Best youth music institute! Professional, inspirational and nourishing. Dr. D, faculty and staff truly care for the young musicians, and the programs are top-notch! We feel fortunate to be part of the MYA family.
My daughter grew up with MYAC! We love MYAC. My daughter has had a wonderful experience in learning and practicing flute with her friends in such a fun and caring environment! We deeply appreciate the passion and dedication of all the music directors, organizers and volunteers. Thank you MYAC!
I collaborated with Midwest Young Artists Conservatory on two concerts produced by the Turkish Consulate General in Chicago. Musicians from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory performed the compositions of Turkish composer Umut Deniz Topcuoglu. The MYAC administration and young artists were highly admirable in every facet of the concerts. Their commitment infused our work with a joyous energy. A debt of gratitude is owed to Midwest Young Artists Conservatory for their valuable contribution, ensuring these concerts were a complete success.
Neil S. Fleckman
MYAC has provided not only a wonderful learning community for young musicians, but also one of the most inspiring stories arising out of the challenges of a pandemic. While many other music organizations simply threw up their hands and closed up shop, MYAC rolled up their sleeves and used hard work and ingenuity to provide an outdoor rehearsal/performance space that allowed their students to continue to learn, grow, interact, and strengthen the bonds with their fellow students. What an incredible achievement, and one whose life lesson beyond "learning the notes" will benefit these young people forever. Bravo, MYAC!
MYA provides fantastic ensemble opportunities for talented young musicians to grow and learn together.
MYAC brings together numerous talented students with one goal in mind - Beautiful music. The staff and faculty support the student tremendously helping them to grow as musicians and as wonderful people. With MYAC, the students are Growing Stronger Together!
The Jazz program is spectacular. The instructors are very professional and help draw out highly advanced musical work from these young artists.
I have had two children that are alumni of this program. The impact on their lives and experiences was profound. There is a commitment to excellence in everything they do. The music the children are exposed to and create is phenomenal, but the role models are even more impactful.
They have top notch teachers and a great program! If you want your kids to learn music, that's the place to go. My kid looks forward to go there every weekend.
This is an awesome organization. There are so many wonderful teachers. They are not only teaching girls and boys music, they are also role models to them.
I've been at MYAC ever since I was 10 or 11, and it's been amazing. I'm about to turn 17 now and I have no idea how my life would be without it. It's connected me with so many forever friends and given me so many opportunities to better myself as a musician and as a person that it's truly changed my life.
MYAC was a huge influence on my life. They are top quality music instructors and top quality people.
Top level, very warm and friendly community, knowledgeable faculties and nice facility in clean and green environment.
MYAC gives a lot of chances to bathe high standard music education and experience!
Music should be fun!
This is what my kid learn from MYAC!
My daughter has been a part of MYAC for several years, and it has been a big part of her development as a musician and as a young woman. I’m grateful for MYAC’s place in my daughters life and highly recommend them.
MYAC is the place to be if you are a student who is focused and dedicated to playing your musical instrument at a high level.
Dr. D is a fiercely dedicated mentor to hundreds of students in his orchestras each year! He has a HUGE heart, and in addition to conducting, he weaves in stories from his own life, imparting life lessons at almost every rehearsal. Don’t miss the chance to learn from and work with Dr. D.
I’m an MYA alum from the late 90s. MYA has been an enormously important organization to me. The generosity and love shared among the group is beautiful, and the musical guidance provided to students has always been especially and consistently fantastic.
My 3 high school girls have been part of Midwest Young Artists since they were toddlers. It truly is their home away from home -they spend hours there every week. The choir and orchestra program is amazing with inspiring teachers and amazingly talented students. There is also a place for beginners at any age.
My two daughters have attended the MYAC program. Allan has devoted his live to helping kids through music.
We couldn’t be happier.
I played the violin and viola in MYA for 6 years and have never had a better orchestral experience. I currently am first chair for the viola section in my college orchestra thanks to MYA. I made great friends and learned how to be a good musician in MYA.
Wonderful place for young people to learn music and grow.
Midwest Young Artists is an outstanding organization in every way. As a professional violinist, my education and career path was fundamentally shaped by my four years of study and performance as a member of the MYAC Symphony Orchestra. I had the opportunity to meet kids from all over, who shared my interests and were at the highest levels of playing, helping me grow my skills and truly fall in love with music-making. The entire organization is run so smoothly, with so much care and love for each and every student, and provides the most incredible opportunities to its members. I was able to perform at Ravinia, the Harris Theatre, Millenium Park, on WFMT radio, and even on National Public Radio in Utah and in Boston, because I was placed in a quartet at MYAC and coached and cared for by the most amazing faculty. This organization goes above and beyond, to provide a dream experience (and the most loving and nurturing environment) for every student and musician-to-be.
