Less than three months after securing its lease and creating its name, the new Deanery School of Music has chosen its first executive director, Rishi Wagle of Bettendorf.

Rishi Wagle of Bettendorf is the first executive director of the Deanery School of Music.

A 2016 Pleasant Valley High School alum and 2020 graduate of Brown University, he will work closely with the board and with Hannah Holman, the school’s artistic director, to address the many initiatives associated with the start of this new and unique cultural organization serving the Quad-Cities.

“There are so many moving parts associated with an adventure like this that we feel it needs someone who is a quick learner with vision and experience to help the board,” Deanery board president Joseph Lohmuller said Tuesday, Wagle’s first day on the job. “A lot of things need to happen in a relatively short time. We are very fortunate to have Rishi to guide and lead us.”

“Rishi, who went through substantial music education here in the Quad-Cities, also brings leadership skills from his work experience while at Brown University,” said board vice president Trish Duffy.

“He is passionate about the opportunity to increase the local offerings of music education and especially to those who have less access to those offerings,” she said Tuesday. “His vision to help increase diversity in music by adhering to the possible interests of the students could increase our reach to the entire community.”

Hannah Holman, principal cellist of the Quad City Symphony, is artistic director of the new school.

At Brown University in Providence, R.I., Wagle majored in music with minors in theatre arts and computer science.

As an AmeriCorps fellow, he created and taught a math curriculum for tutoring high school students of low-income and underprivileged background through a company called Saga Education.

While at Brown, Wagle served as Technical Director of Alumnae Hall, was a Coding Club instructor for the French American School of Rhode Island, and instructed students in piano technique, coding skills, music theory and music composition.

“That combination and breadth of accomplishment alone was really intriguing,” said Hannah Holman,

The staircase at the 90-year-old Deanery, a former bishop’s residence at 1103 Main St., Davenport.

artistic director of the Deanery School of Music and principal cellist for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. “I am so looking forward to working with him on the tasks before us.”

Among those tasks will be assisting the board and its volunteers in raising money for building restoration and renovation, programmatic development, faculty recruitment and the development of a needs-and-talent driven scholarship fund and an instrument library.

The Deanery School of Music is located at 1103 Main St., Davenport, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. It is incorporated as the Quad City Music Academy, a nonprofit corporation with a mission is to enhance the appreciation and performance of music in the Q-C region.

The building — an imposing 90-year old stone and concrete facility, whose original use was as a

Ron May, director of music ministries at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, spoke with Hannah Holman in December at a first concert from the Deanery.

residence — has been vacant for over 10 years. It is about 5,500 square feet and will offer multiple-sized areas for instruction and performances. In December, the nonprofit entered into a 15-year lease with Trinity Episcopal Cathedral’s Vestry for the property.

It was originally was built as a residence for the Bishop, the chief cleric of a cathedral in the Episcopal Church. The Deanery was last used as a residence in 2009. The church researched possible uses for the building which would be compatible with the church’s mission, ideally

Holman playing cello at the Deanery building.

augmenting and enhancing it.

As a music school, it will be a venue for high-quality music instruction, performance and collaboration. Private and group lessons will be offered, initially in cello, violin, viola and bass for students seeking advanced training in preparation for careers in music.

On Tuesday, Wagle said: “I could not be more excited to begin working with Ms. Holman and the board on bringing our vision to fruition. There is no cause I value more than bringing music education to young musicians, and this is a tremendous opportunity to make a significant positive impact on the Quad-Cities community and its music students.”

The Hubbell-Waterman Foundation has approved a construction grant of $50,000 to the QCMA (which must be matched dollar for dollar), to be used for building renovations and improvements to the Deanery.

Plans call for music lessons to be available on a sliding fee scale based on economic need.

“This generous grant from the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation provides a springboard for us to seek individual pledges and contributions,” Joe Lohmuller, board president, said. “We have work to do, but it is a worthy cause.”

For more information on the school, visit www.quadcitymusicacademy.org/.

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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.