United Conservatory of Music January 2019




WHAT ELSE IS NEW? Shaping the Future Through Music

A few weeks ago, our chamber music group played an awards dinner at a local children’s hospital. This was an exciting event, and it blew me away to see how far we’ve come in such a short time. A year ago, we didn’t even have a chamber music program. In December 2017, I put the word out to see if there were potential students who wanted to learn music for instruments we weren’t teaching, like guitar, voice, and piano. I quickly learned there was a huge interest in these areas and reached out to musicians who could teach these instruments at the Conservatory. This started our explosion of growth. We grew from 100 to 300 students, hired five full-time office staff, and now have 25 teachers at the school. As the Conservatory grew, I knew I had to grow myself to meet the expectation of our students and their parents. My role went from being just a teacher to the Conservatory director very quickly. I spent a lot of time creating systems to make sure that everything would work smoothly for our existing students and the new ones we had joining almost every day. It was a bit overwhelming, but I am proud of what we’ve accomplished and am excited as we look to the future. We’ve introduced group makeup classes and have plans to offer group lessons so kids can learn music with their peers. After the success with our chamber music program, we’d like to look into more nonprofit opportunities to support the community. As we attract students who are interested in discovering musical opportunities, we’ll also look for more teachers. Expanding in size means possibly opening another branch here in Fresno, so our students and teachers can continue “Our mission has always been to help the musical development for kids of all ages.”

to grow. Our mission has always been to help the musical development for kids of all ages.

We want any child who wants to learn music to walk through our doors and find a welcoming, supportive

community waiting for them. When I picture the future of the Conservatory, I see a place where people can make friends and enjoy making music. We can be more than a

place where you take music lessons a few times a week. Thanks to our talented teachers and dedicated students, we can share in strengthening the vibrant musical community of Fresno. Music is an integral part to everyday life, whether we realize it or not. From songs on the radio to live concerts to movie scores on the big screen, music is everywhere. At the Conservatory, we have the opportunity to shape lives. I, as well as all of our teachers, am excited to be part of shaping the lives of our students through music. It’s a great honor, and we look forward to finding new opportunities to share a love of music in Fresno.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of the Conservatory for many years and to those who joined us in 2018. We’re excited to see what the future will bring.

—Christopher Scherer

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