Midwest Young Artists Conservatory is an amazing organization that connects students of all levels with excellent music education. Everyday the leadership, staff, and volunteers contribute their absolute best to students and even more so during the current COVID situation, the MYA truly provides a home for students to develop their music and personal development skills.
I was a student at MYAC for six years and am now a member of a young professional string quartet (callistoquartet.com). As an alum of the program, I can personally speak to the tremendous impact that MYAC had on me musically, ultimately shaping my decision to pursue chamber music as a professional career. Some of my fondest and most defining musical moments growing up were a result of MYAC and the experiences that I had there were invaluable. MYAC is an exceptional organization; their dedication and commitment to their students far exceeds merely the musical experience that they provide - they are dedicated and committed to providing a place where students can grow and thrive as they discover who they are during these foundational years of their lives.
My 12 year old daughter started at MYA almost 2 years ago. We were immediately impressed with the professionalism of the staff -- from the office staff to the Conductor, Stevie Marks. We felt welcomed, and their orchestration of events is unparalleled, especially during COVID where they have gone to Herculean efforts to make it possibly for students to practice together, yet separate. Their communications are another bright spot -- we are never without detailed insight into the schedule of events. I might also mention that being a part of their Voices Rising has brought many unique opportunities for our daughter to participate on a larger stage as well as to sing for prominent conductors. What I especially love is that MYA is available to anyone, not only to the privileged...their benefactors have made certain no child who qualifies goes without this rich opportunity to learn.
We drive 2 hrs to get to MYAC every Saturday and it is so worth it. We were other conservatories before MYAC, and there is just no comparison. The faculty is so loving, caring, non partial, non political, FAIR, ENCOURAGING, and so constructive. You have so many opportunities, master classes with top professors, theory classes, performances at Ravinia, Solo opporunities, Chamber music, and more. This place is simply the BEST! Also talk about beautiful campus!!! Also everyone in music industry already knows of high reputation of Dr. Dennis and all the other faculties! I already recommended this place to all my friends and they have already joined and they simply love it here. And my children are in LOVE with MYAC! ❤️❤️❤️
My daughter has been participating in MYAC for 5 years. MYAC has a great orchestra and chamber music program. The orchestra is divided by several stages, and the staffs have tremendous support so that chamber music can participate in competitions. I am also a musician. That's why it enormously promotes students who have enrolled in MYAC and are learning. The professional musians in the faculty are teaching the students as well. Specially many thanks to Dr. D. After attending MYAC, my daughter become very fond of music, and it is very grateful to me that she is growing up playing together.
-Sarah and Jin Kim, MYAC Parent
I have two teen girls who have been participating in MYA programs for 4 years now. I want to share my story with you. MYA is a perfect place where they can study musicianship and experience great community. MYA provides numerous musical opportunities such as performing in chambers not only orchestras and also entering some competitions. Now music is a big part of their lives and they are enjoying it. They just grew with music in MYA. One of wonderful experiences is that they learned how to give back their talents and advantages to community. Both girls are involved as mentors in YMS program which MYA gives free lessons to those who students from underserved schools. Great directors and faculty members and friendly staffs! My family loves MYA and we strongly recommend it!
My sister was a member of the very first MYA Orchestra when the group of 10-12 string players rehearsed in the basement of an Evanston church about 30 years ago. Fast-forward to today, when my 11-year-old son is a first-year member of the program. One thing that has remained consistent throughout the years has been Allan and Karen Dennis's unwavering commitment to and support of young musicians - you will find no other organization, arts or otherwise, with a greater passion for creating a positive experience for children. As music teachers ourselves, my wife and I are proud that our son is now a part of this wonderful program - thank you MYAC!
A fantastic organization that puts student's development and enrichment at the forefront of their operations.
MYAC provides one of the most comprehensive and fulfilling youth music programs in the nation. Students of MYAC consistently go on to become amazing musicians and engaged and caring citizens. The programs they have built are a prime example of musical excellence powered by diversity, talent, and love for artistic expression.
