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Individual lessons and group classes for students at any level.
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Bringing accessible, high-quality music education to Chicagoland communities.
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The highest level of achievement for Merit students in tuition-free, audition-based programs.
Who we are and what we believe in.
How Merit makes a difference.
Merit's supporters remove barriers to music education, ensuring access for Chicago's youth.
Additional info for current and prospective students.
M.M Clarinet Performance – DePaul University (2021)
B.M. Clarinet Performance, minor in Spanish – University of North Texas (2019)
Finalist – 2019 George Papich Chamber Music Competition
Runner-up – 2019 North Texas Music Entrepreneurship Competition
Undergraduate Research Fellow – University of North Texas
Clarinetist Michael Thompson is a freelance performer and teacher in the Chicago area who eagerly seeks out opportunities to share his music with audiences and students alike. Though having grown up in Petersburg, KY, Michael has performed with groups nationwide, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, and the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra.
As a finalist in the 2019 George Papich Chamber Music Competition Competition, participant in the 2020 Fresh Inc contemporary music festival, and member of several international chamber music collaborations, Michael has had an equally varied career in small ensembles and solo performance.
Michael currently serves as a faculty member with Merit School of Music, The People’s Music School, and maintains his own private lessons studio. Outside of music, Michael tries his best at baking and is an ultramarathon runner.