The Negaunee Music Institute is a co-founding organization and lead partner of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI), which prepares young musicians from underrepresented backgrounds to attend top music schools. Now entering its third full year, the Initiative supports nearly 100 fellows in grades 6-12.
Students are admitted on the basis of musical aptitude and financial need. Select CSO and Civic Orchestra musicians are private teachers or mentors for CMPI Fellows, in addition to leading audition preparation workshops, master classes and panel discussions. CMPI Fellows are also invited to observe select Civic Orchestra seminars led by CSO musicians.
Learn more about the Initiative, the CMPI Fellows and the other lead partners, including the Merit School of Music, at chicagopathways.org.
The 2022 Chicago Youth in Music Festival and National Pathways Summit featured three days of rehearsals and coaching sessions for young musicians and opportunities for music teachers and administrators to collaborate.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti led a virtual coaching session on March 31 with two chamber ensembles comprised of fellows from the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, as well as current and past members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Chicago Sinfonietta Project Inclusion Fellowship, who serve as CMPI mentors.
When the Boston Symphony Orchestra offered Thomas Wilkins the position of youth and family concerts conductor, he hesitated. “I thought, ‘I don’t want be known as the guy who does kiddie concerts for a living,’” he recalled.