Faculty & Staff

Kurtis Gildow

Dean & Vice President for Educational Affairs

The Chicago Community Trust Chair


Roosevelt University
Master's, Performance

Miami University
B.A., Music Education


A program administrator at Merit since September 2009, Mr. Gildow shares the organization’s passion for high quality and in-depth music training. He oversees a wide range of instruction for thousands of area students across four major programs—including classes at Merit’s main campus, off-site programs at multiple satellite locations, dozens of partnerships with Chicago Public School administrators and community leaders, and an in-school private lesson program.

Mr. Gildow earned a Master of Music Performance from Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Miami University (Ohio). Since 2007, he has served as Assistant Professor of Music at Concordia University Chicago, teaching classes in brass pedagogy to aspiring music educators and private lessons on tuba, euphonium and baritone. He has also served on the faculty at North Central College, and continues to teach and freelance as a performing tubist.

When not working, teaching or performing, Mr. Gildow enjoys spending time with his wife, Chelsea, and his two young children, Charlotte and Nolan.

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“I love Merit’s ability to reach a very broad student body from all walks of life. At Merit, it seems like anything is possible.”