Merit School of Music's STRINGTACULAR Set for 5/31 at Benito Juarez Community Academy

Merit School of Music's STRINGTACULAR Set for 5/31 at Benito Juarez Community Academy

Merit School of Music invites the public to enjoy Stringtacular, a free concert on Saturday, May 31 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Benito Juarez Community Academy, 1450-1510 W. Cermak Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

This annual celebration of string instruments brings together over 200 violin and cello players ages 4 to 18 from throughout Chicago, all enrolled in Merit's Suzuki-Alegre Strings music education program.

Part of what makes Stringtacular so unique is its format. The concert kicks off with Merit's most advanced violin and cello players performing the most challenging and intricate instrumentations on the program. As the concert progresses, waves of younger children at intermediate and then introductory levels periodically join their talented upperclassmen on stage. While the songs get simpler, the orchestra progressively grows in size.

By the end of the program, after Merit's littlest string players have toddled up to the stage, more than 200 Chicago kids young and old are all performing audience favorites in unison, prompting tears of parental pride while demonstrating the incredible range and opportunity for growth within Merit's acclaimed Suzuki-Alegre Strings Program.

In fact, enrollment in the Suzuki-Alegre program has grown so large that Merit relocated Stringtacular this year from its longtime home, the Harrison Park Fieldhouse, to Pilsen's nearby Benito Juarez Community Academy. Despite the larger venue, Merit still anticipates a capacity crowd of family and local community members cheering on Chicago's most talented young string players.

Merit's Suzuki-Alegre Strings program began more than 10 years ago in Chicago's Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods.Today it serves as an international model thanks to its traditional Suzuki training coupled with the integration of Latin folk songs, and its strong sense of diversity and community.

For parents interested in enrolling their children in the fall 2014 session Merit's Suzuki-Alegre Strings program, Priority Registration for current Merit families starts August 1, and Open Registration begins August 15. Class listings and specifics will be posted in July on Merit's website,