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The Music Institute of Chicago, transforming lives through music education for 85 years, is giving back to its communities with a Community Music Festival of unprecedented scope: 100 concerts across the Chicago area at community centers, libraries, seniors centers, and other grassroots venues from April 17 to May 3, 2015.

The Festival showcases some of the more than 1,600 students from 86 communities in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, all volunteering their time. Locations of some public performances include the McGaw YMCA in Evanston April 25 at noon; Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview April 28 at 4 p.m., the Crystal Ballroom and Lounge in Evanston May 1 at 10:30 a.m. (featuring the Music Institute’s adult Community Symphony and the New Horizons Band); the Fine Arts Building in Chicago May 2 at 4 p.m.; and Skokie Public Library May 16 at 4 p.m.

“The Music Institute exists to lead everyone in our community toward a lifelong engagement with music,” said Music Institute President and CEO Mark George. “To truly fulfill this vision, we must share what we do with our neighbors, especially those who normally do not have access to live music. We consider this Festival a true community service, a way of giving back to our communities by sharing our students’ talents and spreading the joy music so often brings. We also want to remind people that the Music Institute is an important resource for Chicagoland families, engaging thousands of students of all ages and levels of experience in music-making, as well as presenting music concerts and cultural events to nearly 15,000 audience members each year.”

Media sponsorship for the Community Music Festival is provided by Make It Better. For information, visit musicinst.org/cms-festival or follow the Music Institute on Twitter @MICcommunity.

Book-ending the community events are two world-class chamber music concerts, sponsored by Gael and Robert Strong and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, at the Music Institute’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston:

• Cavani Quartet – Sunday, April 19, 3 p.m.
Called “warmly lyrical” by the New York Times, the highly regarded Cavani Quartet, ensemble in residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, celebrates its 30th anniversary at Nichols Concert Hall. The program includes the Mendelssohn Octet, also featuring students from the Music Institute’s Academy for gifted pre-college musicians.

• Ying Quartet – Saturday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
The Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet has established itself as an ensemble of the highest musical order. Quartet-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music, this distinguished Music Institute alumni group performs classic repertoire along with works the quartet has commissioned. Special media sponsor for this performance is Mandarin Quarterly.

Tickets for each concert—Cavani Quartet on April 19 at 3 p.m. and Ying Quartet on May 2 at 7:30 p.m.—are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students, available at brownpapertickets.com/event/851979 or 800-838-3006.

Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago is a community music school dedicated to transforming lives through music education. The institution exists to lead everyone in its community toward a lifelong engagement with music. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). Each year, the Music Institute’s teachers and arts therapists reach thousands of students and clients of all ages and levels of experience. Music Institute locations include Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest, and Downers Grove. In addition, the Music Institute is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools through its Arts Link program. The Music Institute offers lessons and classes, creative arts therapy, and concerts through its Community Music School, Academy, Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA), and Nichols Concert Hall.

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