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Meet the inaugural2019/20 Cohort

abigail lopez cmpi

ABIGAIL LOPEZ

INSTRUMENT: Bassoon
AGE: 17
NEIGHBORHOOD: Aurora
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Symphony Orchestra
FAVORITE SONG: Scheherazade by Rimsky Korsakov

Adriana Koch cmpi

ADRIANA KOCH

INSTRUMENT: Oboe
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Gurnee
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Midwest Young Artists
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Symphony Orchestra
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: The Chicago Symphony! I also love meeting all the different types of people in Chicago.

aidan sinclair daniels cmpi

AIDAN SINCLAIR DANIELS

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Frankfort
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Music Institute of Chicago
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Philharmonic Orchestra
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Performing at the White House for Michelle Obama in 2016 and at Carnegie Hall with the National Youth Orchestra 2.

Akosua-Haynes-CMPI

AKOSUA HAYNES

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 12
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hyde Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Music Institute of Chicago
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: I’ve had many experiences but getting accepted into CMPI ranks at the top.

aleo esparza cmpi

ALEO ESPARZA

INSTRUMENT: Percussion
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Little Village
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: Merit – Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony
FAVORITE SONG: El Camino Real by Alfred Reed

amanda perez cmpi

AMANDA PEREZ

INSTRUMENT: Viola
AGE: 18
NEIGHBORHOOD: Barrington
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Symphony Orchestra
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: How kind and friendly everyone is. The people of Chicago give off such a positive energy and I think that’s part of what makes our city so great. Also, the food 🙂

anika veda cmpi

ANIKA VEDA

INSTRUMENT: Flute
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Palatine
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Midwest Young Artists
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Philharmonic Orchestra
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN MUSIC: I first got involved in studying music when my dad bought me a plastic recorder when I was about 4. I played on that for fun for a few years, and then decided to switch to flute when I was 8!

ariyo akinyemi cmpi

ARIYO AKINYEMI

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Bolingbrook
LARGE ENSEMBLES: Naperville Youth Symphony Orchestra
FAVORITE SONG: Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky

autymn williams cmpi

AUTYMN WILLIAMS

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Englewood
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Musical Arts Institute
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: How the city is full of opportunities and places to go. Also, the food!

ava isabella angeles cmpi

AVA ISABELLA ANGELES

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 11
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hyde Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute
FAVORITE SONG: En Bateau by Claude Debussy

bradon harper cmpi

BRANDON HARPER

INSTRUMENT: Percussion
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Humboldt Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Philharmonic Orchestra
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN MUSIC: Playing Rock Band on the Wii when I was younger.

bryana martinez cmpi

BRYANA MARTINEZ

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 17
NEIGHBORHOOD: Chicago Ridge
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Mariachi Project, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, DePaul, Midwest Young Artists, Ravinia
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Being nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2017. The nomination has opened so many new opportunities for me and I have been able work alongside many famous artists.

bryce kayser cmpi

BRYCE KAYSER

INSTRUMENT: Viola
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Oak Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Symphony Orchestra
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Graduating into CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra from the Philharmonic Orchestra.

david reyes cmpi

DAVID REYES

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 11
NEIGHBORHOOD: Portage Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: CYSO – Debut Orchestra
HOW I FIRST GOT INTO STUDYING MUSIC: I was inspired by my older sisters who excel at playing the clarinet, violin, and cello. My sister Serena plays the cello and I was always drawn to the sound. At the age of 3, I attended a tryout class at Merit School of Music where all of my sisters were attending. It was a natural fit for me and the beginning of my musical career.

edgar urbina cmpi

EDGAR URBINA

INSTRUMENT: Trombone
AGE: 12
NEIGHBORHOOD: Gage Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: Merit – Concert Band
FAVORITE SONG: Acclamations by Ed Huckeby

efuru-hawa-kilolo-harmon-miller-cmpi

EFURU HAWA KILOLO HARMON-MILLER

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 10
NEIGHBORHOOD: Glenwood
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: I LOVE the energy, the architecture, the restaurants, Lake Michigan, and all of the dogs.

