From a parent who has gained so much from The Conservatory… 

I knew that through my son’s and daughter’s experience at The Conservatory, they would learn about playing violin and cello.  It wasn’t until an extremely poignant moment in our lives that I realized they had also learned that music helps people communicate words they might not be able to say, to express feeling that might otherwise go unexpressed, and to connect to people through a transcendent experience.

Jack and Emily’s grandmother was suffering from Breast Cancer that had metastasized in her brain.  Though we were told we may have 6 months to a year with her, we had a much shorter time.  It was hard for my kids to find words when words were such a struggle for their grandmother who, reverted to speaking in her first language, Slovak, which my kids didn’t speak.

On the day of what was their last visit with her, I asked them if they wanted to bring their violin and cello. They wholeheartedly agreed and both wanted to play for her. Emily played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.  She played beautifully while I sat at my mom’s bedside.   Jack played “Sonatina”. He played artfully and passionately, as he had been taught.  With her good hand, my mom squeezed mine.  She smiled like I hadn’t seen in a long time.  While the kids played, we all cried, including the nurses and hospice workers.  Emily and Jack brought their grandmother a break in her silence.  They brought her joy, peace, pride and love.  They told her they loved her – with words and without.

I have no words to say thank you to everyone at The Conservatory for their mission and for one of the most important moments in my life, in my mom’s life, and in my kid’s lives.  It’s a priceless experience I will forever hold, and an important step for all of us beginning to grieve.  I have no words to express how much of an impression Conservatory faculty members Michael Strauss and Ross Beauchamp have made on my kids – even outside of the classroom.  They’ve taught my kids technique, theory, the importance of practice, patience, commitment, and confidence.  Michael and Ross have taught my kids music, the language of music, and the power of music.


Mary Searls, Conservatory Parent


Inspiring growth and confidence in individuals is only a part of what The Conservatory does every day.  Each year we reach thousands of people in our community - disadvantaged youth, people living with disabilities, seniors in assisted living facilities and the families and students who participate in programs every week. 

To continue to make these programs possible, we need your help. Caring individuals like you help to make these programs possible.  One voice can inspire!  Please make yours heard by making your tax-deductible contribution today and join the supporters who have already decided to make a difference!

Happy Holidays!


Rachael Gallagher, Executive Director