Thank you, essential workers!

Artistic Vision: Taichi Fukumara |Video Editing: Christopher Bill | Sound Editing: Andrew Zweibel

Thank you, doctors and nurses! Thank you, grocery store and USPS workers! Thank you, parents and caretakers! As part of Merit’s first-ever Virtual Gala, Merit’s Philharmonic and String Orchestras recorded a moving performance of Holst’s Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity in honor of the healthcare professionals and other essential workers who are keeping us safe.

Have an essential worker in your life who might appreciate this musical message? Please take a moment to send them this video or click below to share our song of thanks on Facebook.

Music is a comfort, a source of community, and a much-needed outlet for Chicago’s young people. Help us keep the music going! A gift of any size will help Merit School of Music provide more students with life-changing access to music education.

messages of thanks from merit students

One video wasn’t enough to contain the gratitude of our community, and Merit students wish to extend the following messages of thanks to essential workers in all fields.

  • From Alina to Patients and Families: It’s been a hard time, but keep fighting! There’ll be light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re all supporting you!
  • From Zoe to Healthcare Workers: Thank you for everything you’re doing now – we wouldn’t have any fighting chance against a pandemic as dangerous as this one without you. No one is at the forefront of battling this virus as much as you are; know that there are people who appreciate your work out there and who are supporting you for every person you treat or help recover.
  • From Miriam to my dad, Ellyn, and all healthcare workers: Thank you for your resilience and courage as you work to care for patients affected by Covid-19. Whether it’s dealing with the sickest patients in the ICU, or dropping off meals to homeless patients, every small action matters and makes a difference. Thank you for your heart to care for and support people through this difficult time. And to my teachers: thank you for all you do. I love and appreciate all the work that each of you do to impact my life. Thanks for being encouraging, supportive, and just awesome people in my life. I’m sad that I won’t get to say goodbye this year, but know that you are appreciated and loved in this uncertain time.  
  • From Inae to nurses and doctors: Thank you for caring for your patients, and connecting them with their families. We appreciate your courage and tenacity. Thank you for all that you do. We won’t forget.
  • From Aidan to the Merit Community: The Merit School of Music has been transformative in one way or another for all of us.  During these trying times, we should all keep in mind how lucky we are to be part of this supportive and inclusive community.  It is truly an honor to be part of this project, and to know, that even through these dark times, music finds a way to bring light into all of our lives.
  • From Taki to the Merit Community: When I was in 6th grade I was accepted into the junior band and since then the amount I’ve grown through the program is unbelievable, now although I am not a current student of the program I firmly believe in the incredible community Merit has created and while we all are struggling in these trying times, the connections that music have brought us will always be there, keep fighting, and keep playing (or singing)!
  • From Nathan to musicians stuck at home: Amidst the confusing and depressing times in which we live, I hope everyone is staying home and sane. I want to remind you all that as stir-crazy as you are all going, we have one thing going for us that many others don’t. We have the ability to make music. Music is unique for many reasons, but partly because you do not need a classroom, sports field, or laboratory to make something beautiful (or merely pass the time). We only need our instruments and focus. But it also requires willpower and determination, which is something that I’m sure I’m not the only person who has had trouble with. So stay strong my musical friends and continue to do what separates us from most of society. Do it alone, with family, through Zoom for heaven’s sake! We WILL get through this.
  • From Amy to Ms. Tobin, Ms. Tae, Miss Iris, and all teachers: Life has been especially hard for everyone; it’s as if someone had hit the pause button on society but our lives keep going, sort of leaving the world behind us. A lot of us struggle saying goodbye to our past society and many are having a hard time accepting the world full of uncertainties. I know for me, this was kind of my year to shine and I hate that I can’t bring closure to what I love. Thank you to my teachers, who have been incredibly supportive and validate my frustrations. Thank you for guiding me through calculus, art, and music, even during times of chaos where it’s easy to lose your sense of self.
  • From Luke To All of the Coronavirus Healthcare Workers: Each and every person now working outside of their home in the real world deserves the unconditional thanks of the rest of the global population. Sadly, the efforts of the work that has always been done by these workers hasn’t been truly appreciated until this global crisis. What these workers, healthcare included, are doing for us is an invaluable service to everyone, everywhere. However, none of these services are as vitally important as healthcare, and none are as risky either.  The work that you are doing for the globe is incomprehensible by an outsider like me. An outsider, that is, to the most prominent threats to global health. Each day you, life’s last line of defense, go into a hospital knowing that the work you do will save the world. Each day, you also go into a hospital knowing you may have to say “time of death: 11:59.” Every day, you go into that hospital knowing that you have the highest chance of contracting the virus of anyone else on the planet. Every day that you go into a hospital, you are brave. Although it may be true that your work helps to fight the virus, the bravery, the dedication, and the ultimate valor that you demonstrate inspires us and gives us hope. In my opinion, hope is now the greatest force binding us all together. What’s past is a regret, and what’s now is fear. But you, the doctors, nurses, and hundreds of others, have inspired us to hope that the future… will be healthy. Health… which is the greatest thing that any of us can hope for right now. Thank you for your service, and more importantly, your courage. 
