Living in a rural area has many advantages and can many times afford different or unique opportunities, including music instruction.
For the past three years, the Highland Music School, under the direction of Angelina McLaughlin-Heil, has been serving Highland and the surrounding communities. The school, located at 180 Woodcrest Drive in Highland, provides professional one on one and group music lessons and education at convenient times and affordable prices.
The Highland Music School started out in space leased inside The Olde Wicks Factory. Angelina said, “I wanted to have a professional space to teach music lessons. I had other friends who were teaching out of their home which is not always the best learning environment. We joined together and started the Highland Music School, providing quality music education to the Highland area.”
Angelina provides a solid foundation for the school. A graduate of SIU-E, where she attended under the Honors Quartet Scholarship among others, she received her degree in music education. In 2015, she completed her master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Illinois State University. Besides teaching, she also founded and performs in several orchestras in the St. Louis Area. “Highland values art so much and that is what attracted me to this community,” Angelina said.
The success of the program required that Angelina find a new larger home for the growing school. The new location on Woodcrest Drive offers several soundproof rooms for individual education and practice with a larger area for group performances. “While there are a few improvements to make, the building was already situated perfectly for our needs,” she said.
The Highland Music School is available to residents from Highland and the surrounding area. They offer private and group music lessons for all instruments, including voice, starting at age four through adulthood. The fall session also includes several specialty sessions including Note-able Babies, Note-able Toddlers, and Note-able Pre-K. Young children will learn focus, discipline, fine motor skills, cooperation skills and a “life-long means of artistic expression.”
“The school is designed for both the serious student and those that are learning for an outlet for creative expression,” Angelina said. Students range from those in school who desire extra instruction and grown adults who have always dreamed of learning an instrument. She added that the Highland schools have a “wonderful music program” and that her school builds on lessons learned.
Ambitious plans lay ahead for the Highland Music School with the hope of creating the Highland Youth Orchestra. Once that is underway, Angelina hopes to establish an adult orchestra for the youth to feed into. “Our goal is to have the full-spectrum of trained musicians playing for the community.” Other goals include the incorporation of different mediums of art and musical theater class into the year-round class offerings.
Currently, the Highland Music School works with the Highland Arts Council and the Highland Public Library.
Angelina has been banking with Bradford National Bank in Highland since she began her business three years ago. She said the bank helped her make her “dream of serving the community through music” come true with a loan to purchase the new building.
Angelina said Bradford National Bank and her lending officer Rich Knebel were all “unified in helping to make our community better” with the music school. She added, “Rich was very clear on what I needed to apply for the small business loan and was always available to answer questions and guide me along the way.” She added, “I felt I could trust him and that he honestly wanted my business to be successful.”
Knebel said, “I really enjoy working with customers like Angelina. Her vision for the Highland Music School was clear and her commitment to making it happen was never in question. As a community bank, we love working with small businesses, who in turn, serve our local community.”
To register for classes or more information on the Highland Music School, visit www.HighlandMusicSchool.com.
Founded in 1867, Bradford National Bank is the 10th oldest bank in Illinois. For additional information, visit www.BradfordBank.com.