Deanery School of Music
Hannah Holman, principal cellist with the Quad City Symphony, got an early Christmas present – the keys to the historic Deanery at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Davenport.
Holman has had a longtime dream to start a new music school, which she did online in September, and she’s executive artistic director of the Quad City Music Academy. Following months of negotiations between the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Vestry and her academy’s Board of Directors, Holman now has a 15-year lease on the 90-year-old building and it's now known as The Deanery School of Music.
She says the building will be a venue for high-quality music instruction, performance, and collaboration. Private and group lessons will be offered, initially in cello, violin, viola, and bass for students seeking advanced training for careers in music, and others who just like to play, regardless of age or skill level.
“The Quad-Cities deserves a place where people can come and share music, reach wherever they want to get to in music – whether it’s basic skills so they can communicate, because it is a social thing, once the pandemic is over. And, or reach the greatest heights – just to have a place where anybody can learn, and
there’s so much to learn.”
She’d also like to offer body-awareness classes like yoga and the Alexander technique, as well as music history and theory.
The building at 1103 Main Street is an imposing 90-year old stone and concrete structure, whose original use was as a residence, and has been vacant for over 10 years. It is about 5,500 square feet and will offer multiple areas for instruction and performances.
It was originally built as a residence for the Bishop, chief cleric of a cathedral in the Episcopal Church, and last used as a residence in 2009. The church researched possible uses for the building, to be compatible with the church’s mission.
The Deanery is located in the heart of the Hilltop Campus Village Main Street district, and Hilltop director Scott Tunnicliff helped market the building to all Main Street districts in Iowa. He’s a member of Trinity Cathedral and also serves on the music school board.
The Very Rev. Dr. John Horn, dean of the cathedral, said the new school will expand its outreach in the community and enhance the cathedral’s rich musical tradition.
Holman envisions having future Deanery concerts in the cathedral. Holman has a school faculty made of many instrumentalists and teachers across the country, teaching students by Zoom, including master classes. Plans call for music lessons to be available on a sliding fee scale based on financial need.
“Even before the Deanery came to me, I had some dream of it being in an old mansion or big old house, ‘cause I wanted a warm, sort of family feeling to the school.”
The Deanery was recommended to her by someone who attended a QCSO concert in 2018, and after Holman visited, she fell in love with it.
“You walk in and immediately feel spiritually uplifted. The rooms are huge and gorgeous and large enough for a chamber music group or Suzuki group class. Yes, I just all of a sudden reignited my passion and my dream.”
The Hubbell-Waterman Foundation has approved a construction grant of $50,000 to the Quad City Music Academy, which must be matched dollar for dollar, to be used for building renovati ns and improvements to the Deanery. Holman hopes to have it ready sometime in the spring, and is planning a series of fundraising concerts there to match the grant.
“We can do a lot on Zoom, and it’s better than nothing, but there’s no substitute for in person. The sound and the energy, and you can see so much more – bigger picture.”
For more information on the school, visit www.quadcitymusicacademy.org.