Jet-set Jams: A Musical Passport Adventure at Holy Names Music Center!

✈️🎶 Embark on an Exciting Auditory Journey! 🌍🎹

All are welcome!
Saturday, September 9th, 2023
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Holy Names Music Center, Spokane, WA

Dive deep into a worldwide musical journey without leaving Spokane. Holy Names Music Center is delighted to present “Jet-set Jams,” an event that promises attendees an auditory exploration through iconic musical cities. Experience the elegant harmonies of New York’s grand pianos, the passionate rhythms of Vienna’s majestic violins, the flamboyance of Seville’s guitars, and the operatic grace of Milan’s famed vocals and more.

“We wanted to create an innovative event that connects people directly with music, celebrates the universal language of music and allows participants to traverse continents through sound. ‘Jet-set Jams’ is our way of connecting communities with the world’s iconic musical cities,” expressed Dr. Archie Chen, the newly appointed Co-Executive Director.

Event-goers will not only bask in these global melodies but also have a unique opportunity to collect stamps at each musical station. And, what’s more enticing? Each stamp takes you a step closer to some enthralling prizes!

Raffle Prizes Include:
1. Lesson vouchers for piano, violin, guitar, and voice.
2. NBA Basketball Jersey.
3. Fjällräven Kånken bag.

Rhona Gouldson-Chen, Co-Executive Director, enthusiastically added, “Our aspiration is for Jet-set Jams to resonate with all – from families new to the musical realm to seasoned instrumentalists eager to expand their instrumental prowess. What better way to start the school year than by mingling with the eclectic and supremely talented teachers that represent HNMC?”

About Holy Names Music Center:

With roots tracing back to 1888, Holy Names Music Center’s esteemed legacy began when five Sisters of the Holy Names started offering piano lessons within a year of their arrival in Spokane. Today, Holy Names Music Center is an extension of the Fort Wright College preparatory department, welcoming music enthusiasts from all walks of life. The center has nurtured talents like world-famous baritone Thomas Hampson while collaborating with esteemed institutions like the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. With a vision to foster the transformative power of music, Holy Names Music Center continues to shape and inspire the community, empowering Spokane’s music community every step of the way.

Dr. Archie Chen & Rhona Gouldson-Chen, Co-Executive Directors of Holy Names Music Center

Dr. Archie Chen & Rhona Gouldson-Chen, Co-Executive Directors of Holy Names Music Center

With fresh leadership under Dr. Archie Chen & Rhona Gouldson-Chen this summer, the center is buzzing with ideas. The duo is keen on introducing innovative programs tailored to resonate with the contemporary youth, igniting their passion for music and the arts.

In the words of Rhona Gouldson-Chen, “Amid the overwhelming tides of technology and societal pressures, music emerges as a beacon, allowing our youth to experience moments of true presence, peace, and unrivaled joy.”

We extend a warm invitation to all. Immerse yourself in a harmonious adventure, connecting chords and cultures. Let’s celebrate the world’s musical treasure together at Holy Names Music Center!



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.

Celebrate with us!

Holy Names Music Center officially opened as Spokane’s Community Music School in 1982, built on the contributions and efforts of the Sisters of the Holy Names, who were committed to using music education as a way to serve their community. The center’s mission is to provide music education to all, regardless of age, ability, or financial circumstance. Today, the Holy Names Music Center continues to impact the community through its educational programs, scholarship opportunities, and community outreach efforts.

HNMC offers private lessons in a variety of instruments, including piano, violin, guitar, voice, and more. Additionally, the music center provides group lessons, and ensembles, as well summer programs and workshops, for students who want to deepen their knowledge and skills, find joy and reap the many benefits of learning music.

One of the center’s most important initiatives is our scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to students who might not otherwise be able to afford music lessons. Through this program, the center is able to ensure that all students, regardless of their financial situation, have access to high-quality music education.

In addition to educational programs, Holy Names Music Center is also dedicated to community outreach. Music 4 Vets provides free music lessons to veterans who are recovering from injuries or dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This program has had a profound impact on many veterans in the Spokane community, helping them to heal and find joy through music.

Holy Names Music Center also offers affordable rehearsal and recital space for community groups and individuals, providing a much-needed resource for musicians in the area. Recitals and performances are hosted throughout the year, showcasing the talents of students and faculty, as well as visiting artists from around the world.

On April 21st, 2023, the Holy Names Music Center will be hosting a fundraising gala at the Commons at Mukogawa, just down the street from the music center. La Belle Epoque, a beautiful Paris themed evening will celebrate the musical legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Names, Fort Wright College, Holy Names Academy, and Holy Names Music Center. The event will feature a delicious dinner, live music, wine, and a fine auction. Attendees will have the opportunity to support music in the community while enjoying a fun evening with friends and family. Performances will be given by Imagine Jazz, Dr. Archie Chen, Mick and Stacy Wetzel from the L.A. Philharmonic, and students of Holy Names Music Center, including Amanda Nguyen on violin.

