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Merit Celebrates the Return to the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center on July 6!

Posted by Merit School of Music • June 28, 2021

merit school of music gottlieb hall

We are excited to announce the return to Merit’s Joy Faith Knapp Music Center in the West Loop on Tuesday, July 6th! During the last 16 months, we prioritized the health and safety of the Merit community by engaging our students in virtual programming. Thanks to the support of our families, faculty, staff, and the generosity of our donors, we found innovative ways to maintain high-quality music education while programming continued online. Now that the city of Chicago has begun to open up, we are delighted to gradually welcome students back through a mix of in-person and virtual classes this summer and fall.

Throughout this pandemic, we realized how much our mission to transform the lives of our students through removing barriers, must also include the barrier of proximity. When we asked our 2021 graduates about their favorite part of attending Merit in this strangest of years, many students responded that the sense of community was at the top of the list – which was evident even through Zoom. Over and over, we heard students share how much Merit was an anchor for them throughout the pandemic. Faculty too were continually awed at the resilience of our students and how much they came together in such a previously foreign format. Merit naturally became a point of connection for our students as continued music study was something they could share and depend on throughout the year.

“My favorite part about attending Merit is being able to make music with others. Especially during the pandemic, Merit has gone above and beyond in continuing their large ensemble programs and allowing me to play with others over a virtual setting.”

Hannah, Class of 2021 Conservatory Graduate

“My favorite part about attending Merit is the community. I’ve made some of my closest friends through my time at Merit, like the girl that was my first stand partner and the boy who stood next to me at my first group class. Merit has always felt so welcoming and nurturing.”

Nal, Class of 2021 Conservatory Graduate

Always focused on the safety of our students, families, and staff, Merit has been actively planning for a return to the building since the start of the pandemic. Our team spent the past 16 months preparing for a safe return by revamping our HVAC system to increase air circulation, and strategizing new building safety guidelines, such as implementing health screening procedures and scheduling more time between classes for deep cleaning. And when you return for a visit, we are excited to reveal an entirely refreshed lobby for you to enjoy! 

It is not too late to sign up to make music with Merit this summer. There are limited spots left in select summer camps and classes, so we encourage you – or young students you know – to register today. From band and string camps to workshops for singers and guitarists, we look forward to welcoming all our summer students to fill our building with music!  

Keep the music going for our students

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