Local Treasures with Pia: Music Conservatory of Sandpoint continues to flourish

Sandpoint, Idaho – The old City Hall in Sandpoint has been full of music and song since the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint moved in a little more than 12 years ago. The beautiful building on Main Street has served many different roles in Sandpoint history: it was built to be a new city hall in 1910 and back then contained both the fire department and police.

Now the old city hall is the home of the Music Conservatory which purchased the building in 2019 – and has been working on restorations ever since.

The latest big project is the creation of a performance space – Little Carnegie – which can seat 100 people.

“It’s a work in progress but with a little imagination you can see the stage emerging,” said Karin Wedemeyer, Executive Director of Music Conservatory of Sandpoint. “This will be our performance space. Both for our students and for visiting musicians.”

The stage will also become the permanent home of the Conservatory’s newly purchased Bosendorfer grand piano.

“It’s an extraordinary instrument and it will live on the stage permanently,” Wedemeyer said. “This piano will help us attract world class performers.”

A grant from the Avista foundation helped pay for the piano and the continued upgrades to the building.

Wedemeyer said the next big construction project is installing new energy efficient windows that look exactly like the old ones.

The cost of construction supplies has gone up during the COVID pandemic, said Wedermeyer, but she keeps adjusting the budget while trying to raise money for improvements. The new windows will cost about $180,000.

“We are setting the stage for this to become a green building,” Wedermeyer said. “Meanwhile we have so many great students graduating. Things are really going well for us.”

At Avista, we recognize our unique position gives us the chance to contribute in an impactful way and make a real difference in people's lives. Since 2002, the Avista Foundation has made grants totaling over $12 million to organizations that support vulnerable and limited income populations, education, and economic and cultural vitality. For more information on grant applications and geographical areas covered, please visit avistafoundation.com.

Learn more about the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint.

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