A Grand Opening for Village Center for the Arts
by Alison Clary
Nov 01, 2012 | 2046 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Village Center for the Arts had a festive grand opening October 13, a brilliant fall day befitting this exciting community center, now located at 1720 Linda Drive in Pleasant Hill. Mayor John Hanecak was present for the ribbon cutting and events included Project Rock Band performances, a family yoga class, magician, mural and hand painting and an instrument "petting zoo." The Village Music School along with Village Theatre, Village Dance and Village Yoga forms the Village Center and was founded by CEO Robert W. Konkle. Locally owned and operated for the past twelve years, it serves the Diablo Valley, San Ramon Valley and Lamorinda communities. It won the Community Service Award in 2011 for its many contributions to public schools.

The Village Music School continues to go strong, inspiring students of all ages in piano, guitar, bass, percussion, brass, woodwinds, strings, and voice. A range of in-school programs includes concert band, instrument rentals, classroom music, and group classes. Lessons in music, theatre, yoga and dance are all offered at the center and are available on school campuses as well. Konkle said "We make music and arts education accessible to as many people as possible. Our role is to provide a place for people to have fun and assist them in achieving their goals."

Children as young as pre-school age can take classes such as "Songs of a Princess" or "Storybook Yoga." Yoga classes are "a natural extension of what we foster here," exclaimed Konkle. "The focus on our students' happiness, confidence, and self-esteem has always been at our core." Teenagers may gravitate to the lessons offered in guitar, drums, and piano, and quality instruments are readily available for rent. Konkle encourages adults to take lessons at the center too. He says, “There's that old saying, 'the best time to plant an oak tree is twenty years ago, the second best is today."'

The Village Center's new location is a perfect place for education in the arts. With vaulted ceilings, an airy layout, and freshly painted rooms, the building has a clean, modern feel that is conducive to creativity and offers a fresh canvas for the imagination. It's a happening place, and even on grand opening day visitors could hear strains of music drifting from behind closed doors.

Executive Director Liz Angelucci Beggs and the entire staff are friendly, attentive, and clearly dedicated to the craft of making students and families comfortable and welcome. Konkle says teachers come from fine schools such as Dartmouth, Berkeley, the New England Conservatory, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and he looks for teachers who are articulate, professional, engaging, and most of all, kind. Konkle states, "Nice is mandatory around here." Indeed, the goal of the center is to be "a friendly place for learning." The numbers speak for themselves, having grown from five teachers and fifty students to twenty-five teachers and over 500 students a week.



Konkle grew up in Walnut Creek and is proud to create a local space where childhood memories can take root. "What students gain from us far exceeds music scales or dance steps; it can be a place where they succeed, are inspired, encouraged and complimented, and very simply, have a great time."

To learn more about the center and see a complete listing of classes offered, go to VillageCenterforTheArts.org or call 676-8400.

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