elianna nielsen cmpi

ELIANNA NIELSEN

INSTRUMENT: Viola
AGE: 17
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hanover Park
LARGE ENSEMBLES: Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra
FAVORITE SONG: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky

ella saputra cmpi

ELLA SAPUTRA

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Schaumburg
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Midwest Young Artists
LARGE ENSEMBLES: MYA – Symphony Orchestra
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN STUDYING MUSIC: My older sister was studying violin, so when I was 4 years old I started learning to follow in her footsteps.

eric bahena cmpi

ERIC BAHENA

INSTRUMENT: Bassoon
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Carpentersville
LARGE ENSEMBLES: Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Going down to ILMEA All-State during my sophomore year in high school and playing in the Honors All-State band, sitting second chair and playing in front of thousands of people.

genesis morales cmpi

GENESIS MORALES

INSTRUMENT: Trombone
AGE: 13
NEIGHBORHOOD: Chicago
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: Merit – Symphonic Band
FAVORITE SONG: Fantasia for Alto Saxophone by Claude T. Smith

giovanni ibarra cmpi

GIOVANI IBARRA

INSTRUMENT: Oboe
AGE: 13
NEIGHBORHOOD: Little Village
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago High School for the Arts
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: When my music teacher thought I had what it takes to take on solos and difficult pieces of music.

heidi murillo cmpi

HEIDI MURILLO

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: West Chicago
LARGE ENSEMBLES: Naperville Youth Symphony Orchestra
FAVORITE SONG: Por una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel

jonathan miller cmpi

JONATHAN MILLER

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: South Shore
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, DePaul, Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Music Institute of Chicago
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Symphony Orchestra
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: I love living in an urban environment with such a bustling music scene. I am also able to play with one of the premier youth orchestras worldwide.

Jonathan Ngoy CMPI

JONATHAN NGOY

INSTRUMENT: Trombone
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Streamwood
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Merit – Philharmonic Orchestra
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Playing in CYSO – my first orchestra playing experience. I taught myself tenor clef at the end of 6th grade and with daily practices I was proficient by the middle of 7th grade. Playing music written in tenor clef was an exciting feat I waited a long time to do.

joseluis cardoso cmpi

JOSELUIS CARDOSO

INSTRUMENT: Flute
AGE: 13
NEIGHBORHOOD: Gage Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES:
Merit – Symphonic Band
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN STUDYING MUSIC: When I first listened to classical music. I enjoyed playing it and listening to it, and wanted to continue doing the same but at a higher level.

julia seabron cmpi

JULIA SEABRON

INSTRUMENT: Viola
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Chicago
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Merit – Philharmonic Orchestra
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: Festivals at Grant Park, the museums, and the lakefront.

Julia Soto cmpi

JULIA SOTO

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Albany Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project, The People’s Music School
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Accelerando Strings
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: I was given the opportunity to be a part of the 2019 YOLA National Festival this year. I met so many new people and got to play with them at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Gustavo Dudamel.

Julian Bradford cmpi

JULIAN BRADFORD

INSTRUMENT: Trombone
AGE: 17
NEIGHBORHOOD: Oak Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES:
 Merit – Wind Symphony
What is your favorite piece of music or song?: Cosmic Voyage by Mike Forbes

Kahauri Givens cmpi

KAHAURI GIVENS

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: South Hoxie
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago High School for the Arts, Ravinia Festival (Reach, Teach, Play)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF MUSIC OR SONG?: String quartet in F major by Maurice Ravel

Kai Isoke Ali-Landing cmpi

KAI ISOKE ALI-LANDING

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 10
NEIGHBORHOOD: South Shore
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Musical Arts Institute, Hyde Park Suzuki Institute
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: I enjoy teaching younger kids how to play the violin and when they watch me play.

kaillie holliday cmpi

KAILIE HOLLIDAY

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hillside
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Merit – Philharmonic Orchestra
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Performing in Shanghai, China.

kene obiaya cmpi

KENÉ OBIAYA

INSTRUMENT: Viola
AGE: 13
NEIGHBORHOOD: Woodlawn
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Hyde Park Suzuki Institute
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO- Symphony Orchestra
MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Either performing at Symphony Hall for the first time (with CYSO) or soloing with the Chicago Sinfonietta.

