The Musical Journey Begins

Updated: Jan 8

Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene ready to inspire musicians and the community By Jillian Chandler

Photo by Dustin Wiggins, @HuckThisPhoto on Instagram

“I want to see the talent in our area be shared and feel appreciated; people teaching and performing and playing ensembles together.” - Julienne Dance Once it was official that the Hamilton House had been saved from demolition this past October, it was time to prepare the historic home for its next chapter—that of the Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene. “The ideas were always there, but now we had the challenge of putting them into action,” says Julienne Dance, musician, visionary and advocate behind the conservatory.

The seed had been planted months ago, and it was now time to water and nurture it in order for it to bloom for all to enjoy. Julienne, along with many dedicated community members, has been working tirelessly to be able to open the doors of the conservatory to the public. And as 2021 has now arrived, with it, along with much anticipation, the Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene will be opening its doors. As of press time, they were in the midst of finalizing the curriculum and scheduling, updating all of the info on their website and preparing for registration, with plans to open January 11.

The conservatory is very appreciative of all the support and interest of the Coeur d’Alene community, according to Julienne. “People have been so positive and excited to see this happen.” From people bestowing generous monetary donations, coming forward to help work on the house, painting, cleaning and landscaping, to donating rugs (they are still in need of a few more), giving furniture, chairs and music stands, the contributions have been exceptional and so gratefully, and humbly, received. Ron Voights built a custom shelving unit that was missing in the house—“truly a work of art,” smiles Julienne.

“Hours have been contributed, and people have come forward with donations, which has been so wonderful,” she shares. “We can’t thank everyone enough!”

The Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene couldn’t be in better hands, as music has always played a primary role in Julienne’s life. She attended college on a music scholarship, where she pursued education in her four-year degree. She has raised seven musical children—one is a professional performing violinist. Julienne has been involved in orchestra boards, high school boosters in Bellevue, Washington, accompanying and conducting musical events, and she has taught piano for the last 40 years.

The instruction offered will be unmatched, with Dan Hegelund and Jan Pellant just two of the talented musical instructors at the conservatory. Dan holds extensive formal music training and is an acclaimed vocal coach, piano teacher and choir director, with a resume that includes studio recordings, radio and TV broadcasts, and concerts. A native of the Czech Republic, Jan studied at the Prague Academy of the Performing Arts, and he holds degrees from the Prague Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University. He accepted the position of artistic director and conductor of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony in July 2018 and is the director of the Philharmonic Orchestra with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony.

When it comes to what makes Julienne so passionate about music, and sharing her love for it with the community, it’s simple. “I know it can change lives,” she says. “It will bring focus to youth in pursuing life and making decisions. Music education lays a foundation for learning, for being a better athlete, for making a happier home life. It will inspire people who come to concerts. Music speaks a language that can’t be written or said; it is universal and can be understood by all walks of life. It can bring unity. Music will bring peace and clarity to a troubled mind, a challenged community. The conservatory and other musical organizations raise the economic status of a city. We believe this conservatory will be a positive boost to everyone in Coeur d’Alene.”

All levels of instruction will be offered to members of the wider community. The Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene will offer everything from Little Mozarts for toddlers through age 4; Music Exploration for ages 4 through 6; group classes; private 30-, 45- and 60-minute lessons; ensemble programs including preparatory orchestra, chamber orchestra, conservatory sinfonia strings; children’s choir, youth choir and adult choir; piano partners, guitar gurus, theory class and AP music theory coaching; and more.

Julienne’s hope is that through the Music Conservatory, they will have the opportunity to collaborate with all entities of music in the community. They are working with the Coeur d’Alene Parks and Recreation programming to provide accessibility for more children to be served, and she has hopes that the music education in the Coeur d’Alene School District can be supported with more resources and people collaborating together. “It’s such a joy to create together,” says Julienne. “When musicians play together and more music created, and the synergy of working together makes us better musicians than when pursued on our own. The collaboration of the arts and music helps us discover more than we ever knew or understood what we could do. It’s wonderful and kind of magical.”

With the new facility preparing to open its doors, Julienne is amazed at what has been accomplished and to have the honor of presenting the Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene to the community. It will surely inspire.

Donations are still needed and gratefully accepted. If you are interested in showing your support to the new Coeur d’Alene Music Conservatory, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations can be made online at CdAConservatory.org or by check made out to Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene and mailed to 10507 N. Strahorn, Hayden, ID 83835. For questions, please email info@cdaconservatory.org.

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