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Music Village director discusses career path

Rachel Rahal | Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Music majors at Saint Mary’s learned about the path one Belle followed from the College to a community music school after obtaining her degree in music in a lecture Monday titled, “Life After a Music Degree: Community Music Schools.”

Kellirae Boann, executive director of the Music Village in South Bend, said the Music Village offers a unique opportunity for music majors to participate in the South Bend community after graduation.            

Boann said her discernment path in the music industry included a 10-year run with local country rock band “Everyday People.” To improve her ability to make a living, she said went back to school, obtaining a degree at Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB).

While taking classes at IUSB, she said she was invited to a presentation that discussed the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. During this presentation, she said she realized she wanted to build something in the South Bend community modeled after this school.

“I knew right away this was what I wanted to pursue after college,” she said. “Electricity was in the air during this presentation. I could feel through out my hair, it was crazy.”

Boann said the Music Village began as a concept in October 2011, after surveys were sent out to the local community to see how many people would be interested in a teaching and performing institute. A 97 percent return rate among 300 people let Boann know this would work, she said. In 2012, a Board of Directors was established for the school, though Boann said it struggled with funding.

“We started out with nothing, but we were undaunted and fearless,” Boann said.

The Music Village opened in June 2012 with only 14 students, two instructors and one available guitar class. Although the length of the process required patience, Boann said they received funding. The school is now a non-profit organization registered with the State of Indiana, she said.

  “I did not have to perform in order to have a career in music,” Boann said.

Currently, The Music Village is located at a central point in downtown South Bend, and offers classes in the genres of Ballroom, Latin, Spanish, Swing and International Folk and instruments such as banjo, piano, violin, vocal coaching, guitar and bass.

“We are about making music. I was not afraid to take a chance, [and] a year into this, … things are happening. Most importantly, people have music in their lives,” Boann said.

Contact Rachel Rahal at rrahal01@saintmarys.edu