In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s current recommendations, Merit School of Music has closed the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and suspended all in-person activities. Virtual options are now available for summer camps, private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and small group classes. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this unprecedented situation.

To learn more about online offerings and supporting Merit during this time, please

Associate Board

The Merit Associates are a group of Chicago-area professionals committed to supporting Merit School of Music and its mission of providing high-quality music education to students in metropolitan Chicago. The Merit Associates strive to develop themselves as model philanthropic leaders and next-generation advocates for the musical arts. Their primary goal is to work together to develop new resources for and to increase public awareness of Merit’s music education programs and services.

The Associates also sponsor an annual fundraising event in the fall that helps support Merit School of Music’s music education programs and helps keep the cost of programming affordable for all Chicago families.


Michael Andrews
Reynolds Consumer Products LLC

Vice Chair
Emily Schmitt
Smith Bucklin

By-laws Chair
Andrew Scroggins
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Finance Chair
Jake Schnur
Fifth Third Bank

Fundraising Chair
Tyler Groharing
JPMorgan Chase

Member Relations Chair
John Kalil

School Relations
Gabrielle Klein
Spencer Stuart



Nicole Allen
Jenner & Block LLP – Chicago

Alexandra Armada
Rush University Medical Center

John Boryk
PNC Bank

Lori Bravi
Shirley Ryan Ability Lab

Fred Carmean

Luis Catalan

Tucker Deeter
Wenk Aviation Insurance

Jamal Elam
Encore Event Technologies

Allison Fox

Jerald Gary
Community Capital Investment Partners LLC

Jacob Gehl
McDonald’s Corp

McKay Harline
Mayer Brown LLP

Damian Joseph
SE10 Creative

John Thomas Lang

Terrance McKinneyᴬ
Toast – New York

Pamela Meadowsᴬ
University of Illinois at Chicago

Emily Meier
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Christine Nelson
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Deborah Newman

LeRoy Ousley, Jr.
Moody’s Investor Service

Nishad Parmar
LOUD Capital

María Luisa Paúl
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Elizabeth Polit
Nora & Partners LLP

Geoff Rothman

Annette Sayre
West Monroe Partners

Adam Shafer
Museum of Contemporary Art

Joshua Sultan
Nora & Partners, LLP

Catie Wloch
Davis Bancorp

Matt Wloch
JPMorgan Chase

Kensington Wolgamott
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP



Tammy Adams

Matthew Hanna
CIT Bank

Sara Kobaissi
Deloitte & Touche LLP – Chicago

Mary Pat Kohberger
Deloitte & Touche LLP – Chicago

Cathleen Marine

Rachel Pawlisz
Kaplan Higher Education

Colleen Walter
United States District Court for Northern District Illinois

James Walter
Northwestern Memorial Hospital


ᴬ Merit Alum

Steven, viola

"My dream is to be a professional violist, and Merit is helping me to reach this goal with quality training and excellent performance opportunities."

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