Tag Archive for: historic

A Message from Gold Country Piano Institute

Pauline Yang

It was the collective dream shared by Allan Haley, Pawel Skrzypek, and me that helped to create the Gold Country Piano Institute in 1999.  Polish concert pianist Skrzypek had first come to Nevada County in 1990 to perform for Twin Concert Cities Association (now InConcert Sierra); it was then that we three began a wonderful musical friendship.  After several years of Pawel returning to concertize and teach, he invited me to attend his Warsaw Piano Workshop in Poland, which I found to be an amazingly challenging and positive experience.

I was so excited by the format of the workshop that I suggested to Pawel that we create the same kind of workshop back here in Nevada City where he could invite other master teachers to teach alongside him and offer their expertise to students who might not consider going abroad to study, but who could receive world-class instruction here in the States.

After a short 5-day experiment in the autumn of 1999, we were able to launch our 10-day Master Course in Interpretation at the Miners Foundry in June 2000. Over the next 9 years, Nevada County families opened their homes and hearts to over 100 students from 5 continents and 10 master teachers from Poland, England, Singapore, Canada and the U.S.  And our audiences were mesmerized by the talented young pianists who performed in the Stone Hall.

Now, after a 5-year hiatus, Julie Cobden, the Miners Foundry and I are so pleased to welcome back our alumni as part of GCPI: The Alumni Series.  We are thrilled to be able to present some of the students who have grown up before our eyes, and who are creating their own exciting professional careers.

Here’s to many years of presenting our delightful and talented GCPI Alumni!

Andrea Fox

Purchase Tickets Here

The Miners Foundry Needs YOU!







For the last year, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center has been hard at work quietly raising funds for a new wooden floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, one of their two great halls.  With the support of private donors, businesses, Nevada City, Nevada County and Nevada City Chamber of Commerce they have raised 85% of their goal.  The Miners Foundry is reaching out to help make this much needed facility improvement a reality for the community to use and enjoy for generations to come.

A new dance floor means more dancing, more events, more workshops, more fun for the entire community!

DEADLINE: Hurry! Donations of any amount are welcome. There is a deadline of February 4th for those who donate $1,000 or more and will have the name of their choice imprinted on the floor.

Every little bit helps in making this floor a reality for the community. Everyone who donates will be invited to the Miners Foundry Open House & Party for the Floor.


  • Your named on the floor
  • One Osborn/Woods Poster
  • Two tickets valued $20 each to any Foundry-produced performance
  • An invitation to the Miners Foundry Open House for the Floor
  • You will be included in all Miners Foundry signage thanking our sponsors of this important Dance Floor project
  • The personal satisfaction of helping improve the historic treasure that is the Miners Foundry

To make a tax-deductible donation you can do so online here or simply call (530) 265-5040. You can also mail in your donation to Miners Foundry, attn: Osborn/Woods Hall Floor, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA, 95959. For questions or additional information please contact Gretchen Bond at (530) 265-5040 or [email protected]

Why we need a new floor:


  • The existing floor is rough, industrial concrete left over from the time when the room was a machine shop
  • The concrete is dark and uncomfortable for standing and dancing


  • Beautify the Hall – lightening the room, improve acoustics
  • Attract more musical events that involve dancing
  • Provide an elegant space for dinner dances, night-club-style events and dinner theatre
  • Expand rental business to include more daytime uses such as exercise or dance classes
  • The floor will fulfill the vision outlined in Miners Foundry Strategic Plan: Become a first-class venue


  • Seal and level the existing concrete floor
  • Installing a moisture barrier
  • Installing Kahrs Activity Floor


  • Youngs Carpet One will install the floor, The Board of Trustees will manage the campaign

A Wedding Affair Vendor Spotlight

This Sunday, January 27, A Wedding Affair for All Seasons, produced by Joy of Life Events returns to the Miners Foundry, 11am-4pm.  On this special day, the Miners Foundry will be transformed into seasonal rooms showcasing some of the top wedding and event vendors in Nevada County.  Find inspiration and ideas, plus meet photographers, videographers, caterers, florists, musicians, and more to help create your perfect wedding.  Below is a list of the vendors that will be in attendance.  For more photos and wedding ideas go to the Miners Foundry Pinterest page here.

