Merit News

Seven Music Education Organizations Join Forces to Secure a $3.5 Million Grant From the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Establishing the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative

  Merit School of Music, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Sinfonietta, The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DePaul University School of Music and The Ravinia Festival seek to Discover and Nurture Promising Young Musicians from Traditionally Underrepresented Communities Together   An extraordinary $3.5 million grant over … Continued

3 Merit Musicians Participate in NYO-USA’s Summer Tour

    This summer, three Merit musicians were selected to participate in the Weill Institute of Music’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA) programs and experienced extraordinary performance opportunities, like the chance to play in Carnegie Hall, go on tour, and travel throughout Asia with their orchestra. Quincey Trojanowski, a senior bassoonist, performed with … Continued

ComEd Volunteers Help Beautify Partner School

    On August 8, fifteen enthusiastic members of ComEd’s awesome Strategy and Technology team, directed by Merit Trustee Jennifer Montague, volunteered their time and muscle to organize the music room at Pilsen’s Whittier Elementary Dual Language School and put a fresh coat of paint on the cafeteria walls. Whittier is a long-standing member of … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Emily & Samuel Alvelo

Meet Merit Alum Siblings Emily Alvelo & Samuel Alvelo Year(s) Attended Merit: EMILY: 1991 to 2001 SAMUEL: 1991 to 1996 Program(s): EMILY: Private Lessons Program and Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory Class of 2001 SAMUEL: Merit Music in Communities (formerly Bridges) and Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory   Instrument(s): EMILY: Cello and Voice (I also … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Neal R. Abarbanell

Meet Alumnus Dr. Neal Robert Abarbanell Year(s) Attended Merit: 1980 to 1982 Program(s): Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory Class of 1982 Instrument(s): French Horn Hometown: Chicago, IL Education: Residency in Emergency Medicine at University of Florida (Jacksonville); Medical Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed by an Internship at University of Chicago; Bachelors … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Jasmin Preciado

MEET ALUMNa Jasmin Preciado   Year(s) Attended Merit: 2004 – 2007 Program(s):  Merit Music in Communities and Instrumental & Vocal Music Program Instrument: Flute Hometown: Chicago — Hermosa Neighborhood Education: Bachelors in Human Resources with a minor in Economics, DePaul University & Society for Human Resources – Certified Professional Favorite Merit Memory: My favorite Merit memory is … Continued

Chamber Ensembles Reach M-PRIZE Semi-Finals!

  Earlier this month, five Merit chamber ensembles were named semi-finalists of the M-PRIZE international chamber arts competition at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, & Dance. Four of the ensembles–Precipice Saxophone Quartet, Purple Hippopotami Flute Quartet, The Bone Rangers, and Visceral Brass Quintet–are participating in the Junior Winds division and competing for … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Mezera

MEET ALUMNUS Jacob Mezera   “My recent experience subbing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was a dream come true!” – Jacob Mezera   Year(s) Attended Merit: 2007 – 2013 Program(s): Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory (Class of 2013). Jacob received Merit’s 2013 Mary Herron Replogle College Scholarship. Instrument: Trombone Hometown: Tinley Park, Illinois Education: Bachelors … Continued