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Merit School of Music

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Merit School of Music

on 7 September 2017

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Transcript of Merit School of Music

Alice S. Pfaelzer
Tuition-free Conservatory


Who are we?
Kurtis Gildow, Dean of Program
Brian Beach, Strings & Orchestra Program Director
Hilary Butler, Strings Program Manager
Logan Massey, Band Program Director
Karen Mari, Band Program Manager
Melanie Lunardi, Voice & Guitar Program Director
Amy Riske, Piano Program Director
Ashley Summers, Piano Program Manager
Jenni Shanahan, Program Coordinator

Nina Stillman, Chair, Board of Trustees

What is the Conservatory?
This program represents the culmination of Merit's music education continuum with the most accomplished of Merit's student musicians. Entry is by audition only. In return for their hard work and dedication, Merit provides the Conservatory experience tuition-free for all students.
Your Time at Merit
Students present concerts and performances throughout the year. Chicago's finest music educators provide instruction through a weekly curriculum that includes large ensembles, instrumental technique classes, music theory classes, and a variety of elective classes, as well as live performances. Students can also participate in master classes led by world-class professional artists.
Merit Student Creed
Expectations for Students and Parents:
In the Classroom
Parents- please support your student's practicing and class preparation each week.

Students are expected to participate fully in each class by practicing all materials assigned and preparing any written work required.
Students must arrive on time and attend all classes each week.
If you know when your students will be absent, you must fill out an Absence Approval Form at least one week in advance. The form is available online, in the Student Services Office or at the Front Desk.
If your child has an emergency and must be absent unexpectedly, please call and inform us as soon as possible. You will be asked to fill out an Absence Approval Form for documentation.
Students are allowed
4 absences
per year.

Wind Symphony students are also allowed 3
from Tuesday night rehearsals.
An absence from any Conservatory class counts as 1 full absence.
Exceeding the number of allowed absences will result in a meeting with the student and his/her parents to determine whether or not the student will continue in the program. A student who is asked to leave the program may have his/her Private Lesson Passport revoked.
An absence for any reason from a scheduled Merit concert may result in the student being withdrawn from the Conservatory.
Concert Dress Requirements:
Merit Wind Symphony, Merit Philharmonic, Merit Jazz Ensemble,
and Honors Jazz Combo
Tuxes and black dress shoes (with black socks)
Black tops (shoulder-length sleeves or longer, no tank tops or spaghetti straps)
Black pants or skirts
Black dresses
Black dress shoes
(Skirts and dresses must be knee-length
while sitting
; please wear black tights/nylons.)
Guitar Ensemble, Junior and Symphonic Bands, String Orchestra, Concert Choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Junior Jazz Band
Black collared shirts, black pants, and black dress shoes (with black socks)
Black tops (shoulder-length sleeves or longer, no tank tops or spaghetti straps)
Black pants or skirts
Black dresses
Black dress shoes
(Skirts and dresses must be knee-length
while sitting
; please wear black tights/nylons.)
Conservatory Choir
Piano Students
Please be sure to check directly with your teacher to confirm dress requirements for each performance. When in doubt, please plan to dress in concert black.
Opera and Musical Theater Ensemble
Merit has a small inventory of performance attire available for loan through the Glasser-Rosenthal Library. Please contact the librarian, Danielle Seaman (312-267-3694 or dseaman@meritmusic.org) for more information.
Annual Events at Merit
Conservatory Competitions
Conservatory Concerts
Conservatory Concerto Competition
(February 3rd):
One movement of a concert for solo instrument and orchestra
Winner performs at Orchestra Hall during MeritFest or at the Conservatory Spring Concert
Application Deadline: January 21st
Conservatory Private Lesson Competition
(April 7th):
One solo piece of the student's choice, approved by their private lesson instructor
Winners receive a monetary award toward private lessons, and students must plan on returning to the Conservatory the following year in order to apply.
Application Deadline: March 18th
Winter Concerts
Band - Dec. 16
Voice, Guitar, Jazz, Instrument Ensembles & Orchestras - Dec. 17
Chamber Ensembles- Jan. 20
Solo Voice - Jan. 21
Piano - Jan. 28

February 24 & 25

Jazz Showcase
March 12

Spring Concerts
Chamber Ensembles - Apr. 21
Solo Voice - Apr. 22
Band - Apr. 28
Voice, Guitar, Jazz, Piano, Instrument Ensembles & Orchestras - Apr. 29

Private Lessons
30, 45, or 60-minute lessons
Financial Aid Available (2015 Tax Return Required)
Must enroll either with Student Services or online at
Absence Policy
Financial Aid Deadline: Sept. 30th
Stay Informed!
Please make sure that we an updated e-mail address for you!
All important Conservatory information will be communicated via e-mail, including Merit's weekly newsletter.

You can also find important information on Merit's website:
Questions or Concerns:
Student Services

312-786-9428 or studentservices@meritmusic.org

Kurtis Gildow
, Dean of Programs
312-267-4469 or kgildow@meritmusic.org

Logan Massey
, Program Director
312-267-4477 or lmassey@meritmusic.org
Karen Mari
, Program Manager
312-676-3688 or kmari@meritmusic.org

Voice & Guitar
Melanie Lunardi
, Program Director
312-676-3690 or mlunardi@meritmusic.org

Amy Riske
, Program Director
312-267-4467 or ariske@meritmusic.org
Ashley Summers
, Program Manager
312-676-3691 or asummers@meritmusic.org

Strings and Orchestra
Brian Beach
, Program Director
312-267-4463 or bbeach@meritmusic.org
Hilary Butler
, Program Manager
312-267-4472 or hbutler@meritmusic.org

Tuxes and black dress shoes (provided by Merit)
Please wear black socks
Black choir dress and black character shoes (provided by Merit)
Please wear black tights/nylons
Men and Women
Most costumes and props will be provided by Merit, although students may be asked to bring in some of their own pieces as well.
Conservatory Voice Competition
(March 19th):
Two contrasting pieces (selections may be jazz, musical theater, or classical)
Winners receive a monetary award toward private lessons, and a students must plan on returning to the Conservatory the following year in order to apply.
Application Deadline: March 11th
Fulfilling Dreams
Our Teaching Philosophy

The Merit faculty is dedicated to:

Treating each student with respect, patience, and kindness
Providing excellence in music instruction within a warm, nurturing environment
Holding the bar high by expecting the highest artistic standards at all levels of performance
Instilling the notion that perseverance is often the most important aspect of success
Helping our students to become productive, compassionate members of society, to develop as responsible human beings and good citizens, and to experience the kind of self-esteem that comes from hard work and achievement

About Merit
Focus on removing barriers to excellent, sustained music instruction for all students
A full continuum of programs from early childhood through high school (and beyond in private lessons)
Over 2,000 students each week in the building and another 2,300 students in Chicago communities through the
Bridges: Partners in Music Program
Merit Parent Association
Tom Sullivan,
Parent Representative
Student Services Team
Taylor Jacobson - Student Services Manager

Lily Floeter - Student Services Coordinator

Lewis Gilmore - Student Services Associate

Saturday Hours: 9:30am-2:30pm
Full transcript