Stories

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

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

Alumni Spotlight: Kamila Muhammad

MEET ALUMNA KAMILA MUHAMMAD   Year(s) Attended Merit: 2007 – 2012 Program(s): Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory (Class of 2012). Kamila received Merit’s 2012 Mary Herron Replogle College Scholarship. Instrument(s): Clarinet – primary instrument; Saxophone – secondary instrument Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Education: Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University (received full scholarship) Memorable Merit Moment: One … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Pamela A. Meadows

Meet Alumna PAMELA A. MEADOWS Year(s) Attended Merit: 1980 – 1988 Program(s): Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory (Class of 1988) Instrument(s): Violin Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Education: BA from Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; M.Ed. from University of Illinois at Chicago Current profession: Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator at University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago Campus Favorite … Continued

Conservatory Pianist Joshua Mhoon Performs on Windy City Live

    Joshua Mhoon, a fourteen year old piano prodigy and Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory student, made an appearance on ABC7’s Windy City Live this month to perform and share about the power of a Merit music education. Like all Tuition-free Conservatory students, Joshua studies theory, composition and performance during his Saturdays at Merit, … Continued

Alumni Spotlight: Noah Meites

Meet AlumnUS NOAH MEITES Year(s) Attended Merit: 1994 – 2001 Program(s): Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory Instrument(s): Trumpet Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Education (most recent): Royal Conservatory of the Hague, the Hague, the Netherlands, Postdoctoral Study (Music Composition), 2013; University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, Doctor of Musical Arts (Music Composition), 2012 Current Profession: Musician, composer, performer, … Continued