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76 Reviews
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February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I was a member of the Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra and chamber music programs for 4 years from '98-2002. Simply put, this organization provides the finest and most comprehensive music education available for pre-college students.

In addition to seemingly limitless musical
opportunities (world travel, celebrity masterclasses taught by current CSO musicians, etc) MYA offers students a place to hang out and be themselves.

Everyone can be comfortable in their own skin at the home-like MYA center. There is no judgement, and the prevailing attitude is that of tolerance and understanding. There is no need for anti-bullying talks, because there are no bullies at MYA.

Having performed in an Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra in college, I can certify that the level of instruction at MYA meets and generally exceeds that of the MYA orchestra program. The best preparation for college and conservatory level coursework is practice, proper nutrition and Midwest Young Artists.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Preparing me for University level music performance

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the space and find a way to have an MYA concert hall.

February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 12, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I started performing with MYA when I was in middle school and continued in the program through my high school graduations. I can't even count the hours in a car that I spent driving to MYA rehearsals and concerts for the 6 years that I was in the program.

The programs at MYA allow
students not only to grow as musicians, but also as a community. It is a safe, exciting avenue to creatively express and learn music, that I will never forget.

As a music teacher I draw great inspiration from what I learned in my tenure at MYA, and was excited when I was able to have my own students become a part of the program.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a student in the program, it helped prepare me to become an orchestra teacher. As a teacher the students who I send to MYA develop into leaders in my orchestra program.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

February 4, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 4, 2011

I loved being a part of MYA when I was in high school 1991-1995. It was a chance to play real orchestral material with others whose talent level was way beyond that of a typical high school orchestra. Concerts and rehearsals were always a moving experience and I still remember the intricacies of each section of some of the pieces we played. Dr. Dennis always rehearsed us with such precision and attention to detail, that the symphony felt like an old friend by the time we got to performance time. I love that this wonderful orchestra continues to achieve and attract talent from the Midwest area.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My talent was nurtured and strengthened so I was able to attend Northwestern University's music school with scholarships.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it even more well known so that every kid with a musical dream in the Midwest sought it out as a place to learn and grow as a musician.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

January 31, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 31, 2011

My son has had the privilege of participating in the music programs at MYA for 5 years. Through the years, he has risen through three levels of orchestras into the Symphony Orchestra, and he participates in the outstanding Intensive Chamber Music Program. He has played in the Honors Wind Symphony, and has had the opportunity to perform in the Walgreen's Concerto Competition, and the Discover Chamber Music Competition. Although he's only in the ninth grade, he has already performed in every major music venue in the Chicago area: Symphony Center, Lyric Opera House, Harris Theater, Ravinia's Bennett-Gordon Hall, Northwestern's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, and Waukegan's Genesee Theater. These have all been incredible experiences for him. The range of opportunities that MYA offers students of every age and level in classical, jazz, choral and chamber music is phenomenal. But that's not what makes MYA so special.
What makes MYA truly special lies within: it is the amazing ensemble directors, faculty and staff that have created the warm and nurturing environment at MYA, where each student is encouraged to strive to be the best musician and citizen that they can be. The caliber of the faculty is second to none, but it is their passion for music and their unending dedication to the growth and success of their students that stands out. They inspire students to work hard. They promote camaraderie over competitiveness. Students of all ages, from all edges of the Chicago-land area come together each week to make music, but in the process, they gain so much more. Work ethic, teamwork, discipline, confidence, self-esteem, community and life-long friendships are what I see being developed each week. Many students from MYA go on to attend the best music conservatories in the country. Some students continue on to top universities and colleges in order to pursue other professions. The tools students gain at MYA will help them be successful in anything they choose to do in life. But what will they remember about MYA for the rest of their lives? The warm fire, the homemade goodies, the unending support of their directors and coaches, the sense of community, and the incredible joy, and excitement of having made beautiful music together.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching MYA students make a positive difference by enriching the lives of others through their music performances at underserved schools, nursing homes, senior centers, and community and civic events. One of the highlights for my son last year was performing Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with the MYA chamber orchestra for children at 3 underserved schools in North Chicago and Waukegan. MYA is clearly committed to teaching students to give back to the community and to share their talents with others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

MYA students are blessed to have a wonderful music facility in Fort Sheridan - one that most consider their second home, but there is definitely a need to expand. Although nearly 1,000 students currently traverse the halls and rehearsal rooms each week, it is MYA's mission to ensure that even more children have the opportunity to be enriched through music. MYA needs room to grow!

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

January 30, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 30, 2011

MYA aroused in my son a passion for music that will last a lifetime. Thanks to Director Allan Dennis’ unwavering commitment to maintaining a competitive yet nurturing atmosphere, MYA delivers a top-notch music ensemble program that fosters community outreach and camaraderie among its students. MYA has changed my son's life— no more ACDC; hello Bach and and Basie!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many capacities...as a parent, a committee member, a community supporter and as a Board member.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

further expand the organization's physical space.

