Stories

Alumni Spotlight: Abril

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“Music lessons are the last thing you want to give up, but sometimes they’re the first thing that has to go. Merit made sure that my family didn’t have to make that decision.”

A Better Dream of Myself

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In this video, meet four Merit students whose lives have been changed by access to intensive, excellent music education.

The Summer of a Lifetime

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In 2019, two Merit students joined the National Youth Symphony Orchestra. Learn how the NYSO gave them the opportunity to travel the world while doing what they loved.

Merit Wind Symphony Performs

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Merit’s Conservatory Wind Symphony  were invited by the University of Illinois to take a special tour of the school and perform alongside the illustrious Illinois Wind Symphony.

What Would Duffie Do?

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Since 1982, Duffie A. Adelson has dedicated her life to the students and the mission of Merit School of Music.

The Founding of Merit School of Music

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In 1979, Alice S. Pfaelzer and Emma Endres-Kountz founded Merit to provide Chicago students with transformative access to high-quality music education. This is their story.

THIS MY JAM: MR. STEVEN GOODEN

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What’s your favorite song? Symphonic Band conductor Steven Gooden loves “Blue Ocean Floor” by Justin Timberlake. Here’s why he can’t stop listening.

HEROES: ROLE MODELS IN MUSIC

Mentorship matters! Proviso Mathematics & Science Academy band showed younger Merit students what it takes to set and achieve ambitious goals.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: EMILY & SAMUEL ALVELO

Siblings Emily and Samuel Alvelo attended Merit as children. Learn how their time at Merit prepared them to pursue careers outside of music.

PASS ON MUSIC: A MERIT DONOR’S STORY

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Friend of Merit Diana Leifer supported music education with a particularly meaningful donation. Every gift counts!