Merit School of Music

The Coda: Merit’s Alumni Newsletter

Hello, Merit Alums!

My name is Jennifer Montague, a Merit alumna (class of ’87), executive at NiSource, and Vice Chairman of Merit’s Board of Trustees. Did you know that today is Merit’s 45th birthday?! How so much time has passed, I do not know, but I am immensely proud to see how our school has grown from its humble beginnings in the Fine Arts building into the thriving organization it is today with our flagship campus in the West Loop and 25 Merit Music in Communities partners across Chicagoland. Today, Merit supports 2,700 students annually – and every one of us alumni has played a part on the road to this success.

To celebrate this special birthday, I welcome you to the inaugural installment of our alumni newsletter, The Coda! Merit is so excited to launch this newsletter written specifically for all of us who know firsthand the lasting impact Merit has had on our lives.

As you read this first issue, I hope you enjoy seeing today’s young musicians relishing their time as Merit students, reading about recent accomplishments of a few notable Merit alums, and finding new ways to connect and engage with the greater Merit alumni community. To help us grow our alumni base, I ask a quick favor: please share this preview of The Coda with Merit alumni within your personal network. While we have a healthy list of contacts from over the past 45 years, we certainly would appreciate your help to share this newsletter with anyone who may have slipped through the cracks.

I also hope you’ll take 3-4 minutes to fill out our short alumni survey. We want to know more about you too!

jennifer montague headshot


Jennifer Montague
Vice Chair, Merit Board of Trustees and proud Merit alum

Alumni Activities

Austin Paramore (’11) Writes Graphic Novel Inspired by Merit Memories

Rafael Noriega (’21) Named Outstanding Instrumentalist by Sphinx Competition

Four Alumni Share Career Insights with Merit Students

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