This Month at Merit: Workshops and awards for students & more!


  • Summer Registration is Open Now ☀️
    With options for all ages, instruments, and experience levels, summer at Merit is a great way for kids and teens to prevent learning loss, refine skills, and have fun! BROWSE CAMPS & CLASSES →
  • Save the Date for Merit’s Annual Gala!
    Join us on May 18 for an unforgettable evening at the Four Seasons Chicago. Honoring Lori Julian and William Blair for their contributions to the arts and featuring beautiful performances, the event is a can’t-miss for Chicago music lovers! MORE EVENT INFO →
  • Merit Welcomes New Faculty and Staff 
    We’re growing! Merit School of Music proudly welcomed 10 new faculty and staff members – Brianna Blake, Max Briggs, Becca Dora, Kaitlin Foley, Emory Freeman, Talar Khosdeghian, Sarah Mitchener, Hoa Pham, Madeline Woodworth, and Diane Yang.


  • Music Masters Lead Workshops for Students
    Merit’s Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory students experienced a series of life-changing workshops with talented professionals that offered industry advice, words of encouragement, rehearsal tips, & more. READ THE FULL STORY →
  • Student Spotlight: Xavier, Merit Music in Communities
    Merit Music in Communities cello student, Xavier, discovered that virtual lessons amidst the pandemic fostered new & creative learning opportunities. KEEP READING →
  • Sophia & Calleigh Accepted Into NYO2
    Two Conservatory musicians have been selected from the nation’s top teen instrumentalists for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra 2 (NYO2). This is a HUGE honor! Congratulations to Sophia Luong (Percussion, taught by John Ringor) and Calleigh Riordan (trombone, taught by Tim Riordan). SAY CONGRATS →
  • Barnett Chamber Competition Returns
    After a two-year hiatus, Merit’s A.N and Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Music Competition returned with a bang. Congratulations to the talented winners, including Merit’s own CC3 (Franz Cabillo, Rena Manching, Cole Moorhead), Quintet Hervor (Sofia Aguilar, Angel Cocone, Darlyne Hidalgo, Aidan Keefe, Natalia Noriega), and The Bone Rangers (Calleigh Riordan, Owen Riordan, Deaglan Sullivan, Padric Sullivan)! VIEW ALL THE WINNERS →
  • 17 Conservatory Students Make It to State
    We’re so proud of the Merit Conservatory band students who participated in Illinois Music Education Association’s (ILMEA) prestigious All-District and All-State Bands. Congratulations to: Sofia Aguilar, TJ Allison, Aleo Esparza, Sophia Fasone, Anly Flores, Cameron Hejny, Francesca Korbitz, Ben Lopez, Fabrizio Milcent, Natalia Noriega, Lia Pappas, Oliver Poole, Brady Rivkin, Isabella Rodriguez, Amanda Vicens, Ben Wang, and Colin Wunner! SAY CONGRATS →
  • Josh Wins First Place
    Congrats to Merit piano student Josh Gourdji (taught by Dr. Elena Doubovitskaya), who won 1st prize in the Classical Music category at the Charleston International Music Competition (he won the Romantic Music category back in the fall)! SAY CONGRATS →


  • Joshua Mhoon Performs at Carnegie Hall
    Merit Conservatory alum and current Juilliard freshman, Joshua Mhoon, performed pieces by Isaac Albéniz and Nikolai Kapustin at Carnegie Hall in New York City with a special surprise appearance by world-renowned pianist, Lang Lang. Check out the full story! READ THE STORY →
  • Anthony McGill Touts Merit’s Impact 
    During a recent conversation with Music of the Baroque, Merit alum and principal clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic, Anthony McGill, credited Merit for helping him break through the historic underrepresentation of Black performers in classical music: “Without an organization like [Merit], that believed in diversity and inclusion and equity, I wouldn’t be here today.” READ MORE →
  • Chip Staley Teaching FREE Online Clinic for GRAMMY Museum  
    Merit’s Director of Wind Symphony, Chip Staley, hosted a class during GRAMMY In The Schools Fest, a four-day online festival leading up to the GRAMMY Awards. DISCOVER MORE →
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