Connect
To Top

Meet Gavin Farrell of Powers Music School in Belmont

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gavin Farrell.

Gavin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I jokingly tell people that my career really started in the parking lot of Harbor Docks restaurant in Destin, Florida. That’s where the singer and guitar player in the band I joined out of college got into a fist fight and essentially ended my dream of being a rock star. With the band breaking up, I had no income and moved home to help care for my terminally ill father.

After his passing, I got my act together and went to graduate school in Baltimore at the Peabody Conservatory. I stayed in Baltimore and at Peabody for 20 years, working on the faculty, then on staff, and eventually rising to be Executive Director of the school’s Preparatory division – a community school for music and dance that served over 2000 students a year in Baltimore and the surrounding communities.

Running a division of a larger organization had its plusses and minuses, but after 20 years of being in one place, I started looking for new opportunities. At the same time, Powers long time Director, Helen Clapp-Stevenson was retiring and the board of directors was in the midst of a search. Long story short, I applied, they liked me, I liked the school – and most importantly, the people here – and I won the job and moved to Belmont with my wife this past summer.

The first few months have been a whirlwind, but I’m thrilled with my new position and with the possibilities and potential of Powers and I’m looking forward to a long tenure as its Director.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Aside from the aforementioned fist fight, I’d say the road has been relatively smooth. It’s taken a long time to get to where I am, so any frustration I felt was largely due to being impatient with myself and the world around me. Now that I’m here, it’s like this opportunity was meant for me all along. In hindsight, I’m glad some other possibilities never panned out.

Please tell us about Powers Music School.
Powers Music School provides high caliber music instruction from a nurturing and talented faculty and community outreach programs that foster a lifelong appreciation of music.

The core of our school is individual vocal and instrumental instruction on virtually any instrument and any style of music. While most of our students are school aged, we pride ourselves on providing a lifetime of opportunities with early childhood classes beginning as young as six months old to lessons and ensembles geared specifically for adults and seniors.

Our long-running and extremely popular summer programs Pow-Wow and Music on the Hill ensure that students have year-round opportunities for music making while our outreach efforts like the Musical Story Telling Program and Neighborhood Concert Series engage Belmont and the surrounding communities in concerts and productions for the entire family.

What sets Powers apart from other community music schools is our faculty. 75% of our teachers hold advanced degrees and another 25% hold certifications in Suzuki, Dalcroze, or other methods. Two of our faculty have been nominated for Grammy Awards, while others have performed the world over – from Carnegie Hall to the famed CBGB’s nightclub in Los Angeles. Our teachers are a truly remarkable group of individuals who are a big part of why Powers is a special place.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I think it was standing on stage at Peabody last June during an award ceremony for students when I received a standing ovation from parents, faculty, and students who knew I was departing. As I think about that moment, it was a reflection of my work over the previous 20 years, and it was only then that I fully grasped the impact I had on so many people’s lives. It was in some sense sad, as I was leaving a place and a group of people I truly loved, but it also gave me hope for the future as I knew I’d have a chance to have an even greater impact at Powers.

Pricing:

  • Private Instruction – $89 per hour
  • Group Classes — $20-30 per hour
  • Ensembles – $10-20 per hour
  • Summer camps – $350-1,995

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative

    The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us...

    Local StoriesNovember 15, 2018
  • Boston’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in the Greater Boston area has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is...

    Local StoriesNovember 15, 2018
  • BostonVoyager FAQs

    We’ve prepared this FAQ about BostonVoyager (run by Voyage Group of Magazines, LLC) (“Voyage”) in an effort to ensure that anyone...

    Local StoriesSeptember 23, 2018
  • The Influencers

    The BostonVoyager owes a huge debt to the incredible local community of influencers – from fashion bloggers to foodies – who...

    Local StoriesSeptember 19, 2018
  • #BostonCreatives: the local artists who inspire us

    Through a mix of mediums, formats and perspectives local artists illuminate the unknown, color the previously black-and-white and add depth to...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • Makeover Monday’s: local beauty inspo that blew us away

    New week, new look.  Here’s some inspiration from some of Boston’s most gifted beauty professionals. 👰🏼💫 A post shared by Makeupjunkybyhilda...

    Local StoriesSeptember 17, 2018
  • The Thought-Provokers: Celebrating Artists & Creatives

    Boston has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous...

    Local StoriesSeptember 17, 2018
  • An Artistic Voyage: exploring local creative and artistic works

    Raw, unfiltered creative expression – from stories and photographs to illustrations and paintings – is at the heart of the BostonVoyager. ...

    Local StoriesSeptember 14, 2018
  • Flashes & Strokes: a Tale of Two Mediums

    The digital and traditional arts are thriving in Boston. From newer, technology based media like photography and digital art to more...

    Local StoriesSeptember 13, 2018