Those passing near or visiting the Historic General Dodge House in Council Bluffs were greeted with the sound of music.
Ashley Mohling was playing her flute on the expansive front porch of the historic mansion. The period music floated through the neighborhood.
Inside, the sounds of Amy Redhege’s violin filled the first floor with music. In the third floor ballroom, Kelsey Meyer was playing the home’s grand piano from the late 1800s.
Meyer and Brigit Giever, a senior at St. Albert High School, were trading off playing the ballroom piano.
Giever said she was happy to play the grand piano, even though it was a challenge to play and a little out of tune.
“Playing the instrument in the ballroom made me feel like I was living back in the time of General Dodge,” she said.
Three of the four instrumentalists were students at the St. Paul Lutheran Church Music Conservatory.
Redhege, a violin instructor in Lowden, was in Council Bluffs with her husband, a Lutheran minister who was attending a session in Council Bluffs, and took advantage of the opportunity to play at the Dodge House.
Pastor Nathan Sherrill, director of St. Paul’s Music Conservatory, said Wednesday’s event was one of two summer events the conservatory held for the community.
“The Dodge House is a wonderful venue for music making,” he said. “It was a joy to fill the Dodge House with music, invite the community over and make the exhibits come alive.
“The evening — dubbed ‘A Musical Evening with the Dodges” — was a great success,” said Tom Emmett, executive director of the Dodge House. “We enjoy our collaboration with St. Paul Lutheran Church’s Music Conservatory. It was especially enjoyable to be able to enjoy the exhibits when the house was literally filled with music from the period.”
Christa Goodwin, a recent UNO music graduate who will begin working toward a master’s degree in vocal music this fall, teaches piano and voice part-time at the conservatory.
“The people who attended ‘A musical Evening with the Dodges’ really seemed to be enjoying it,” Goodwin said.
“St. Paul’s Music Conservatory is all about developing the next generation of musicians for service in both the community and church,” Sherrill said. “The music conservatory is a perfect complement to most non-profits as well as some for-profit businesses.
“In the case of the Dodge House, it is difficult to keep a museum exciting and stimulating in a smaller community. However, add musicians on every floor of the house, including the front porch, plus a little food and you suddenly transform a historic place into an enchanting place that has come to life.”
The conservatory has been partnering with the Dodge House for several years, adding music to special events.
Emmett said students from the conservatory would be performing at the Dodge House during the fall tea on Sept. 8.