The funds raised at the gala will help to support the center’s educational programs, scholarship program, and community outreach efforts, ensuring that the Holy Names Music Center can continue to provide high-quality music education to students of all ages and backgrounds in the Spokane community.

Students, faculty, donors, and friends are all invited to attend the upcoming fundraising gala and show their support for the Music Center. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the center directly. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to support music education in Spokane while enjoying a memorable evening filled with music, food, and community spirit.

For more information or to register for the event visit:
or Call (509) 326-9516
M – Th 10 am – 6 pm PST

Talent Grant Awards 2020-2021

Holy Names Music Center’s holds a donor supported annual Talent Grant competition to give HNMC students the opportunity to perform for an outside adjudicator with a blind ranking system and compete for a monetary award toward their music lessons in the coming year. This competition is unique in that the student’s talent and potential are both considered – making it possible for even a beginning student who shows great promise to win the grant.

Despite the challenges presented due to COVID-19 our students who had been nominated for this opportunity persevered. Students and teachers prepared their pieces and practiced diligently. With extra precautions in place in regards to safety the competition was held on June 19th, 2020. #TheMusicPlaysOn!

We would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s adjudicator Jim Tevenan, Music and Arts Producer and Classical Host for Spokane Public Radio. This year a total of sixteen students auditioned with teacher recommendations in the areas of strings, voice, and piano. We are so impressed by our hard working and talented music students and are pleased to announce this year’s winners!

Talent Grant Winners 2020 to 2021 fb post

The 2020-2021 Talent Grant Winners receiving a $500 grant:

Amanda Nguyen, violin, student of Mariana Dimitrova
Kailyn Wilder, voice, student of April Young and
Trinity Piazza, piano, student of Linda Siverts

Honorable Mentions receiving a $100 grant:

Elias Baldwin-Bonney, voice, student of April Young
Jade Frias, piano, student of Linda Siverts and
Noah Eddy, strings, student of Garnik Goukasian

All students demonstrated great musical competence, artistic sensibility, and promise. Congratulations to these wonderful, hardworking students and their teachers!

Thank you so much to our donors who make programs like this possible!

Talent Grant Awards 2019-2020

Holy Names Music Center’s annual talent grant competition is pleased announce this year’s winners. The competition is an opportunity for HNMC students to perform for an adjudicator not affiliated with Holy Names Music Center and compete for a monetary award toward their music lessons in the coming year.

This year’s adjudicator was David Dutton, specialist in period instruments, and adjunct faculty of the Whitworth Music Department (B.Mus., Oberlin Conservatory; Performance Diploma, Mozarteum, Salzburg): oboe.

Thirteen students auditioned with teacher recommendations in the areas of strings, voice, and piano. The Music Center has a long history of awarding these grants to students who have talent and/or potential making it quite possible for a beginning student to win the grant!

Talent Grant Winners Facebook 2019 to 2020 web


The 2019-2020 Talent Grant Winners receiving a $500 grant:

Jonathan Lew, piano, student of Greg Presley
Emma Metcalf, voice, student of April Young
Elizabeth Persons, violin, student of Mariana Dimitrova
Matthew Smith, cello, student of Sr. Karen Conlin

Honorable Mentions receiving a $100 grant:

Nicole Hindman, violin, student of Garnik Goukasian
John Malsam, piano, student of Sr. Kay Heberling

All students demonstrated great musical competence, artistic sensibility, and promise.

Congratulations to these wonderful, hardworking students and their teachers!

A Musical Feast Event Recap

This year in April Holy Names Music Center held our first ever “A Musical Feast” benefit to support music education and performance opportunities in our community and invite people to the music center to enjoy some great music food, and drink and learn more about all that we do.

It was a great night – Enjoy this little taste from the event!

Thank you so much to all the musicians, teachers, students, volunteers, our board and staff members who put in countless hours in support of our beloved music center and out mission to provide quality instruction and performance opportunities for all!

String Ensemble:
Eric Gallagher, violin/viola, (student of Claire Keeble (HNMC faculty)
Anthony Manoguerra, violin/viola (student of Claire Keeble (HNMC faculty)
Tiffany Wang, 2nd violin
Germaine Morgan, cello
Linda Siverts (HNMC faculty)
Jazz Ensemble:
Eugene Jablonsky, bass
Brendan McMurphy, trumpet (HNMC faculty member)
J.P. Shields (HNMC faculty)
Songs from Always, Patsy Cline:
Andrea Olsen, voice (HNMC faculty member)
Drew Olsen, piano

Special thanks to our wonderful sponsors who helped make this event possible!A-Musical-Feast-video-sponsor-thank-you-1332172160-1557431429234.jpg
Keep an eye out for our next sip and paint evening in October of 2019!

Scholarships for Music Lessons

Holy Names Music Center continually seeks to live up to it’s mission to provide high quality instruction and performance opportunities for all by offering scholarships to new and continuing students who may not otherwise be able to afford music lessons.

Over the past nine years Holy Names Music Center has awarded over $100,000.00 to help students young and old, from beginner to advanced achieve their dreams of pursuing a musical education in a variety of different disciplines.

