Students Shine at Emerging Artists Recital

A group of seven students pose onstage with their teacher.

Fingers were flying across the keyboard and proud parents were beaming in the audience as several accomplished students enjoyed the opportunity to perform as part of the Emerging Artists Chicago series on Saturday, June 3rd. In conjunction with private students of the renowned pianist, Mio Nakamura, seven Merit piano, violin, and cello students performed with confidence and grace at the PianoForte Recital Hall in the South Loop. This concert featured students at all levels of learning, from only a few years of instruction all the way through those at the top levels of the Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory. Learning to be well-prepared for a performance is not a skillset reserved for only the most advanced; concerts like these provide opportunities for students at all stages in their development to put into practice their stage presence and poise.

Providing the opportunity to perform at new venues such as PianoForte is such a boon for our students,” shares Pamela Shortall, Voice, Guitar, & the Marlene M. Bowen Piano Program Director. It gives students new opportunities to step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves in new ways.”

A student plays violin on stage, with an accompanist playing the piano.

11-year-old Diego Azpeitia, who studies violin with Ben Weber, performed Humoresque by Antonín Dvořák at the Emerging Artists recital.

Performing alongside students from Ms. Nakamura’s private studio gave the Merit students an opportunity to connect with and learn from other students who share their passions. Ms. Nakamura’s students all performed challenging pieces and were a true inspiration to even the youngest Merit students in attendance. 

“We are truly fortunate to partner with Emerging Artists Chicago in a multitude of ways,” says Meredith Barber, Vice President for Development and Marketing. “The combination of performance opportunities for many of our students and generous support of our financial aid program at Merit is so meaningful and positively impacts our ability to provide high-quality music education to students throughout Chicago.”

We offer a special thanks to all the student performers, their families, and teachers who helped to prepare them for this exciting event including:

Nathaniel Alvarez, piano

Seungwha Baek, instructor

Samuel Alvarez, cello

Hope Shepherd, instructor

Diego Azpeitia, violin

Ben Weber, instructor

Olivia Han, piano

Elena Doubovitskaya, instructor

Christian Martinez, piano

Elena Doubovitskaya, instructor

Terence Wang, piano

Mio Isoda-Hagle, instructor

Aqeel Williams, piano

Seungwha Baek, instructor

Bravo to all the evening’s performers and thank you to Mio Nakamura and Emerging Artists Chicago for a wonderful collaboration!

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