  • From Emma to anyone feeling lonely or sad: You are loved and people care about you!
  • From Shannon to all healthcare workers: Without you, this battle would be much more difficult. Though I cannot imagine how it is on the frontlines, you are in my thoughts. Thank you for your sacrifice. 
  • From Kahauri to all Healthcare workers: You all have an extremely important responsibility and we just wanted you all to know that your hard work and bravery is not overlooked and you are very important and everyone needs you all right now more than ever. Thank you all for risking your life and your safety for the better of the world, you all are very helpful and I know that I look up to your bravery and your persistence with treating this illness. You all have a bravery level that not many other people have and the help that you give and the amount of help you are giving is saving the life of many people and you all are giving people more opportunities in life by saving them, saving their family members and helping their families survive which is not only saving peoples lives but also saving people’s well being and their mental states as well.
  • From Nal to Essential Workers: First, I would like to thank you for all that you do during this time. The world literally could not function without you. Thank you for continuing your service despite the risks and for taking care of the sick, feeding the masses, and helping us all hold on to this new normal. I hope that once this is over, we continue to hold you in the same regard. I hope that the flaws in the system we’ve discovered will be fixed and the improvements we’ve made will last. Thank you for doing your part. I hope that by staying home, we can do the same.
  • From Christine to everyone: When times are hard, just know that everyone is there with. You’re not going through this alone. A nice thing to remember is that nothing ever starts without an end.
  • From Alyson to frontline workers: Thank you for all you are doing during these hard times. Thank you for putting your health and wellness on the line in order to help us. Do not forget that we are all in this together!
  • From Chris to Medical Workers and First Responders: Thank you for risking your health and safety to serve our communities. It saddens me that your work and bravery is not always appreciated by everyone in our country. I will always be truly humbled by the sacrifices you have made to keep people safe.
  • From Michael to Doctors and Medical workers: Thank you for doing your job in this time of crisis, and for helping those in need while exposing your own health to help others. It’s very hard during these times, but keep doing the best you can and keep pushing through.
  • From Olga to anyone who’s family is suffering from COVID-19: Stay strong, I know that at this time it is hard to keep a positive attitude, but in doing so, this will help whoever is suffering have hope. Know that doctors are doing the best that they can to help them and are risking their lives for them. I hope that whoever is suffering will be able to recover from this virus and that all ends well for them. 
  • From Khalilah to principals, teachers, and other essential workers: Thank you for all of the hard work you are doing to help families and communities  during these difficult  and unprecedented times. We are all grateful for and appreciate the work you are doing. All the work you do is helping thousands of people continue to survive during the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you.
  • From George to frontline workers: Thank you for your hard work and for sacrificing so much to keep our lives as normal as possible!
  • From Jonathan to Merit Philharmonic members: Thanks for all of the good experiences. It’s unfortunate we don’t get to play for each other in person, but I just wanted to emphasize how much fun it was to play with all of you. Keep up the great work and wish you all the best!
  • From Emma to healthcare workers: Thanks for your hard work and dedication. Thank you for putting your life at risk for the sake of others. 
  • From Darlyne to healthcare workers: We are all extremely grateful for all that you do to help others. I wish you all the best, thank you!
  • From Sunny to all the teachers: Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for pouring your all in continuing to educate us during these difficult, stressful times. Your steadiness keeps us all grounded and brings a sense of normalcy we are all yearning for.
  • From Emilija to essential workers: Thank you for all that you do. I do not think there are enough or the right words to express how much we as a society are grateful for you and your role in keeping communities afloat!
  • From Xochitl to field workers: Thank you for continuing to work and grow in the fields. Your bravery and hard work is inspiring and recognized, we pray that you and your families are well and healthy. Please be safe, and know that we do appreciate everything that you have done for our communities. 
  • From Kierson to healthcare workers: You probably know that everyone in the whole world is dependent on you and your efforts to try and save people from the newly arrived virus: COVID-19. With this weight on your back can be a lot to handle, so I want to encourage you to not look at this job as a “have to” but look farther in the future at the millions of smiles you can possibly receive after saving people’s lives. Even if it is one person saved today or tomorrow, you are allowing generations in a family line to continue and/or keeping a generation alive. YOU are the new spark in people’s eyes, the reason why we still have hope on our fingertips and why children and grandchildren don’t have to know the sadness of saying “Goodbye.” This is just not a ‘thank you’ for your bravery, it is my faith I have in you to save the world that millions of people, including myself, love and cherish.
  • From Enrique to my classmates: I’m glad that I was able to learn and grow alongside you. It’s unfortunate that we can’t give our farewells through a big celebration or in person, but it doesn’t mean the experiences we’ve shared are any less meaningful. It’s exciting to see where everyone is heading in life and I’m sure you’ll be successful no matter where you start or end up. I hope to see you again in the future and see all of your great accomplishments. I wish you the best!
  • From Yamina to the essential workers: Everyone is incredibly grateful for your hard work and dedication in caring for many families across the country. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, so just keep moving forward. Thank you!!