Our family has been part of MYAC for over 20 years. Our daughters (now ages 30 and 28) participated in various MYAC orchestras, choral groups, and chamber orchestras from grade school through high school. They always looked forward to spending their weekends at their "second home" with MYAC friends and peers who shared their love of music, and they continue to perform and enjoy playing as young adults. Special performances at Symphony Center, Harris Theatre, and other venues, along with memorable tours in Spain, Portugal, China, and South Korea have fostered friendships both for our daughters and my wife and myself that continue today. Forever thankful that MYAC was there to support, encourage, and foster a passion for great music for our daughters, and we look forward to making sure it's there for future generations.
Music beautifies lives thus MYA is a life beauty salon and it sure made my family's life more beautiful.
My daughter is a member of the Symphony Orchestra in MYAC and an intensive chamber program. She joined MTAC 3 years ago and since she then fell in love with the program, teachers and all MYAC offer as a music institution.
She wants to pursue a carrier in music and MYAC offers a variety of programs to help her prepare for the auditions.
MYAC is a great place for everyone who loves music, a wonderful atmosphere, and friendship. We will truly miss this place after graduation.
We are so impressed with the musical direction at MYA. The instructors are passionate, enthusiastic, and brilliant. They have an incredible ability to balance discipline, hard work, and fun so that the students work hard, learn, grow, and have fun while doing it.
Many organizations focus entirely on results. This organization focuses on the heart, fostering a love for music, and the results far exceed anything imaginable. Not that long ago, my daughter was "that" child who was practically kicking her instrument in its case down the sidewalk on the way to lesson and who loathed practice. However, the very first day she was introduced to MYAC, she said that she HAD to be a part of what was going on there. She started in Philharmonia, successfully auditioned for Concert Orchestra the next year, and now is incredibly excited to be a part of the Symphony Orchestra. A once reluctant musician, she now hopes to be a performance major in college some day! Thank you MYAC for starting with the heart!
My son joined jazz big band and merit combo. He has been MYAC’s member from last year. Great teachers and he has very good experience here at MYAC.
My daughter simply loves singing and we are incredibly fortunate to have an amazing conservatory right in our backyard! Stevi Marks is the tireless and passionate director of the choir and brings so much talent and dedication to the table. She is friendly and demanding and simply gets the best out of our children because she expects it. This place is a godsend for anyone musically inclined. My youngest son also receives private bass lessons here as they are a mecca for teachers and students to come together and progress. So so grateful for this gem of talent and kindness. The owners are inspirational and awesome, in the true sense of the word. Dr. Dennis is charismatic and so good with the children and his wife, Karen, is a quiet and modest powerhouse who gets so much done for everyone and doesn't think twice about it. We are so blessed!
MYA has been a blessing for our daughter Clarissa Garcia. She has a passion for music and we're so fortunate that due to MYA scholarships she has been able to be part of such an amazing Music CONSERVATORY where she has played Violin for the past 3 years and Cello for 2 years. Thanks for helping her make her music dreams come true.
My son is now a sophomore at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music, on a full benefit called the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship. He was a good music student, but it didn't really take off until he joined Midwest Young Artists. This became his second home and what he learned there about music is only surpassed by what he learned about being a good person. Dr. Dennis (DrD to most of us) believes strongly that his job is not only to make good music with kids but to make good kids with music. The impact on my boy has been and continues to be profound. MYA is located in the old stockade at Ft. Sheridan, and the site (near Lake Michigan) only adds to the allure. Dedicating 3-4 hours of every Saturday - on top of rehearsals and performances - seems like a big commitment at first. It quickly seems like not enough. The kids perform at places like Northwestern University, Ravinia and even Symphony Hall. Visiting teachers include the very top in the field; the kids and mentors become friends rapidly. This is altogether one of the most wonderful institutions around and it has been a privilege and an honor to my son and to me to be associated with MYA. I cannot say enough good things about it.
MYA is simply an incredible place and experience. My kid's school and private instructors recommended it for several years, and we just had a hard time finding the time. I wish now that I had him cancel other activities years ago. It is not a light commitment, the standards and performance are unbelievably high. But it is totally worth it all. Dr. Dennis is one of those teachers who gets kid musicians to perform at levels that they thought were impossible. I recommend MYA to any kids committed to their education and their music.
MYAC provides a unique music education experience that enriches the lives of young people. The students of MYAC have an opportunity to perform in some of the most prestigious performance venues around the world. Distinguished music educators help develop students love of music and leadership skills. My daughter loved her time performing with MYAC vocal groups!
