larger than themselves.

They’re the single most important feature of our school – walking testaments of the powerful community that has grown up around and in our various educational and performance programs. 

Students who live an hour apart, who would probably never have met, become best friends through the power of a shared love of music. Those who struggle to feel understood in their traditional educational setting find a home in the halls, practice rooms and activities of the Collective. We thrust students together through group activities and performances, and they quickly learn how to work side by side, learning skills, developing teamwork, and frequently forming life-long friendships. 

As they embrace an ownership of their craft, UMC students are positioned to lead and support their younger and/or less experienced peers. This cycle of learning, combined with professional staff and teachers, has grown into a family of musicians who are committed to the school’s highest ideals – community, leadership, integrity, and music.

From 2000 to 2023… Our Students are the most important feature of our school.

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