Making A Difference

Musical Mentorships Available for Classical Music Students

Dedicated music students in 6th through 12 grades are invited to audition for CMPI's third cohort of ‘Fellows’ starting in the 2021-22 academic year

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The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative is looking for a few dedicated music students, as the program is now accepting applications for their third mentorship class.

More specifically, they are looking for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, giving the program a group of students that is representative of Chicago’s diverse residents. 

The goal is to help them get into a top-tier college music program, and so far, the program has had overwhelming success.

“We were very proud that the students successfully auditioned into top tier music schools all over the country,” says Adrienne Thompson, project director for The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative. "They just needed a little helping hand.  All the components of what will make them competitive in the classical music industry are there.  It’s up to us to help them realize their potential.”

Kailie Holliday, 17, plays the cello, and has nothing but praise for the mentoring program. 

”It’s definitely made me a better musician, it changed the way I think about music," she said.

She is one of 93 students currently taking part in CMPI’s mentoring program, which offers weekly private lessons, ongoing written and verbal feedback, master classes and mock auditions and financial support. The program, which is free to join, generally covers up to 80% of costs for participants, including weekly private lessons, instrument purchase, college application costs, summer camp tuition, and more.

“You need to be ready to work. This is not for the faint of heart," Holliday said. "You have to have an attitude ready to put in the work. They are definitely going to push you, and I think at the end of the program, whether you graduate or move on to something else, you will find that you’re a better and more disciplined musician."

This mentorship program is supported by top music schools and orchestras in town, including the Merit School of Music, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Sinfonietta, Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DePaul University School of Music, Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Musical Arts Institute, and the annual Ravinia Festival.  

The deadline to submit an application for the program is Feb. 5, but late submissions will also be considered, according to organizers.

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