As a parent and volunteer of MYAC, I have had the pleasure of seeing first hand the gift of music that is being provided to the children by this fantastic organization. MYAC provides a positive, encouraging, and joyful place for children to come to learn many aspects of music from highly regarded and recognized music faculty.
My son performs in MYAC Jazz Workshop and Jazz Combo and loves it! The program has helped him develop his drumming skills and technique and provides multiple performance opportunities! I highly recommend MYAC for anyone whose kids love music!
My family's relationship with MYAC started about 14 years ago with our daughter participating in one of the early youth orchestras. She grew and developed through the years. I watched carefully how people were treated and how they grew through the programs. Today, I serve on the board of directors because its a program you can support and believe in. Our students may not all become professional musicians, but they grow into responsible, conscientious adults who perform excellently in whatever endeavors they undertake. This is not an accident. It is the product of love, hard work, discipline, some fair competition, and passion.
My daughter is graduating after 10 years in MYA. She and I have grown over this time, and MYA became a material part of our lives. MYA doesn't just teach music. They teach music well. But they also teach our children character, discipline, compassion, cooperation, and a desire to excel without hurting others. Through the years I have heard parents from other music programs, who came to MYA extol its virtues. Their children became part of a team. While competitive, the young musicians are taught the larger lessons on what is takes to be a successful human. MYA's best advertisement of its success is its battalion of alumni who still cherish their time with MYA, still come back to visit and participate, and serve on its young professionals board.
As my daughter goes off to college to study music and business, I will continue to participate in and support MYA's activities because it's that important of an organization for young people.
This is our third year with MYA. We now have two children involved in two orchestras and two chamber groups. Each year our experience gets better. This is an amazing place. It is full of competitive, high performing students who excel in a warm and caring environment. From our first moment at MYA we felt like we were at home.
I had the pleasure of studying in MYAC for 3 years, not only did I have the pleasure of playing some of the greatest works, in fantastic halls, and fantastic conductors, with the most talented student musicians around (many who now have prominent music careers), but MYAC became a second family. As an outcast in high school I would count the days until my next rehearsal at MYAC, where people were just like me. A decade after graduating I came back to teach at MYA and even after so many years it felt just like coming home and it is amazing to Play a part for other students in the place that played such a big part of my upbringing
MYA was the most magical orchestra experience for me back in the mid-90s when I auditioned and joined because my high school didn't have an orchestra program. It was so rewarding to have the chance to play with some of the most talented young musicians from the tri-state area, and to be led by Dr. Dennis and his passion for interpreting classical works and nurturing musicians in each section to sound their best and connect to the music emotionally, and to practice diligently. It led me to major in music and to have a life-long love of music. I enjoy being able to play in alumni concerts as an adult as well, which I've been able to do twice and got to experience a little bit more of that magic.
Midwest Young Artists Conservatory made a real difference in our Son's life. It's like being a part of a family. We only wish we had found MYAC sooner!
A great community for musically-minded kids! From the big ensembles to the smaller chamber groups, the conductors, coaches and teachers are focused on improving the technical and lyrical skills as well as the comfort and coordination of playing in a group. My daughter's knowledge of orchestral pieces, composers and music history has not only grown, but given her the desire to be a better (and life-long) musician.
Midwest Young Artists was an amazing orchestral music experience for our budding clarinetist, who is now off studying clarinet performance at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. He enjoyed his participation for two years at MYAC, and only wishes he had started with them earlier in high school. Grew as a clarinetist and composer. Had opportunities to perform and learn that he wouldn't have had anywhere else in the Chicago area. Made friends he'll keep and share music with for life. And we, as his parents, enjoyed every minute of every performance over his two years with MYAC. Truly a surprise to find such a world class experience so close to home for us! Worth every penny and every minute.
MYAC has really helped me grow not only as a musician, but as a person. I have been in both the vocal and the Orchestras, and I can say with full certainty that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made to audition. I have met some of my best friends there and Stevie Marks, Gary Fry, and Allan Dennis are all spectacular teachers and mentors. I would highly recommend MYA to anyone who had the dedication to not only learn an instrument, but to be in a truly spectacular ensemble. (Pixtures from Lang Lang 2018)
MYAC was integral in my development as a musician, and I cannot put into words how much I valued my time spent there. The education that MYAC provides is, in my opinion, unparalleled by any other institution in the country. Having graduated from MYAC last year, I find myself missing the community, musical standards, and wonderful teachers and mentors that I feel so lucky to have had. MYAC has opened so many doors for me, and I cannot thank them enough.
