March , 2019

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Merit Gala will be held May 4 at Radisson Blu Aqua
Joe and Madeleine Glossberg, Ramsey Lewis and Merit students performing at past galas.

CHICAGO, IL– Merit School of Music will salute two leading supporters of the arts and education, Joe and Madeleine Glossberg, along with Chicago jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, the internationally renowned composer and pianist, at the Merit Gala, Thursday

May 4 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, 221 N. Columbus Drive.

Merit will honor the Glossbergs with the Alice S. Pfaelzer Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in recognition of their unwavering support for the arts and arts education. Joe Glossberg, a high-profile Chicago financial advisor with a passion for jazz, has been an active and generous Merit Trustee for more than 20 years. He is now a Merit Life Trustee. Mrs. Glossberg joined her husband in supporting Merit through committee membership for galas, sponsoring Merit’s programs and advocating for Merit through her community involvement.

Lewis will receive Merit School of Music’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Known internationally for his many contributions to music and education, Lewis has long been involved with Merit as an active member of its National Advisory Board, offering master classes to students and championing Merit’s mission to transform the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education. Lewis has recorded more than 80 albums and has received seven gold records and three Grammy Awards.

“Our honorees for Gala 2017 share a lifelong passion for music, and for jazz in particular,” said Charles Grode, President and Executive Director, Merit School of Music. “They also share a deep belief in the power of music to have a positive, sustained impact on the lives of young people of all backgrounds. Gala 2017 celebrates their lifetime of distinguished service to music, education, young people, and the Merit School of Music.”

The Merit Gala kicks off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed at 7 p.m. by a sit-down dinner. Throughout the evening, guests will be treated to live performances by Merit’s talented student ensembles and soloists, playing a wide range of musical styles, including jazz, classical, and chamber music. The program will also include an inspiring video presentation about Merit student Isaias Nava, tuba, of Chicago’s Gage Park, who is leveraging his conservatory education at Merit into a promising future.

Tickets to the Merit Gala are $500. To reserve tickets, call Merit School of Music at 312.553.2000. Cocktail attire is recommended. As Merit’s single largest fundraising event, the gala’s success offers critical support to sustain the school’s mission. All proceeds benefit Merit School of Music and its mission to transform the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education.

Co-chairs of the Merit Gala are Charlie and Caroline Huebner and Tom and Kathy Lanctot.

For gala updates, follow Merit on Twitter at @MeritMusic or like the school on Facebook at Facebook/MeritSchoolofMusic. For more information, call 312.553.2000 or visit meritmusic.org/gala.


More about Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for over 50 years with an unforgettable sound and outgoing personality that has allowed him to cross over to the pop and R&B charts. The Ramsey Lewis Trio, with bassist Eldee Young and percussionist Redd Holt, became a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, releasing their debut album, Ramsey Lewis & His Gentlemen of Jazz, back in 1956. Lewis earned his first gold record, as well as a Grammy award for Best Jazz Performance, for their swinging version of Dobie Gray’s hit “The In Crowd.” He returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water.”


Throughout his illustrious career, Lewis, an NEA Jazz Master, has also joined forces with countless other artists to create new and innovative music. In 1984, he collaborated with Nancy Wilson on The Two of Us; in 1988, he recorded with London’s Philharmonic Orchestra for the album A Classic Encounter; and in 1989, Lewis and Dr. Billy Taylor cut a set of piano duets in We Meet Again. In 1995, Lewis launched the side project Urban Knights, in which he collaborated with successful crossover jazz stars including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh and Dave Koz. In 1997, Lewis added disc jockey to his resume, hosting a popular show on Chicago’s WNUA-FM that ran until 2009. A new show was syndicated in 2006 under the name Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis and was broadcast on jazz radio stations across the country. In 2006, a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast by PBS nationwide and featured live performances by jazz artists including Larry Gray, Lonnie Smith, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett. He has been touring recently with Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire), John Pizzarelli and Dee Bridgewater as well as doing dates in celebration of the 50th anniversary of “The ‘In’ Crowd.”


The three time Grammy® winner’s 80th album and most recent release is his 2015 CD Taking Another Look – Deluxe Edition. For more information, visit ramseylewis.com.


More about Joe and Madeleine Glossberg

Joe Glossberg is a Chicago-based financial advisor. His expertise and passion have been invaluable to Merit, where he has helped the school prudently manage its endowment and established a planned giving program. He also created an endowed fund to specifically support Merit’s jazz program. Glossberg is also a life trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and former chair of its Theodore Thomas Society. He is a past president of the board of directors of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and was awarded the Outstanding Jazz Advocate Award in 2015. He is a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Glossberg has served as trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and has served on Penn’s Investment Board (Endowment). He is a member of the board of overseers of the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He is chair emeritus of the Library Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as a trustee of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, chairing its Investment (Endowment) Committee. Glossberg is a member of the Corporate Board of Changing Worlds, a director on the board of the Benjamin J. Rosenthal Foundation, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.


Madeleine Condit Glossberg is a trustee of the Newberry Library, member and chairman emeritus of the External Advisory Board of Perelman School of Medicine Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, secretary of the Joseph B. Glossberg Foundation, governing member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, and member and former director of The Chicago Network. She has been recognized as a Woman in the Forefront (92nd Street Y), Woman of Distinction by United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, recipient of the Chicago High Achiever’s 2008 Paradigm Shifter Award and the WEL 2015 Trailblazer Award.

About Merit School of Music

Merit School of Music is a nationally accredited music school helping Chicago-area youth transform their lives by removing barriers to high-quality music education.

Merit’s 125 passionate and experienced teaching artists engage nearly 5,000 students annually, in the school’s downtown location and in area schools and community centers, enabling Merit to serve as a springboard for students to achieve their full musical and personal potential.

Merit’s program consists of five core areas, which students from early childhood through high school may join at any stage, including: Early Childhood, Instrumental & Vocal Music, and Private Lessons. Merit’s programming continuum begins and concludes with two signature programs – its community-based Bridges: Partners in Music, an in-school music education program; and the audition-based Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory, which requires and represents the highest level of achievement.

Merit is devoted to providing students the opportunity to grow through music by removing barriers. Thanks to the support of Merit’s dedicated faculty, staff, board, donors and parents, 75 percent of its students receive financial support in the form of need-based tuition relief, low-cost instrument rental, and/or music supplies, so that motivated students may unlock their unique musical talent, regardless of economic circumstance.

Merit School of Music’s home is the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, 38 S. Peoria St. in Chicago’s West Loop community. To learn more, visit meritmusic.org or call (312) 786-9428.


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