Music Conservatory of Sandpoint presents a feast for the ears By Jillian Chandler
The opening of Music Conservatory of Sandpoint’s Little Carnegie Concert Hall is already making a significant impact on the conservatory’s many music ensembles, as well as providing ample space for early childhood programming and the first dedicated rehearsal space for the Youth Orchestra and Musical Theater in the school’s history.
Established in 2009, the conservatory has fulfilled its mission by expanding opportunities for performing arts. MCS classes follow semester-based enrollment and a rich and vibrant Summer Academy, which attracts students from the Inland Northwest and beyond. MCS has two goals and aspirations: first, working to become a leading school in the performing arts with international connections; second, to become a prototype of creative placemaking and create awareness of the wonderful things the conservatory and its students are capable of doing.
In 2019, after leasing the space at 110 Main Street on the corner of 2nd Avenue in downtown Sandpoint since 2010, MCS acquired the building, making this historic landmark (formerly the old City Hall and fire station) their permanent home. The building has undergone a historic renovation, made possible by many generous supporters. Little Carnegie is one such improvement.
Little Carnegie officially opened June 3 of 2022 with a grand gala opening and concerts. The concert hall features excellent music and elevates student performance opportunities, as its stage allows students, staff and invited musicians from across the world the opportunity to share their music with the outside world. Here, performers are up close to their audience in this unique, intimate setting.
For Karin Wedemeyer, director and co-founder of the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, Little Carnegie Concert Hall is the realization of a long-held vision of nurturing a vibrant culture in Sandpoint. “We invite the community to participate, so that our students can dream up their musical future in Little Carnegie,” she says. “The stage honors that we are not just consumers. We are poets and painters, mathematicians and musicians, and so much more.”
This past fall, MCS launched its Conservatory Concert Series. The series is comprised of six to eight performances annually, showcasing the highest caliber in classical performance by MCS faculty and guest artists. The inaugural Conservatory Concert Series event kicked off on September 23 with 20th Century French Bijoux for Flute and Piano, followed by an Evening in the Gardens of Spain on November 4.
2023 brings more incredible performances for you to enjoy. MCS’s next event is scheduled for February 17, with the classical-folk-modern Michel Palzewicz Trio. Their cello and violin’s classical heritage collide with the folk elements of banjo and guitar while an accompaniment of mixed hand percussion and contemporary steel pan spark the embers of composition.
2022 will conclude with the annual Music Matters! Christmas Concert, featuring MCS's Youth Orchestra, Youth Choir, Percussion and Bell Choir groups, on December 13; Amahl and the Night Visitors, a children's opera, December 17; and Stabat Mater, a Bel Canto opera program, December 22.
There's the Northern Idaho Flute Festival March 25 and March 26, 2023; Fiddler on the Roof Jr. May 18 through 20; with many more concerts and specialty shows including Spring Serenade (faculty scholarship fundraiser), Student Recitals (including Honors Student Recital) and North Idaho Philharmonia’s Chamber Music Festival. For a complete list of performances, visit SandpointConservatory.org/events.
To keep concerts accessible to all, MCS does not add the typical 12 percent ticketing fee that many other organizations do, as all should have the opportunity to be exposed to the performing arts.
Karin and the rest of the MCS family invite the community to Sandpoint’s hometown concert hall to enjoy the sweet sound of music.
Music Conservatory of Sandpoint 110 Main St. Sandpoint, ID 208.265.4444 SandpointConservatory.org