Franciscan Sisters’ Conservatory Celebrates 90 Years

December 10, 2015

Franciscan Sister Carol Ann Gambsky announces Manitowoc Holy Family Conservatory of Music’s 90th Anniversary.

Holy Family Conservatory of Music sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity founded to provide music instruction and pesicrformance celebrates its 90th anniversary on December 10, 2015.

How did the Conservatory begin?

Holy Family Conservatory of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian CharityIn September 1925, Sisters Davidica, Benjamin and Celerine were sent to live at St. Boniface Convent, to generate musical interest among the students in the school. Within a short time so many children were interested in music lessons that a separate building just for music was needed. After a search to purchase a place, the Sisters moved into the 11th St. location. Holy Family Conservatory lessons began and furniture was sparse. But they had three pianos. The Sisters used piano benches as tables to eat their meals. From December 10, 1925 until July of 2013 the Conservatory was housed in a large brick home on South 11th Street across from Washington Park in downtown Manitowoc.Holy Family Conservatory of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity2

Luella (Nelson) Spadaro of Hawaii says:  “My brother and I attended the Conservatory every Saturday from 1930 to 1932. We travelled three hours by train each way to get there. My father worked for the railroad. I remember Sisters Davidica and Benjamin from whom we took violin and voice lessons. I am 95 years old and now live in a retirement home in Hawaii.” Over the years, more than 12,000 students ages 3 to 80 passed through the downtown Manitowoc Conservatory location. On May 19, 2013 the final recital was performed at the downtown site.

Tell us a bit about Holy Family Conservatory today?Holy Family Conservatory of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity4

On August 15, 2013 Holy Family Conservatory moved into the beautiful new Franciscan Music Center located on the campus of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family Manitowoc, WI.  Presently there are about 160 people, including children and adults, currently take lessons. The Conservatory also offers MUSIC FOR  TOTS™ for children ages 0-5 years old and the SILVER LAKE CHILDREN’S CHOIR open to students in grades 1-12. Holy Family Conservatory of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity3

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