Community Sound Space
Providing Education & Opportunity
Community Sound Space (CSS) is a shared resource facility and educational center that serves to cultivate creativity in Baltimore by providing access to the pursuit of musical interests and activities.
CSS aims to provide workshops, classes, and performances within Unity Hall in an effort to establish the community center as a place for artists activities. Our mission is to bring together new and existing resources and opportunities for all people in the city to share. We’re always working to meet the needs of our members, and we remain committed to playing a key role in the community.
A longer term project that CSS is working towards is building a circulating musical instrument and equipment lending library. Members of this library will be able to borrow instruments and equipment that are needed for practicing, performing, recording, teaching, or for use in educational programming. We are working to populate our inventory with items that will attract beginners and professionals for different reasons and purposes.
Do you want to help us build out our studio? See our wishlist.
Do you have any digital musical instruments or music studio equipment that you would like to donate to the Community Sound Space? If so, please let us know here!
Do you have musical instruments or equipment that you would like to see the Community Sound Space lending library provide in the future? Let us know here!
Founder and Operations Director
Stephanie is a versatile performer and curator of musical projects in Baltimore City. Since 2011, Stephanie has co-directed Classical Revolution Baltimore which has presented over one hundred free performances in Baltimore City collaborating with a diverse range of venues and organizations including the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Mount Vernon Conservancy, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, WTMD, bbcon, OrchKids, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Stephanie is a founding member and performer with two local contemporary music ensembles, Mind on Fire and Pique Collective, both of which focus on unique collaborations and innovative programming as a primary driver for their creative projects. In 2022, Stephanie became a musician-owner and council member for the musical cooperative Groupmuse. An active member of her community, Stephanie serves as the Communication Chairperson for the Madison Park Improvement Association where she co-directs a free summer community music series called Arts in the Parks in neighborhood green spaces that have been traditionally redlined. Stephanie enjoys a busy freelance schedule, regularly performing with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the National Cathedral Choral Society. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Texas at Austin and Master of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.
Founder and Communications Director
Jeremy Lyons has over twelve years of experience performing, teaching, composing, and producing events in Baltimore City. As a guitarist, Jeremy gives solo recitals and has appeared with a variety of ensembles across the country. He also regularly performs with his duo partners Soprano, Lisa Perry, and Flutist, Stephanie Ray. In addition to classical guitar, Jeremy performs on period instruments such as viola da gamba, lute, and Baroque guitar, and for more modern compositions, he uses his electric guitar in combination with electronics and other live media. While maintaining an active performing career, Jeremy is also the guitar instructor at Baltimore School for the Arts. An advocate for contemporary music, Jeremy regularly writes original music, collaborates with other composers, and enthusiastically participates in music that connects to a variety of audience members. He is also a founding member of two Baltimore-based contemporary music ensembles: Mind on Fire and Pique Collective. For more information you can visit his website: jeremylyonsguitar.com
Dr. Erik Spangler
Studio Manager, Instructor and Creative Facilitator
Erik Spangler (DJ Dubble8) is a composer and electronic musician living in Baltimore, Maryland. Engaged equally with ensemble improvisation, live electronics, studio production, and notated music, Spangler aims to dissolve cultural boundaries while drawing all corners of inspiration into evocative soundscapes. His compositions have been performed across the United States and internationally by ensembles including the Atlantic Brass Quintet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Rhymes With Opera, and International Contemporary Ensemble. Performances as an electronic musician include collaborations with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, American University Jazz Workshop, and Cornell Symphony Orchestra. Founder of The Vigil all-night music festival at MICA (2010-present), he is also co-founder of Mobtown Modern music series (2008-12) and Baltimore Boom Bap Society (2011-present) live improvised hip hop collective/music series. Spangler holds degrees from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (B.M., Music Composition, 1999) and Harvard University (Ph.D., Music Composition, 2004). He has taught sound art, music production, live electronic music, and composition at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Towson University, Ithaca College, and K-12 schools in Baltimore, with additional work as a musical accompanist for modern dance classes at Towson University, Goucher College, and University of Maryland.
Ashley Sierra is a Hip Hop artist born and raised in Baltimore City. She grew up immersed in Hip Hop culture and music, and fell in love with creating music at an early age, influenced by artists such as Nas, Kanye West, Missy Elliott, Wu Tang, and a host of others that she combines in a new-school alternative sound with classic backpack flows. She has been grinding and traveling nationally, spreading her movement and sound accolades, including opening up for KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Little Brother, Onyx, Busta Rhymes, and performing at the SXSW music festival. She has been featured in several major publications such as 2dope Boyz, DJ Holiday, This Is 50, and getting spins on Shade 45 on Statik Selectak's Showoff Casino, and Lord Sear's morning show. But nothing is more important to her than spreading love and sharing her gift with her community and loved ones. #litr #loveistherevolution
Von Vargas is a multi-faceted Music Creator. He is a Hip Hop artist, multi-genre music producer, songwriter, musician, and DJ. He’s passionate about creating hip-hop music that highlights positive solutions to social ills that plague America's inner city communities. A champion of justice for uplifting and betterment. Von is proudly preparing to release two new albums. The first release titled Cocked Crowns: an album exploring stories of brokenness, tragedies, defeat and triumph. The other is a groundbreaking release titled My Hop-appella Concerto, a full-length musical a cappella album, extending the boundaries of what has become commonplace in Hip Hop. Von is most recently responsible for creating music cues for the Peacock TV Original Series “True Stories”. Also music for Hip-Hop Ads, Music Marketing Campaigns and Music Sync Placements for ESPN, CBS Sports, CNN, HBO/ Vice TV, BET, United Healthcare, Changes Enterprises, Dickies Workwear to name a few. His music has been aired on numerous radio and television networks. He shares a Stellar Award Nomination and was rated with one of the top albums of the year in the Baltimore Paper. The 2021 Baker Artist Award Winner has been featured on many national and international media outlets for music. Von Vargas currently serves as a National Trustee of the Recording Academy known for the GRAMMY Awards and is a community curator for The Digilogue (a community-driven music and tech platform, connecting and educating music creatives across the world). As a co-owner of C.D. Studios , Von maximizes his musical talents while serving corporate, community clients, and students throughout the US.
Jezie Zhunio is a sound artist, music therapist, and piano teacher from in Cuenca, Ecuador. For the past several years she has worked as a professor and researcher in sound education. Building upon her foundation as a music teacher, Jezie has blended her love for sound and ecology with her 15 years of pedagogical experience, bringing about a perfect marriage of her two passions. Jezie’s evolution into experimental sound exploration has allowed her to introduce another element to this union and extend the range of her connection between nature and education, reaching high results in levels of creativity with her students. This has included soundscape analysis, and integration of sound art with other fields such as natural science, psychology, and a variety of artforms, through interdisciplinary performance pieces. Her creative practice has allowed Jezie to challenge the boundaries of music education and performance, creating a weightless integration of sound with mediums such as storytelling, visual arts, dance, and painting. This integration has established a way in which her students can connect with the experience of creating without the fear of making mistakes within the traditional confines of Western music theory. Jezie is director of the music therapy program Rompiendo Crisálidas for people with depression, anxiety and for early stimulation for children. She received her Master’s degree in Music Education in 2019 from Universidad de Cuenca, and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Universidad Internacional de la Rioja in 2023.