Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
Established 1899
Students 1000
Address 1584 North Prospect Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Website http://www.wcmusic.org
McIntosh–Goodrich Mansion

The McIntosh–Goodrich Mansion houses the conservatory
Location 1584 North Prospect Avenue
Coordinates 43°3′2″N 87°53′33″W / 43.05056°N 87.89250°W / 43.05056; -87.89250Coordinates: 43°3′2″N 87°53′33″W / 43.05056°N 87.89250°W / 43.05056; -87.89250
Area less than one acre
Built 1903
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 00001045[1]
Added to NRHP August 31, 2000

The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is an independent music school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The conservatory teaches many types of music, including classical, jazz, rock, folk, and blues. It also hosts many musical concerts throughout the year.[2]


The school is descended from two music schools, both founded in Milwaukee in 1899: the Wisconsin College of Music, originally located in Mendelssohn Hall across the street from the Central Library, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, originally housed in the Ethical Building on Jefferson Street facing Cathedral Square. The two schools merged in 1971.[3] It now describes itself as "the oldest and largest non-profit independent music school in the state."[2]

In 1932 it leased the mansion originally built by industrialist Charles L. McIntosh in 1903. McIntosh was born in New York State, and became a banker in Denver, Colorado. In 1895 he moved to Racine, Wisconsin and bought a controlling interest in the J. I. Case Company. The architect was Horatio R. Wilson of Chicago.[4] In 1921 McIntosh sold the house to William Osborne Goodrich (1863–1956), who was married to Marie Best Pabst (1868–1947),[5] the daughter of Frederick Pabst (1836–1904).[2]


The school serves over 1000 students each semester and holds classes in multiple locations throughout Milwaukee County. It employs over 50 teachers and performers. Both group classes and individual instruction are available. It has an annual budget of about $2 million (70% of the operating expenses are covered by tuition) and is not funded by any government agency.[2]

Notable faculty and students

Noted faculty have included the pianists Adelaide Banaszynski ("Miss B"), Ralph Votapek, David Hazeltine, and Berkeley Fudge.[6] Other current and former faculty include Margaret Hawkins, Lee Dougherty, Pearl Brice, Benjamin Verdery, Rebecca Penneys, Tony King and Jessie Hauck.[3]

Noted students have included Lynne Arriale (pianist), Gerald Cannon (bassist), Lee Erickson (conductor), Daron Hagen (composer), David Hazeltine (pianist), Liz Lerman (choreographer), Liberace (pianist), Brian Lynch (trumpeter), Wayne Taddey (pianist), Gene Wilder (actor), and Carl Zeidler (former mayor)[3]


  1. National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Mission and History". official Wisconsin Conservatory of Music website. Retrieved October 16, 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Celebrating 110 years of musical excellence in 2009-2010" Milwaukee News, 25 November 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  4. "Charles L. McIntosh House" (PDF). City of Milwaukee. Fall 1985. Retrieved October 16, 2010.
  5. Laurie Arendt (August 2009). October 16, 2010 "Our founding families: Pabst Family" Check |url= value (help). Greater Milwaukee Today.
  6. Jarenwattananon, Patrick (19 August 2010). "Who Are The Local Legends Of Jazz". NPR Jazz.
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