January 30, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 30, 2011

This is the 5th year of our daughter participating in the vocal groups within Midwest Young Artists. We have seen our daughter grow musically through the years, both through experiences of places that she has performed, the musicians that she has met from areas spanning out across the greater Chicago-land area, and the knowledge of music theory that has been provided through special classes. The contacts that she has made within the organization have been tremendous, including the directors that she has been exposed to. She has learned about recording sessions, performed within the United Nations chambers, Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as being exposed to the wonderful theatres of Chicago - at Northwestern University, Harris Theatre in Millenium Park, Lyric Opera and Symphony Hall. We think that someday she will look back in awe at what she was able to be a part of at such an early age. Many thanks to all that are involved in this tremendous organization!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the musical growth of our daughter.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide a musical experience to everyone.

January 26, 2011

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January 26, 2011

I am an alum, employee, donor, and teacher at Midwest Young Artists (MYA). This organization is a huge part of my life! I cannot imagine being part of something better then MYA. As a student, MYA provided such amazing experiences and challenges for me as a young violinist. I acted as co-concert master in our 10 year anniversary concert, I toured Europe, I competed in competitions, and I made lifelong friends. As an employee, I am always faced with new and exciting challenges and responsibilities that are always rewarding when I see my efforts evolve. Most recently, a benefit concert for the Ronald McDonald House Charities at Harris Theater. As a teacher, I watch my students grow and become great little musicians in such a nurturing atmosphere. It is truly a rewarding experience!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Myself and my students.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I love that we have alumni working in the office - I think it helps with the communication and organization since they already know how it works - keep 'em coming!!

January 26, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 26, 2011

For six years, MYA provided the musical, social, and even spiritual center for our family. Saturday at MYA was the highlight of our week. When my eighth grade daughter participated in two chamber groups, Concert and Symphony Orchestras, she rehearsed from 8 am to 3 pm straight every Saturday. She grew immensely as a musician and gained in confidence and stamina. Meanwhile, my much younger daughter and I hung out in the lobby, making friends and enjoying the warm, positive, family atmosphere of the place. The little one grew up surrounded by her sister's music--when she was a toddler, she'd hum various themes from "Scheherazade" while playing with her toys. At age eight, she is now a promising musician herself. Even my older son, who has high-functioning autism, participated by taping Sunday soirees and converting the tapes to DVDs as part of his school's work-study program. In addition to all the opportunities it provides, the greatness of MYA lies in the inspirational and visionary people who founded and direct this wonderful organization. It is astounding that Dr. and Mrs. Dennis could have built such a rich and multifaceted institution in a such a short period of time. They are tireless individuals, dedicated to their work. After one winter concert, I clapped and cheered as Dr. Dennis and his orchestra, clad in tuxedos and fancy dresses, took their triumphant bows, then at midnight, I watched Dr. D and a handful of those same kids--now dressed in their dungarees-- unload music stands and equipment off the truck at MYA in the bitter cold. The Zen proverb, "After enlightenment, the laundry," certainly applied. MYA will remain a part of our lives through the alumni concerts and through keeping in touch with those friends we met in the lobby, whose children are now off at college or conservatory, taking with them the skills, experiences, and memories they got from those wonderful Saturdays at the Fort.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing my children grow and benefit in their own individual ways though being involved in MYA.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not have concerts in downtown Chicago.

January 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 24, 2011

This is my son's 5th year at MYA. Every year, the Saturday mornings/afternoons he spends there are one of the highlights of the week. He has been part of the orchestra program, music theory, composition, and chamber music. The orchestra directors display a striking combination of empathy, professionalism, high expectations, love of music, humor and genuine interest in the students they work with, as people, not just musicians. It is a place for everyone to learn and grow and nurture their love of, and talent for, music. Hard work and responsibility to the group are emphasized, but each child is recognized as an individual. All staff are welcoming and inclusive, and there are many great ways for parents to get involved and be part of the MYA family. The orchestra members are very fortunate to get the opportunity to perform in extraordinary venues, such as Ravinia's Gordon Bennett Hall, Pick-Staiger Auditorium at Northwestern, and the Harris Theatre. All this, and master classes, great chamber music coaches, concessions where the home bakers can shine, a roaring fire on cold days, and a beautiful setting for a walk or run while your student is rehearsing! We love MYA.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son's development as a musician.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Bring it closer to my home. Give it a bigger living room.

January 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
January 24, 2011

MYA is a wonderful organization that I was proud to be a part of.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the arts. The organization really helped with my musicality.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing!

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