Merit School of Music to Salute Renee Fleming at 35th Anniversary Gala, 5/8

Related: Merit School of Music, Renee Fleming
Merit School of Music to Salute Renee Fleming at 35th Anniversary Gala, 5/8

Celebrating 35 years of providing music education to Chicago children, the Merit School of Music will honor internationally-recognized soprano Renée Fleming at its 35th Anniversary Gala, May 8, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago. Tickets are $500. All proceeds benefit Merit School of Music and its mission to give children - especially children living in economically disadvantaged communities - the opportunity to achieve their full musical and personal potential through accessible, high-quality music education. To reserve tickets, call Merit School of Music, 312. 267.4461.

Guests at the event - which is co-chaired by civic leader and Merit School of Music Life Trustee Judith A. Istock and fellow Life Trustee Richard L. Thomas, Chairman (Retired), First Chicago NBD Corp - will share in the success stories of students and be treated to live performances by a diversity of Merit's soloists and ensembles. Headlining the evening's entertainment is the Carson Elementary Advanced Band from Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood. As a member of Merit's Bridges program, Carson Elementary hosts Merit educators at the school to not only train students to develop musical potential, but also help students grow as young citizens with a quest for excellence and a curiosity about the world.

In addition to honoring Fleming with Merit's Alice S. Pfaelzer Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts, JPMorgan Chase also will be recognized with a 2014 Corporate Leadership Award for its continued work with Merit School of Music over the past 35 years.

Rounding out this special evening are a cocktail reception with an open bar and hors d'oeuvres, a delicious sit-down dinner, and the chance to dance late into the evening at an After Party hosted by the Merit Alumni Committee featuring live music performed by the Merit Honors Jazz Ensemble.

Guests also will be able to read small notes of tribute from Merit School of Music alumni to the faculty members who have helped guide their musical expertise and careers beyond the school.

For its unwavering support of the school's mission, Merit thanks the 50 members of its 2014 Board of Trustees, led by Board Chair J. Barry Mitchell, Vice Chairs Ellard L. Pfaelzer, Jr. and Adrius K. Strimaitis, Treasurer Marlon Smith, Secretary Charles K. Huebner, Executive Director Thomas F. Bracy and President Duffie A. Adelson. Chicago Splash is the Gala's print sponsor.

For up to date event information, follow the Gala on Twitter at @MeritMusic using the hashtag #Merit35, and "like" the school on Facebook at

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