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CHICAGO, IL – Chicago’s Merit School of Music is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) Finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

If Merit is chosen to receive an award, the school will receive national acclaim, a $10,000 grant, and an invitation to attend a White House awards ceremony in August hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Merit was named a Finalist for its accomplishments in youth after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities learning.  The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities reviewed a total of 376 nominations from 49 states. According to the President’s Committee, Merit’s selection as one of the 50 Finalists distinguishes it as “one of the top arts- and humanities-based programs in the country.”

Merit School of Music, meritmusic.org, is a non-profit community music school providing high-quality music education to more than 6,000 Chicago-area students, from newborns to age 18. Founded in 1979, Merit 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.  Merit’s esteemed faculty teaches a continuum of instrumental programs leading to the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-Free Conservatory for the most advanced and motivated young musicians.   Merit also provides in-school music instruction to more than 4,000 kids each year through its Bridges: Partners in Music program. 

As a nonprofit organization, Merit School of Music is devoted to giving all children, regardless of their financial abilities, the opportunity to grow through high quality music education. Merit’s student body reflects Chicago’s diversity with 44 percent of its participants of Hispanic origin. Eighty percent receive scholarships and financial aid.

To learn more about Merit’s music education programs, visit meritmusic.org or call 312.786.9428.

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