Spain Park Music Conservatory

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mission Statement

We strive to provide every student an opportunity to grow, learn and thrive musically by providing instruction with highly qualified musicians who will assist the students to set goals, nurture their development through consistent, thoughtful pedagogy, and ensure they have the skills necessary to succeed in any personal musical endeavor. Lessons will be held at Spain Park High School and/or Berry Middle School by highly qualified professional musicians who specialize on their instrument.

The Attendance Guidelines are in place to ensure an environment where all students will benefit and grow from the structure/environment of the lesson conservatory.

Payment and Attendance Guidelines:

  • Lessons are PRE-PAID. All students will pay at the first lesson of the month for the entire month of lessons. NO EXCEPTIONS!!
  • Checks are made payable to the individual Conservatory instructors. Memo/Subject Line: Student name & month of lessons. Payment should be given to the individual Conservatory instructors.
  • Students and Instructors are expected to attend a minimum of 3 lessons per month. (One cancellation each). Most months will have 4 lessons.
  • If an instructor needs to cancel, they must contact each student as well as the Spain Park Band representative at least 24 hours in advance. (Exceptions for extreme emergencies)
  • If a student needs to cancel, they must contact their lesson teacher (NOT the Band Directors). Exceptions for extreme emergencies. If the teacher is not contacted 24 hours in advance, it will be considered a NO-SHOW and the lesson will be charged by the instructor.
  • If an instructor or student cancels, they are expected to make up the lessons within the same month, unless the cancellation occurs during the last week, in which case it can be made up during the following month.
  • You can “make-up” lessons by either adding a lesson to the month or extending 1 or 2 lessons.
  • Some lessons may be held on Hoover City Schools Teacher work days. These will be reviewed on a monthly basis with the Band Director, and the Spain Park Band representative will notify parents/students through email.
  • Lessons will be held on Early Release days.
  • In the case that a student or instructor has several Cancellations or No-shows, they will be contacted by the Spain Park Band representative via email, phone, or letter to help solve the conflicts. If after initial contacts by Spain Park Band they may be asked to re-evaluate their commitment to the musical learning process, or be asked to leave the conservatory.
  • Students studying privately are expected to attend each lesson with all necessary musical equipment, including any necessary sheet music, instrument and pencil.
  • Students are expected to practice assignments during the week between lessons and be prepared to perform assigned material during their lesson.
  • Students are expected to come to their lesson early enough to warm-up properly before their lesson.

Conservatory Fees

The cost of lessons will be as follows or may vary slightly by instructor:

Single Private Lessons (available to all students)
30 min lesson = $25.00
45 min lesson = $37.50
60 min lesson = $50.00

Teachers (listed alphabetically)


Barbara Harrington, flute

BHarringtonA native of New York State, Ms. Harrington received her Master of Arts in Music Education from UAB in 2007, preceded by Flute Performance degrees from Florida State University (1998) and the New England Conservatory of Music (1994). For 10 years, Ms. Harrington had an active orchestra career, holding Principal Flute positions with the Orlando Philharmonic, Evansville (IN) Philharmonic, and Owensboro (KY) Symphony, and section positions with the Saint Louis, Alabama, and Brevard (FL) Symphonies.  She has worked with many other orchestras, including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, and the Florida Orchestra.   While a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, Ms. Harrington appeared at Carnegie Hall on tour, and was heard on several radio broadcasts.  On scholarship, she has participated in the Aspen, Domaine Forget (Quebec, CA), and Grand Teton music festivals.

Ms. Harrington has served on the faculties of the University of Montevallo, Alabama School of Fine Arts, University of Evansville, and Innsbruck Music Festival in St. Louis.  She maintains a large, selective teaching studio in Birmingham, from which students consistently place into All-County, District, and State Bands, as well as All-State Orchestra, Alabama Youth Symphony, and Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.  She has worked as flute sectional instructor and clinician at many secondary schools in the greater Birmingham area, and has presented chamber music concerts in many local elementary schools.

Sandra Hill, clarinet

SHill SmallSandra Hill, after careers as both a U.S. Army Clarinetist and also a public school teacher, is now teaching private music lessons and assisting area band directors with group instruction. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from David Lipscomb University and a Master of Arts in Music Education from the University of Alabama. She graduated as the Distinguished Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army’s Primary Leadership Development Course and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course. She is a National Board Certified Teacher who currently performs as a member of Celebration Winds, a local community band.


Kelly Newport, oboe

Kelly Newport earned degrees in oboe performance at both Southern Methodist University and the Juilliard School. After graduation, she was a member of the Natal Philharmonic in Durban, South Africa for six years, starting there as a section player and later becoming principal. After returning to the States in 1994, Kelly did post-graduate work at Rice University, and was principal oboe of the Victoria Symphony in Victoria, Texas. She has also has played oboe and English horn with the Dallas Symphony, The Houston Ballet Orchestra, and the Alabama Symphony.

Ms. Newport has taught students in South Africa, and in the Dallas, Houston, and Birmingham areas. She is committed to teaching, and hopes to inspire her students to achieve their goals through disciplined practice and by helping them grow in their appreciation of the beauty and fun of music.

Brandon Slocumb, low brass

Slocumb SmallBrandon Slocumb, low brass instructor (trombone, baritone, and tuba), has been teaching privately for 11 years in Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina. After completing a Bachelors Degree in Music Education at Samford University he moved to Texas to complete a Masters Degree at the world-renowned University of North Texas College of Music. A desire to teach at the college level led Dr. Slocumb to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2009. While at UNCG, he conducted extensive research in music performance anxiety and audition preparation, ultimately publishing a dissertation on the subject of anxiety and how it relates to brass performance. This study has lead to many opportunities teaching master-classes on brass fundamentals and audition preparation.  Dr. Slocumb has a track record of successful students, some of whom are now professional musicians. He is also proud to have a 100% success rate in preparing students for college scholarship auditions. While in Birmingham, he has been on staff at Vestavia, Spain Park, and Moody High Schools as well as Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, and Alabama A&M University. As a performer, Dr. Slocumb has been very active in the southeast playing with several big bands and backing up performers such as The Temptations, Wayne Newton, The Three Tenors, and Natalie Cole.

Nick Boyd, saxophone

Nicholas Boyd is a 2006 graduate of Spain Park HS.  More biographical information coming soon!