On any given Saturday at Merit School of Music’s Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, there is always a flurry of activity. Students bustle in and out of the building, laughter erupts from the hallways, and of course, music flows from every practice room and rehearsal hall. Our Conservatory students are abundantly happy to be together, making music in person. The next few weeks promise to be a whirlwind for them—between our upcoming spring concerts, graduation for our departing seniors, Stringtacular, andthe opportunity for many of our young musicians to perform at our annual Gala on May 18 at the Four Seasons Chicago.
After two years of performing virtually for our Gala, our students eagerly anticipate the chance to perform live for many of Merit’s most dedicated supporters. “This year, because we get to perform at the Gala in person, there’s a mixture of nerves plus the excitement of getting back to something we enjoy so much,” shares Luna, a violin student and member of our Alegre Strings. For years, their “staircase performance” has been a signature staple of the Merit Gala. These talented young musicians greet all 400 guests on the grand staircase of the Four Seasons as they make their way to the ballroom.