Merit News

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

Merit Stages 1st Full Musical, “Into the Woods JR.”

Merit’s First Fully-Staged Production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods JR.” Musical a Marvelous Success!   Congratulations to our stellar directors, cast, and crew who went “into the woods” and “out of the woods” on Merit’s Anne & Howard Gottlieb Hall stage August 19 and 20, 2017. Based on the popular book by James Lapine … Continued

KGT Woodwind Trio takes first place in two national competitions in May

For the second year in a row, Merit’s KGT Woodwind Trio – Madeline Deanne (flute), Amer Hasan (clarinet) and Quincey Trojanowski (bassoon) – capped the year by taking first place in the nation’s largest chamber music competition, the annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition at Notre Dame University, winning the American Brass Quintet Wind Prize. … Continued

Merit’s Bone Rangers trombone quintet shakes, rattles and rolls to big wins

Merit’s award-winning trombone quartet, the Bone Rangers – featuring trombonists Omar Tlatelpa Nieto (grade 11, Lansing), Karl Kirkpatrick (grade 11, Mundelein) and Jonah Blake (grade 10, Chicago) and Michael Turner on bass trombone (grade 12, Chicago) – won several competitions in 2016-17. The quintet took first in the open division at the Midwest Young Artists … Continued

Merit piano prodigy Joshua Mhoon off to study at the New England Conservatory

Fourteen-year-old piano prodigy Joshua Mhoon is one of Merit’s most accomplished young students. During Mhoon’s five years at Merit’s Conservatory, he has studied with Lang Lang in Vienna, played live on WTTW-TV and WFMT-FM, been featured on ABC7’s Windy City Live as an “amazing Chicago kid,” played live at two Merit galas, and guest performed … Continued