Due to construction in the area street parking is prohibited along the East side of Peoria Street and the North side of Monroe Street. Click here to view parking options. »

Merit News

Merit Gets Its JuJu On

Thank you to everyone who joined us at City Winery for The JuJu Exchange Benefit Concert for Merit School of Music on Giving Tuesday (November 28, 2017).  What an amazing evening and performance!  It was a pleasure to welcome the 300 attendees and give them the opportunity to hear and enjoy our amazingly talented Merit alums – trumpeter Nico … Continued

In South Shore, students’ free violin lessons hit all the right notes

In South Shore, students’ free violin lessons hit all the right notes CHICAGO 11/25/2017, 05:00pm Aaliyah Ries, 8, (right) watches as Ahria Maldonado, places the fingers of the violin instructor, Elisabeth Johnson, in the proper position. The students are preparing for a December showcase. | Leslie Adkins/For the Sun-Times When Breanna Bunch, 8, started school at … Continued

Nico Segal’s JuJu Exchange has a new story to tell

Nico Segal’s JuJu Exchange has a new story to tell Julian Reid, Everett Reid, Lane Beckstrom and Nico Segal form the JuJu Exchange. (Rene Marban) Greg KotContact ReporterChicago Tribune Nico Segal has stories to tell, and he’s determined to share them without saying a word. Segal is perhaps best known as Chance the Rapper’s longtime … Continued

Thomas Hampson Leads Masterclass with Conservatory Vocalists

On Saturday, October 28, Solo Voice students from the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory were treated to a nearly two-hour masterclass led by decorated classical baritone Thomas Hampson. Mr. Hampson provided insights into the confidence and self-assuredness required of singers, the challenges associated with removing oneself from the emotionality of performance, and the difference in approach and tonality … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Sol A. Flores

Meet Alumna Sol A. Flores Year(s) Attended Merit: 1983 – 1988 Program(s): Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory Instrument(s): Piano, Voice Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Current profession:  Founding Executive Director (since 2002) for La Casa Norte (LCN), a community-based organization in Chicago whose mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness. Words of wisdom for Merit students:  “Make friends, … Continued

Merit Recognized with 4-Star Rating by Charity Navigator

Merit has been recognized by Charity Navigator for attaining the coveted 4-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.  This is the third consecutive time Merit has received the 4-star rating.  The rating is the highest possible rating and indicates that the organization adheres to sector best practices and executes … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Dante’ Pope

Meet Alumnus Dante’ Pope Year(s) Attended Merit: 1995 to 2004 Program(s): Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory Instrument(s): Percussion, Voice Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Education: Fisk University, B.S. Political Science Current profession: Professional multi-genre drummer and vocalist and former policy manager for arts in education, energy, and homeland security through the Office of Congressman Danny K. Davis. Favorite Merit Memories: Masterclasses with … Continued

Merit Faculty Member Featured in NBC5’s “Making A Difference”

Merit was thrilled to have our very own faculty member, Scott Tegge, featured in a segment for NBC5’s “Making A Difference” on September 6, 2017.  The “Making A Difference” series aims to highlight Chicagoans who are rising to the challenge to help others.  NBC5 profiled Scott’s work and dedication with tuba student Isaias Nava. Watch NBC5’s story … Continued

Cedille Records: Blog Interview with Charlie Grode

Musical Partnership Award: Merit School of Music by Dan Hickey Every year Cedille Records presents the Musical Partnership Award to an organization that has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the classical music community in Chicago. Through their support of the Chicago musical community’s most valuable asset — its musicians and composers — Cedille’s Musical Partners … Continued

Merit on WGN Radio

President and Executive Director, Charlie Grode, and the Dean of Programs, Kurt Gildow, talk with Rick Kogan about their work at the Merit School of Music.  Charlie and Kurt explain the importance of having children experience live music, musical expression, and more.  We also learn about their latest activity to reach out to students – … Continued