This Month at Merit: New staff, winter concert hightlights & more!


  • Meet Our New Staff
    We’re proud to welcome seven new staff members! Get to know these exciting additions to the Merit family. READ MORE →
  • Spring Registration Is Open!
    It’s not too late to join a beginner group class, Early Childhood class, or start private lessons. Perfect timing to learn a second instrument or for a younger sibling to start making music! REGISTER TODAY →


  • Winter Concert Performance Videos
    Merit’s 2021 Conservatory Winter Concerts were full of amazing performances by 300 of Chicago’s most talented young musicians. Check out clips and watch the full videos on our YouTube channel! WATCH PERFORMANCES →
  • Amarin’s Carnegie Hall Debut
    Piano student Amarin Wexler (taught by Ann Birman) made his debut at Carnegie Hall in December performing “Pagodes” by Debussy. His performance was part of the American Protégé International Music Competition’s Winners Recital (Amarin won 1st place in the competition back in 2020). SAY CONGRATS →
  • Piano Students Learn From Alums
    Piano alums Bella Berman (Columbia University), Joshua Mhoon (Juilliard School of Music), and George Siegle (UI – Urbana Champaign School of Music) returned to Merit to share college advice with current Conservatory pianists. LEARN MORE →
  • Beyond Beethoven: When Students & Composers Work Together
    Wind Symphony musicians had the opportunity to work with composer and conductor Kevin Day, debuting his piece “Havana” in a moving performance during Merit’s Winter Concert Series. Read about how this unique musical experience impacted the members of Wind Symphony.  READ FULL STORY →



  • Faculty Spotlight: Francy Acosta
    Meet Francy Acosta! Francy teaches voice and General Music at Merit, and is also a professional singer, songwriter, and musical director. Check out her recent social media spotlight to learn more about this outstanding member of the Merit faculty.  READ MORE →
  • Akshat Jain Performs with Chicago Freedom Ensemble in Dubai
    Tuba and euphonium faculty member, Akshat Jain, recently traveled to Dubai with Thaddeus Tukes and the Chicago Freedom Ensemble—a music group founded on the principles of equity, accessibility, and justice—to perform at the 2020/21 World Exposition. Watch a recording of their performance and keep an eye out for the Merit logo on Akshat’s tuba! WATCH HERE →
  • Demarre McGill Talks About Inspiring Young Artists on Arts Engines 
    Demarre McGill, Merit alum, Principal Flute of the Seattle Symphony, and Associate Professor of Flute at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, talks with Aaron Dworkin on Arts Engines about DE&I in conservatories and how to inspire young artists. WATCH HERE →
  • Andrea Salcedo Brings Flamenco to Chicago 
    Merit alum and flamenco guitarist, Andrea Salcedo, is travelling to Chicago from her home in Madrid, Spain to perform at Old Town School of Folk Music. Andrea will perform music from her debut album “Fuente y Cauce de la Guitarra Flamenca”. READ MORE →
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