This Month at Merit: December performance highlights & more!


  • PMSA Band Collaborates With Chicago Freedom Ensemble
    In an exciting collaboration with Chicago Freedom Ensemble, Merit’s Proviso Mathematics & Science Academy (PMSA) band students demonstrated more than their instrumental skills. Read about how the collaborative event fostered creativity and community, and watch excerpts of the performance! LEARN MORE →
  • Donor Spotlight: Dr. Jennifer Turner
    Merit alum Dr. Jennifer Turner honored her mother, Dr. Audrey M. Turner, by creating a scholarship in her name that will provide support for young musicians in the years ahead. Check out the amazing story of this dynamic Mother-Daughter Duo! READ MORE →
  • Diversity in Percussion Programs
    Adrienne Thompson, Merit’s Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services, discusses the inequity of percussion exposure in schools and explores how we can all increase diversity in percussion programs in this article. READ HERE →


  • Miss Winter Concerts? Check Them Out Here!
    Last weekend, Merit’s Conservatory Winter Concerts triumphantly returned after a two-year hiatus. The concerts featured performances by 300 of Chicago’s most talented musicians. The entirety of the concerts were livestreamed and are now available for viewing. Don’t miss our fabulous students in action! WATCH HERE →
  • Nazeeh Named Semi-Finalist in Sphinx Competition
    A special shoutout to Merit string student & Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) fellow, Nazeeh Shahid, for being named a Semi-Finalist in the Junior Division of the illustrious Sphinx Competition. SAY CONGRATS! →
  • ‘Tis the Season for Performing!
    Throughout December, Merit students have been busy making music & spreading holiday cheer across Chicagoland—at locations like Harris Theater, the Cook County tree lighting, Thompson Center, Mary Bartelme Park, International Women’s Forum, & more.  VIEW PHOTOS →
  • Josh Places 2nd in Piano Competition
    Piano student Josh Gourdji (taught by Dr. Elena Doubovitskaya) placed 2nd in the Charleston International Romantic Music Competition for his performance of 7 Fantasien, Op.116, Capriccio by Brahms. Congrats, Josh!  WATCH JOSH PERFORM →
  • Merit Phil Works With Music of the Baroque
    Earlier this month, Maestro Kraemer and Music of the Baroque musicians mentored our Merit Philharmonic students through learning and performing Handel’s “Concerto Grosso” together.  WATCH A CLIP →


  • Victor Garcia & The JuJu Exchange Perform Together at City Winery
    We love collaborations between Merit alums! Trumpeter and bandleader, Victor Garcia, and The JuJu Exchange—consisting of Nico Segal, Julian Reid, and Nova Zaii—are performing together at City Winery on Jan. 16.  BUY TICKETS →
  • Chip Staley Conducts ILMEA Senior Band
    Wind Symphony Director, Chip Staley, represented Merit School of Music at the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) District VI Senior High School Concert Festival. This is a great honor for Mr. Staley and Merit! LEARN MORE →
  • Marquis Hill Returns to Chicago for Concert With a Message
    Alum, trumpeter, and bandleader, Marquis Hill, is performing at “Hypocrisy of Justice: Sights and Sounds from the Black Metropolis”, part of “The University of Chicago Presents” concert series. The event takes place on Jan. 14 and features an array of Chicago musicians. BUY TICKETS →
  • Erica Carpenado Tours with Luminare
    Violin faculty Erica Carpenado is touring throughout December with Luminare—a group made up of world-class musicians and founded by the former lead keyboardist for Mannheim Steamroller and Styx. BUY TICKETS →


  • South Asia Institute Hosts Indian Classical Music Workshop
    Our friends at the South Asia Institute are hosting an introductory workshop on Indian classical music called “Learning the Ravi Way” on Jan. 8. Led by Grammy-nominated student of Ravi Shankar, Gaurav Mazumdar, the event is open to both instrumentalists and interested listeners. BUY TICKETS →
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