Music Institute of Chicago

Music Institute of Chicago's 2020 Anniversary Gala


A message from President and CEO, Mark George

With deep concern and heavy hearts, we have followed the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In order to help reduce the spread of the virus and due to the multiple bans and restrictive guidelines from the State of Illinois and others, we have canceled our April 20 Gala. 


We are devastated that we will not be able to join with friends and families to benefit our talented students through the Gala this year. It is our largest and most important annual fundraiser and enables the Music Institute of Chicago to offer merit scholarships and need-based financial aid, as well as to support our outreach and service activities in Chicago and other communities.  


Music Connects, Music Heals

Unfortunately, canceling the Gala does not eliminate the needs of our young students and our community. The Music Institute of Chicago understands music’s remarkable ability to heal and connect and has continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 crisis, delivering lessons and classes through interactive videoconferencing. As we navigate our way forward, the necessity to physically isolate is one of the biggest challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents. What we do know is that music truly feeds the soul and helps keep our hearts and minds healthy. We need it now more than ever.


With that in mind, we ask you to consider a donation to the 2020 Anniversary Gala as a fully-tax deductible contribution to the Music Institute of Chicago.  In these challenging and uncertain times, our young students need you to remain at our side more than ever before. To help us meet that responsibility, the Board of Trustees of the Music Institute of Chicago has created the Nichols COVID-19 Support Fund and Chair Emerita Alexandra Nichols has seeded the fund with a personal gift.

The Music Institute of Chicago would appreciate any support you could provide to this fund, especially if you had planned to support the Music Institute of Chicago Gala.


Thank you!


Founded in 1931, the Music Institute of Chicago leads people toward a lifelong engagement with music by providing widely accessible resources for high quality music teaching, performing, and service activities while harnessing the power of music to educate, inspire, and bring comfort to the communities we serve. We believe that music is an essential element of a strong, well-educated, and compassionate community; that music bolsters the brain, strengthens community bonds, and nourishes the human spirit; and that live music and quality music education should be accessible to everyone. Each year the Music Institute:


Provides personalized music instruction to over 2,000 students, regardless of age, level of experience, or financial means, across eight Community Music School locations in Chicago, Downers Grove, Evanston, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, and Winnetka;


Brings music education, arts curriculum integration, and professional development opportunities to 3,500 recipients in Chicago K-12 schools as well as music performance and engagement opportunities to an additional 6,000 participants in our communities;


Offers scholarship opportunities to 30 students in the Academy program, a nationally recognized training center for highly gifted pre-college pianists and string players; and


Inspires more than 15,000 visitors annually at Nichols Concert Hall through performances, master classes, and special events.

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