From Pilsen to Matsumoto…and Back

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsEighteen dedicated Chicago kids ages 9 to 18, all students in Merit School of Music’s Suzuki-Alegre Strings program, have returned from a once-in-a-lifetime experience, representing Chicago and the U.S. at the 16th Suzuki Method World Convention in Matsumoto, Japan.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves memorizing songs, practicing on our own and rehearsing together in the months leading up to the convention, but all of our hard work definitely paid off,” said Karina Fabian, 17, a resident of Pilsen, a senior at St. Ignatius College Prep, and a violin student with Merit’s Suzuki-Alegre Strings program for 12 years. At the convention, Fabian and her 17 fellow delegates, many who had never traveled outside Chicago before, joined more than 2,100 fellow violin and cello players from all over the globe to showcase their talent, perform for their peers, and participate in lectures, lessons and master classes taught by the world’s leading Suzuki instructors.

“These 18 kids experienced a new culture first-hand, learned that people are people all over the world, and they now have a whole new understanding that despite our differences, music can truly be a universal language,” said Thomas Bracy, executive director, Merit School of Music.

On Sunday, June 2nd, the ensemble will come full circle by returning to Pilsen, where the program originated, to headline Merit School of Music’s annual Stringtacular. This awe-inspiring celebration of string instruments brings together more than 200 young players enrolled in Merit’s Suzuki-Alegre program from all over the city for a free concert at the Harrison Park Fieldhouse, 1824 S. Wood St., from 2p.m., to 3:30p.m. For more information, visit or call 312-786-9428.

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