Friday, March 18, 2016

Lights! Camera! Music! MYA Conservatory Gala a Big Success

Toni-Marie Montgomery & Patrick Pearson
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
Lights! Camera! Music! Movies were the theme of the night at Midwest Young Artist Conservatory's Annual Gala on March 5th. Held at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, the event featured several of the organization's talented student ensembles, playing famous movie music from Star Wars to Schindler's List.

MYAC Board Chairman Dale Rudy Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
MYA Conservatory, a national leader in ensemble training, hosts a variety of ensembles, as was demonstrated that night. The cocktail hour featured performances by the Concertino Orchestra, made up primarily of middle schoolers, two vocal ensembles, and a jazz combo. The full Symphony Orchestra with over 90 students was the highlight of the night during dinner, playing epic move music and featuring a moving violin solo from 13 year old virtuoso, Masha Lakisova of Vernon Hills.

MYAC Board Members Patrick Burke & Karee Buerger
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
MYAC Jazz Merit Combo performing
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
The program of the night featured the MYA board chairman, Dale Rudy, as well as founder, president and conductor Dr. Allan Dennis. Former board chairman Tom Sharp was also featured, showcasing the live auction and paddle raise for scholarship donations. Pianist and violinist Kimie Han of Lake Forest and bassist Alec Elston of Bannockburn also gave emotional speeches about their experiences growing up attending MYA Conservatory.

Left to right: Karen Dennis, Jeff Andreasen, Susan & Steve Wright
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
Left to right: Thomas Sharp, Roger Manka, John Sharp, David Biggins
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
MYA Conservatory celebrated honorees Toni-Marie Montgomery and Patrick Pearson. Ms. Montgomery, Dean of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, was presented with the Golden Baton Award for her dedication to music education. The Take Note Award was presented to Mr. Pearson in honor of his 20 years with MYA Conservatory as a faculty member.

MYAC Benefit Committee Chairs (left to right): Sharon Mullins, Karee Buerger, Cathy Popp, Carol Mavrakis
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
The event successfully raised over $100,000 for MYA Conservatory and included over 200 attendees. Noted table sponsors included Mesirow Financial, Northern Trust, Franczek Radelet and Hollister. The money will contribute to financial aid and scholarship for students to allow all students access to the rich music learning environment MYA offers.

The night was considered a wonderful success and the guests enjoyed hearing the wide array of MYA ensembles. 

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