Nearly 300 students from Merit School of Music's Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory will perform an all-day classical and jazz concert known as "Performathon" on Saturday, February 23. The non-stop performances begin at 9 a.m. at Merit's Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, 38 S. Peoria St., in Chicago's West Loop.
The free, 31st annual event is a fundraiser that allows students-who attend the Conservatory at no charge-to perform before a live audience and raise crucial funds for the non-profit community music school. 98.7WFMT will broadcast live from the event, 9-11:30 a.m., and interview students for its Introductions show.
Visitors can expect to hear an eclectic mix of classical and jazz groups, such as:
Merit Opera and Music Theater Ensemble
Suzuki Alegre Strings performing in advance of their trip to Japan
Merit Trombone Choir performing "Aria and Dance" by Thom Ritter George, with guest soloist Jeremy Moeller, Principal Trombone of Lyric Opera of Chicago
Merit Wind Symphony
Merit Guitar Ensemble
Merit Brass Ensemble
Piano ensembles, and more
Performathon is open to the public and will feature a silent auction and raffle. Attendees can purchase food, drink and Merit merchandise.
Merit students are accepted into the 26-week Conservatory by audition only and receive a college preparatory level of musical training, valued at $2,500 per year, free of charge. Conservatory students represent an economically and ethnically diverse cross section of the Chicago area.
Merit School of Music, www.meritmusic.org, transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth by providing the highest quality music education - with a focus on underserved communities - inspiring young people to achieve their full musical and personal potential.