My oldest son had the privilege to work with amazing educators and talented young musicians through Midwest Young Artists Conservatory. He participated in both the Jazz and Orchestral programs which helped him take his musicianship to the next level and to secure an amazing scholarship to study jazz performance in college. I couldn’t recommend the program enough and look forward to my youngest child having the same opportunity to participate there as well! Thank you MYAC fircall you do for our young musicians!
This is my daughter’s third year playing with MYA. What a great experience! She has gained so much knowledge and advanced her playing dramatically. This organization has helped her realize she wants to pursue a career in music. She absolutely loves it!!
I've been involved with MYAC since I was in the 8th grade (I now have two small children) and I have nothing but great things to say about the musical and personal experience I had while studying and working there. As a student, faculty member, and now board member, I have met the most incredible people who have inspired my life in so many wonderful ways. I look forward to having my children partake in the program!
My son is in his third year with MYAC. Although he attends a high school with an extraordinary music program, the quality of the instruction, musicianship, and community at MYAC is even better.
I am so "sold" on MYAC that I agreed to join their board this year. A world class organization from top to bottom.
We belong to the family of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Berg, authors , and developers and pioneers of solution focused brief therapy and our daughter Amelie enjoys rehearsing and practicing her instrument, Clarinet at MYAC. she can nurture her passion for music and learns how to work in team. It is a musical high quality experience in a fun and supportive environment.
I have been involved with MYAC in one capacity or another for 15 years, from volunteer to ad-hoc committee member to board member to president, and now treasurer. MYAC has been so impactful in the lives of our children, with 2 of three becoming professional musicians. The musical education was important, but of equal or greater importance was the social growth of our children and others. The dedication of the founders, Allan and Karen Dennis, continues to be a driving force at MYAC. Their love of education, music and nurturing growth sets MYAC apart from the rest.
MYA has a 20 year history of helping young musicians mature as musicians, and importantly, as children moving into young adulthood. We have a very nurturing environment which allows our students to flourish. Strong friendships and a true sense of accomplishment are recurring comments which come back to us. I happily serve as MYA's president.
MYA is the most beautiful environment for our young people. What they are doing is quite an accomplishment. Bringing children together making music. Every Saturday, I watch them rehearsing, practicing, all ages, just bring tears! I’m so very proud to be part of this community. Alan and Karen are very inspiring. And we can’t be thankful enough for them that they provide this such an important and beautiful environment for our young generation. My son and I are always looking forward to it. MYA is a Wonderful place to be: dedicated faculty and staff, talented, happy students!
There is no better place for young musicians than MYAC. Dr. Alan Dennis and his wife are the most dedicated and caring people you will ever meet and have created this amazing educational program. Their professionalism and musical knowledge are priceless, and I am forever grateful for everything they have done at MYAC for my kids, and I know every other parent here can say the same. I encourage all to experience the joy of being part of this amazing organization!
-Marta Dudek, MYAC Parent
MYAC changed my life forever. It's not only the most welcoming community, but also most inspiring. The music standards are extraordinarily high because of the professionalism, encouragement, and dedication from the faculty, coaches, directors, and students. In all honesty there are no words to describe how special MYAC really is. You just HAVE to take the opportunity to experience it! My only regret is not joining MYAC sooner!
-Peter Dudek, MYAC Student
MYAC provides pre-K through 12th-grade students from the Chicago tri-state area with outstanding opportunities to play in orchestras, bands, vocal ensembles, chamber groups, and master classes at various levels, with regular performances. They also offer music theory classes (free!), and a sonata class. MYAC provides exceptional opportunities for students to develop musically and personally, make friends with similar interests, and experience fine mentoring. The professional musicians who work with the students are highly qualified, kind, dedicated, and experienced. MYAC also provides a uniquely wonderful family environment. Parents and siblings can choose to stay in the building while students rehearse. Families can listen to rehearsals, catch up on work or studies, chat with other families, relax or nap by the fireplace, stroll or bike the gorgeous grounds of Fort Sheridan. Being a part of MYAC these past four years has been an awesome experience for our son, and our entire family. Our Saturdays at MYAC have become a highlight of our week. We very enthusiastically recommend MYAC to other students and families!!”
-Laura Gottardi-Littell, MYAC Parent