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Merit Tuba Christmas kicks off full day of free live music Saturday, December 21 at 9:30 a.m.

CHICAGO, IL – If you enjoy hearing live classical, chamber, jazz or holiday music – for free – then Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria in Chicago’s West Loop, should be your entertainment destination on Friday, December 13, Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21.

That’s when Merit will gather Chicago’s top music students enrolled in the school’s Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory program to perform five free concerts over two weekends full of carols, spirituals, pop standards and traditional and international songs.

Merit’s Conservatory Winter Concert series kicks off on Friday, December 13 at 7 p.m. with the Chamber Winter Concert.

The series returns Friday, December 20 at 7 p.m. with a concert headlined by the Merit Symphonic Band and the Merit Wind Symphony. Highlights of the Wind Symphony program are SHOUTOUT by Chicago composer R. Etezady and the Chicago premiere of Concerto for Three Trombones by Chicago composer J. Stephenson featuring soloists Sean Tripp, Kevin Dombrowski and Timothy Riordan.

On Saturday, December 21 at 9:30 a.m., a full day of live music starts with the Merit Tuba Christmas, an annual holiday tradition at the school. A contingent of more than a dozen Tuba players will serenade concert-goers as they arrive for the 10 a.m. concert featuring Merit’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Opera and Music Theater Ensemble, Junior Choir and Conservatory Choir.

At 1 p.m., enjoy the Merit Trombone Choir, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Merit String Orchestra and Merit Chamber Orchestra.

At 3 p.m., swing to the sounds of Merit’s Junior Jazz Band, Merit Jazz Ensemble and the Honors Jazz Combo.

Click here to view and download the full schedule of repertoire.

Merit invites the public to warm up your holidays while building an appreciation for the high caliber of music talent that the school has been fostering among Chicago’s youth for 35 years. Students are accepted into Merit’s Tuition-free Conservatory by audition only and receive free of charge a college preparatory level of musical training, valued at $2,500 per year.

Conservatory students represent an economically and ethnically diverse cross section of the Chicago area, and most graduates continue their music studies at top colleges, universities and music conservatories. The 36-week Saturday Conservatory program is still accepting students interested in auditioning. Parents and children interested in learning more about Merit School of Music and its Conservatory program are strongly encouraged attend this Winter Concert.

More about Merit School of Music

Merit School of Music is devoted to giving children-especially children living in economically disadvantaged communities-the opportunity to grow through music. As part of Merit’s commitment to providing access to a high quality music education, substantial financial support is provided to young musicians through program subsidies, need-based tuition relief, low-cost instrument rental, and music supplies so that motivated students can participate in every program regardless of their economic circumstance.  The goal is to ensure that children, regardless of their family income, have access to high quality music education and all of its benefits in developing personally as well asmusically.

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

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