Notes from our 2018-2019 students:

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If you or your child have always had a dream to learn an instrument, or train your own voice… and financial circumstances are standing in your way – we encourage you to apply!

Click the following link for more information about Applying for a Scholarship

Help us in our mission to bring music into the lives of as many people with sincere interest in learning music as we can!

Donate now or Mail your donation to:

Holy Names Music Center
Attn: Scholarship Fund
3910 W. Custer Drive
Spokane, WA 99224


Giving Thanks. Stop. Think.

This year, as for a great many of us, the holidays have crept up on me. It is, truthfully, almost a surprise that Thanksgiving is next week. As the colder and darker days have successfully crept up on me, so has the merriest season of the year. Long gone are the warm and sunny days of summer and here are the cold and wet days of autumn and winter. I myself prefer the long warm days; exercise seems easier, days seem somehow more carefree, friends seem more eager to socialize, and while rationally I know better, days seem to have more time to get things accomplished.

However, for as much nostalgia as I hold for each summer I think it’s important to mindfully live in the present. With that being said, this time of year always seems to be impossibly busy for me. Of course there’s always work, then you have school, you have after school activities such as sports and music lessons, errands for the home, dinner, cleaning the house, trying to connect and communicate with a family that is just as hectic; it all seems to be quite overbearing. To add to an already impossible load there’s planning with relatives about the upcoming holidays, holiday cards, concerts for the kids, Christmas shopping, Thanksgiving shopping; the list goes on. To digress, the holiday’s are often a time where we get caught up in the shuffle rather than taking the time to enjoy this special time of year.

Therefore, this holiday season I am trying to be intentional in my doings. Each day I have been completing a journal of what I am thankful for. As I have been documenting what I am grateful for, often the largest impact on my day, the thing I am most grateful for, is an individual. Therefore, I challenged myself to affirm someone, each day, for the rest of November. In all honesty, documenting my gratitude has been tedious more than it has been enjoyable. The antipodal experience for me has been affirming my friends and family. I love receiving thoughtful words of affirmation, it’s one of my preferred love languages, so I get similar enjoyment when I am able to give someone a thoughtful affirmation.

My effort this month has been to have an appreciation for the holiday season rather than coast through it. By my own measurement I think I have done a fair job in this endeavor but I will reserve my assessment for after Thanksgiving; my attitude on the actual holiday and dealing with the stress of traveling and coordinating with my relatives may very well counter balance the efforts I have made this month. 🙂

My encouragement to you, before it’s too late, is to take a moment and examine yourself. What is it that you have to be grateful for; my guess would be a whole lot. Whom in your life makes life more enjoyable? Is it your spouse or children; would your recent interactions with those people communicate your gratitude for them? Have you been preparing yourself to enjoy this holiday or will you unintentionally coast through it? Though this upcoming holiday may be all about food for your stomach, I challenge you to digest this food for thought. Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at HNMC!

Posted by Jon Terry

Holy Names Event Recap: Starry Night

On the evening of Thursday October 4, 2018 the Holy Names Music Center put on a fundraiser for our school: Starry Night, a dinner, painting session, and auction. The event by all measures was a complete success!!

It began with dinner and wine while Holy Names Music Center (HNMC) students played live music for the attendees. Starry Night goers took this time to peruse the auction items. Afterwards, patrons began painting with Spokane native and world renowned artist, Stan Miller. Following the painting session, attendees participated in a live auction as well as our scholarship paddle raise!

This event was held in the loving memory of Sister Celine Steinberger who passed away late last year. We sincerely miss Sister Celine but are proud that we could finish her work with this event and bring her memory honor. Sister Celine believed that HNMC is a part of the living legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary; founded on the simple idea that music is for everyone.

This event would not have been possible without the generous support of each of our donors and our presenting sponsor Garco; this event had many sponsors and while there are too many to list in this blog please click here for the complete list of our donors and supporters for this event. Our donors believe in our vision: to nurture a life-long passion for the arts by giving voice to the human spirit. Due to their generous support the Holy Names Music Center is able to provide music for veterans, put on free community concerts, and provide free workshops.

Without our donors and their support we would not be able to offer financial aid to students who may not have the means to pay for music lessons. We are very grateful to those who support our school and students.

Holy Names Music Center has brought lovely music to the Spokane community for 28 years and plan to continue our legacy, with support from people like you, for many more years to come!

Explore Music Week 2018


Each year in March Holy Names Music Center invites people in our community to the center for a fun event to learn more about our programs and what we have to offer. This year we held a week long after school instrument petting zoo, a musical craft, offered Music Together demonstrations, and had sign-ups for all ages to try a free introductory music lesson in voice or the instrument of their choice.

Did you know Holy Names Music Center has teachers for all of these instruments?

instruments.jpgIt was a super fun week and we enjoyed sharing our passion for music with everyone who came!EMW photos blog4Look out for next year’s Explore Music Week at Holy Names Music Center, or come by and visit us sometime!

March is Music Education Month.