Skip to main content

Fall Kickoff: Welcome 2020/21 CMPI Fellows

Dear friends of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative,

Fall is in the air! The leaves are changing color, the weather is beginning to cool down, and CMPI’s official academic year is off and running. Since last month’s newsletter went out, we have completed all auditions and orientations for this new year. As program director, it is my pleasure to highlight once again some of our many program strengths.

Adrienne Thompson, CMPI Project Director | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2018

I want to thank everyone who participated in our three virtual orientation sessions. It was rewarding to see the adaptability and flexible thinking of our students and families. The panel of smiling fellows’ faces renewed my confidence that this season, even with the obvious challenges presented by social distancing, will be successful and meaningful.

Another source of optimism has been the final round of new member auditions. I am thrilled to announce a total of 93 CMPI fellows this season. The breakdown includes: 13 seniors, 15 juniors, 18 sophomores, 17 freshmen, 20 eighth graders, five seventh graders, and five sixth graders. The division of instrument families mirrors the ratio of a traditional orchestra, as well: 17 woodwind, 13 brass, 12 percussion, and 51 string players. Please join me in welcoming the new and returning fellows of the 2020/2021 class! This also means that applications for our 2021/2022 cohort are now open on our website. Learn more at

This newsletter, just our second issue, continues to highlight the character and talent of our CMPI family. This includes a closer look at some of our current and former students as well as continued insight into the talented and dedicated teaching faculty here at CMPI. You can also get a jump on your holiday shopping with our CMPI tee-shirt fundraiser – see below for details! I want to offer my gratitude to the CMPI parents who are writing these articles and making this possible: Susan Agrawal, Farah Briones, Kim Harmon, Marc Harper, and Mike Molina. Thank you, friends.

It may seem as though the world has stopped and, apropos of CMPI, that the lack of in-person performing arts has created an emptiness in our daily lives. We cannot wait for some measure of normalcy to return to us. Instead, we must push forward and be at the forefront of adapting and evolving. CMPI fellows will have a chance to shape the future of our industry/profession. This includes new ways of thinking about social media as well as the way that technology is used. I hope that as students begin to prepare their videos for the upcoming juries and pre-screenings, that they flex their already-known creative muscles, embrace technology and look forward to a future full of promise.

Finally, to all the adults reading this, please consider this my formal plea to vote in the November 3 election! Down ballot candidates—such as sheriffs, judges, and state congresspeople—often have as much impact on our daily lives as presidential candidates when it comes to shaping the politics of our city and communities. To register to vote, and learn about all the candidates on your ballot, please visit


Adrienne Thompson
Project Director | Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative

Are you interested in joining CMPI’s next cohort?

Apply Today!