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Hawthorne Music Conservatory
The Hawthorne Conservatory is a unique music ministry of Central Presbyterian Church. Located in the historic Freeman House in downtown Huntsville, our school offers music instruction in a Christian atmosphere to students of any age, especially those who cannot afford music lessons. We have a very generous scholarship program and want to provide opportunities that students otherwise would not have. In addition to private lessons, we often supply instruments for students. Our teachers see their music as a true ministry, serving as Christian role models and mentors to our students.
The establishment of the Hawthorne Conservatory was made possible through a generous trust fund left to Central Presbyterian Church by Marguerite Cartwright Hawthorne. Part of that estate was designated to use for youth, music, and outreach in the community. It was with these concepts in mind that the Conservatory opened in 1996 led by founding director Rhonda Mitchell, former bassoonist with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
At the Hawthorne Conservatory, we believe in the power of music to bring individuals closer to God and to glorify His name. We want to establish a spiritual foundation for our students that will last for their entire lives.
Contact Donna Moore, Interim Conservatory director, at (256) 534-1255 for information about music lessons or if you are interested in teaching at the school.
Patricia Dreger Hinrichs, flute and piano
Ms. Hinrichs has had a distinguished career in Huntsville as music educator, performer, orchestra director, and arts administrator. She studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and played principal flute with the Huntsville Symphony for many years. In 1974, she helped establish the first beginning string program in Huntsville and conducted the city's first string orchestra for elementary school children. In 1980, Ms. Hinrichs initiated the Madison County Schools Orchestra Program, teaching strings to 500 students in 5 county schools. She has taught at the Conservatory since its inception in 1996.
Donna Moore, piano
Ms. Moore is a graduate of Judson College in Marion, AL with a degree in piano performance. She is currently pianist at Huntsville Park Baptist Church and has taught at the conservatory since 2002.
Linda Austin, piano
Ms. Austin earned her B.A. in Music from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia. A piano teacher for over 25 years, she is a member of the Alabama Music Teachers Association, the Huntsville Music Teachers Association, and the Huntsville Music Study Club. She served for eight years as Executive Director of the Mountain Valley Arts Council of Marshall County. Ms. Austin has taught at the Conservatory since 2005.
Bryan Page, trumpet
Mr. Page is currently Director of Music at Covenant Presbyterian Church. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition and trumpet performance from the University of Montevallo and a master’s degree in sacred music and composition from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Several of Mr. Page's compositions have been performed in Huntsville, including works commissioned by the Huntsville Master Chorale and the Hawthorne Christmas Suite, written especially for our Conservatory students for our Christmas 2008 recitals. Although trumpet is his specialty, he teaches other brass instruments. Mr. Page has taught at the conservatory since 2004.
Meagan Kish, violin and piano
Ms. Kish has been playing violin since the age of 3 and is both Classically and Suzuki-trained. She has a bachelor of arts degree from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. She has been teaching piano and violin to children since 2003 and started at the Conservatory in the Summer of 2011. Ms. Kish also teaches for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra School and conducts the Jones Valley Novice Strings orchestra as part of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra. She attends Central Presbyterian Church where her husband, Dan, is the Director of Youth Ministries.
Daphne McKinley, preschool music
Ms. McKinley is a certified Kindermusik instructor who is associated with the Fantasy Academy. She teaches music at Central Presbyterian's Preschool.