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Conservatory of the Ozarks moving past pandemic setbacks, focuses on future

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 10:26 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2021 at 10:32 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s been almost a year since businesses across the Ozarks took a hit from the pandemic with some even closing for good.

Those who stayed open are still feeling the impacts.

“During spring break, I started hearing these crazy things about a shutdown and a virus,” said Heather Leverich, owner of Conservatory of the Ozarks.

Looking back to last year, Leverich had no idea what the future of her music school would go through in 2020.

”They were like, ‘we’re going to take a month off then come back in May once things are back to normal after a month,’” said Leverich.

Leverich realized things didn’t go back to normal immediate;y. Over the next several months her growing business began losing students and even teachers.

”Nearly half our students we lost just at once,” said Leverich.

In September she was in the process of closing her doors for good. KY3 even reported on the closing and it caught the attention of a viewer who is passionate for the arts.

“After John saw the story on KY3 and came and donated the money, I started getting calls because other people saw the story. It got us some more new students,” said Leverich.

She said the donor recently donated again helping her school.

”I do think the arts have really been affected by COVID because it isn’t essential. Music helps us and all the arts. It helps us to be more human to be ourselves,” said Leverich.

Heather is grateful for the donations and hopeful for the future as her school begins to gain more students. Compared to last year, she’s beginning to feel a sense of normalcy again, including Sunday at their Valentine’s Day recital.

”To see my students perform is so meaningful to me. There were so many months when we couldn’t perform in real life it had to be virtual, which was great that we can do that. It’s not the same as playing and hearing my students sing. It was so wonderful being able to do that,” said Heather.

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