Introducing Holy Names Music Center’s next Executive Directors!

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Archie Chen and Rhona Gouldson-Chen as the new Co-Executive Directors of Holy Names Music Center (HNMC). This dynamic husband and wife team, with their combined 40 years of experience in arts administration, music education and festival leadership, now bring their talents to our beloved community music school.

The Chens, known for their proficiency in directing music schools and international music festivals, as well as their accolades as concert pianists and pedagogues, are now eager to bring their extensive experience to HNMC. Their enthusiastic dedication and expertise are set to take the center’s legacy of excellence to new heights.

Under their leadership, HNMC aims to continue the legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Names (SNJM) in fostering talent and cultivating a profound appreciation for the arts in the community. Their vision for HNMC includes a balance of preserving the institution’s rich history, broadening community outreach, and sparking creative innovation.

When asked about his aspirations for HNMC, Dr. Chen said, “It’s an honor to be recognized and trusted with the leadership of HNMC, an institution steeped in history and one deeply entwined with my hometown, Spokane. This appointment is more than a professional role, it’s a fitting acknowledgement of our talents by the community we love. Fueled by this responsibility, our aim is to amplify the legacy of this institution, creating a nurturing space for individuals to expand their musical abilities and deepen their appreciation for the arts. We are committed to fostering an environment that not only magnifies musical prowess but also instills a lasting admiration for the arts within our community.”

Rhona echoes this sentiment, stating, “We see HNMC not merely as a place for music education but as a vibrant community, our newfound home. Our passion is to foster a supportive environment where people from every walk of life have the opportunity to discover their potential and grow. It goes beyond merely teaching music; it’s about guiding individuals to contribute in their unique way to the rich cultural landscape of Spokane, and even, to reverberate beyond our local community.”

The Chens succeed Suzanne Bjork, who, throughout her 15-year tenure, has shown immense commitment to HNMC and the advancement of music education within our community. Suzanne’s steadfast dedication to HNMC, coupled with her leadership during the years of its expansion, has left a deep and lasting impact. Her legacy is further amplified by the manner in which she championed HNMC’s evolution, building upon its historical roots as a department within Fort Wright College to become the standalone beacon of community music education it is today.

The Chens wish to recognize and uphold the mission of HNMC and the charism of SNJM – music for everyone. Our students have gone on to support the Spokane Symphony, regional music and arts programs, and beyond.

HNMC has existed as a separately incorporated ministry of the SNJM for 41 years. Some of our former students and faculty members have made their mark in the music world, including renowned baritone Thomas Hampson, a shining example of the potential that music education holds.

The Chens’ commitment to excellence in arts management, curriculum enhancement, and community engagement dovetails perfectly with HNMC’s history of fostering talent and empowering learners. As we continue to provide quality music instruction and performance opportunities, we are excited to see where this new chapter of leadership will take us.

Join us in welcoming Dr. Archie Chen and Rhona Gouldson-Chen to HNMC. We anticipate many inspiring musical journeys under their visionary leadership.

This new era for Holy Names Music Center begins July 1st!


Please join us for a reception with Holy Names Music Center’s new Co-Executive Directors.

June 30, 2023 from 5 – 7 pm.

Ralph Alessi concert to follow. Reception attendees may purchase tickets at the discounted member rate of $25.