Gary Swenor Photography








Art in Bloom Flowers

A Family Affair Catering
Adrian Schneider Photography
Alta Sierra Country Club
Ananda Weddings
Antonio’s Catering
Art in Bloom Flowers
Bodyworks Salon & Day Spa
Brooke Video & Film
Christopher Armstrong Photography
Christopher’s Catering & Deli
Conscious Catering
Emily’s Catering & Cakes
Expedia Cruise Ships  
Fabric Boutique
Gary Swenor Photography
Grass Valley Florist
Harmony Ridge Lodge
Holiday Inn
Illuminated Invitations
In the Kitchen
Independent Productions
Joy of Life Events
Lighthouse Installation
Lisa Stine~Harpist 
Lj’s Catering
Lydia Photography
Magickal Florist
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Melanie Soleil Photography
Miners Foundry
Mountain Event Productions
Randy Jackson Photography
Sheryl Marie Photography
Sierra Photo Booth 
Snapshots Photo Booth
Special Arrangements
SRC Party Rentals
Storybook Weddings 
Tess Kitchen Store
The Music Express
The Sisters Two
The Tune Doctor
Top Drawer
Turning Leaf Studios
Up Towne DJ & Karaoke
Upscale Bathroom Rentals
Vj’s Salon
Wedding Cakes by Wendy

Weddings at Ananda







Wedding at Miners Foundry, featured in Martha Stewart Weddings













Planting Trees and ‘Herding Cats’

Planting Trees and ‘Herding Cats’
Words Carol Guild

Dan St. John has a passion for the Miners Foundry. He’s not one to brag or boast. Neither are the other volunteers who worked with him on the Miners Foundry landscape project, but a lot of fingers are pointing his way as the guy who gets things done — consistently.

Dan, who has served on Foundry committees before, came on board as the volunteer project coordinator, and, as Miners Foundry Executive Director Gretchen Bond dubs him, “Foundry volunteer extraordinaire.”

With the help of Nevada City Rotary, 49er Rotary, Rotary District 5190, Master Gardener Lyn Muth, Mike Nevius, Architect Diana Knutson, Boy Scout Troop 855, Eagle Scout McKiernan Flaherty, Wayne Brown Correctional Institute minimum security inmates, friends, family, family friends, friends of friends — well, you get the picture — Dan took the project to completion.

There was a lot of designing, planning, digging, uprooting, weeding, hauling, laying and planting to beautify this historic landmark.

Five invasive trees were removed and replaced with ornamental trees, which include:

• Japanese Maple

• Flowering Cherry

• Flowering Plum

• Red leaf Plum

• Redbud

Dan will plant one more tree, a native Dogwood that will live in the front of the Foundry. “But, I have
to wait until next February to dig it up from John Parent’s front yard,” he said. Thankfully for us, Dan’s
work is never really done. As for plants, Dan said there are about 200 individual plants from about 40
different species. Many were donated.

“My wife, Betsy, donated many plants from her gardens,” he said. “Lyn Muth and other master gardeners donated many plants as well. A-Z Garden Center donated some plants and gave me discounts on all other purchases.”

Some plants were also purchased from Prospector Nursery and Nevada County Farm Supply, both providing discounts and donations. “Hansen Bros. gave us a nice discount on soil, which made (the ground) more hospitable to plants,” he said.

Master Gardener Lyn Muth kindly volunteered to give plant recommendations and drew up designs for the project. “Dan was the moving force behind this project,” she said. “He spent so much time being there. I’m a bit-player … just my creativity. Dan’s blood, sweat, tears, and going through how many pairs of knee pads … He really deserves a lot of credit for this.”

McKiernan Flaherty took on the front gardens as his Eagle Scout project.

“I was really interested in this project,” he said. “And I was fortunately able to meet a lot of great people through this.”

Dan inspired McKiernan with his dedication to the project. “He is incredibly devout to the Foundry,” said Flaherty. “Just to see how much passion he has for the Foundry helped me to say this is something I want to take on as my Eagle project.”

The list of things Dan did or facilitated is long. From the onset of planning, through placement of historic artifacts and irrigation, Dan has been the driving force behind the project.

“His project management skills and tireless devotion to the project saw our dream become a reality,” said Gretchen.

“You’re correct,” Dan admits. “I worked a lot on this project. I dug in the dirt, shopped for plants, hunted for volunteers … but, as I told Gretchen, (he laughs) one of the big parts of my job was just ‘herding cats!’”