Khalilah Muhammad cmpi

KHALILAH MUHAMMAD

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 12
NEIGHBORHOOD: Washington Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Merit School of Music, Musical Arts Institute
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Merit – String Orchestra
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: I love downtown: the parks, the restaurants, the attractions, the museum, the aquarium, the planetarium, the zoo, the arcades, and the malls.

Mahrhoztal Rosier cmpi

MAHRHOZTAL ROSIER

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hyde Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Hyde Park Youth Symphony
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Hyde Park Youth Symphony
MY FAVORITE SONG: New River by The Oh Hellos

Miriam Kessler cmpi

MIRIAM KESSLER

INSTRUMENT: Harp
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Elgin
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Midwest Young Artists
LARGE ENSEMBLES:
MYA – Symphony Orchestra
MY FAVORITE PIECE OF MUSIC: Prelude in C Sharp Minor by Sergei Rachmaninov or Pavane for a Dead Princess by Maurice Ravel

Nando Cordeiro cmpi

NANDO CORDEIRO

INSTRUMENT: Trumpet
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Chicago Ridge
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES:
Merit- Wind Symphony
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: I love how it’s close to the lake, especially when it’s summer and good to go the beach. I especially love the Art Institute.

Nathaniel Mathew CMPI

NATHANIEL MATHEW

INSTRUMENT: Percussion
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Schaumburg
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Midwest Young Artists
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Symphony Orchestra, MYA – Symphony Orchestra
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN STUDYING MUSIC: I was drawn to the drum-set at a young age after seeing my first teacher play the drums at church. I then gradually became more and more interested in orchestral music.

Nazeeh Shahid cmpi

NAZEEH SHAHID

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Woodlawn
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Merit School of Music, Musical Arts Institute
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Merit – Philharmonic Orchestra
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: The museums, the parks and nature preserves, and the lakefront.

Noah Briones cmpi

NOAH BRIONES

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Riverside
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Concert Orchestra
MY FAVORITE PIECE OF MUSIC: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major

Oliver Talukder cmpi

OLIVER TALUKDER

INSTRUMENT: Oboe
AGE: 17
NEIGHBORHOOD: Glenview
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, The People’s Music School
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO- Symphony Orchestra
MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Though very recent, the CYSO tour was one of the best experiences of my life. It was amazing to travel internationally with some of my best friends while making beautiful music and overcoming different obstacles thrown our way.

Olivia Molina cmpi

OLIVIA MOLINA

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Montgomery
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Symphony Orchestra, Merit – Philharmonic Orchestra
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO: The food! Definitely the food! And all the fun things to do, from restaurants and Cubs games, to concerts and museums. And the people too! I’ve met so many cool friends from all parts of the city.

Owen Riordan cmpi

OWEN RIORDAN

INSTRUMENT: Trombone
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Dyer, IN
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Philharmonic Orchestra
MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Merit has drastically influenced my musicianship and my ability to play my instrument. I would say that it is the most prominent musical experience I have had so far because without it I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the musical experiences I do today.

Rafael Noriega cmpi

RAFAEL NORIEGA

INSTRUMENT: Trombone
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: East Side
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Symphony Orchestra, Merit – Wind Symphony
MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: My most significant musical experience was going on NPR’s From The Top last year.

Rodrigo Soto cmpi

RODRIGO SOTO

INSTRUMENT:
AGE: 15
NEIGHBORHOOD: Highland Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Concert Orchestra
MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: I played Concerto in D minor by Molique at the University of Illinois in Urbana.

Rogelio Alonso Arriaga CMPI

ROGELIO ALONSO ARRIAGA

INSTRUMENT: Flute
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Gage Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Merit School of Music
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Merit – Symphonic Band
MY FAVORITE PIECE OF MUSIC: Danny Boy by Frederic Weatherly

Sajdah Muhammad CMPI

SAJDAH MUHAMMAD

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 17
NEIGHBORHOOD: Washington Heights
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Musical Arts Institute, Music Institute of Chicago
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
MIC – Academy Orchestra
MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Being able to play for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been the most significant musical experience in my life so far.

Sameer Agrawal CMPI

SAMEER AGRAWAL

INSTRUMENT: Violin
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Albany Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Music Institute of Chicago
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
MIC – Academy Orchestra
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN STUDYING MUSIC: Funny story. When I was a toddler I saw Joshua Bell on Sesame Street. I begged my mom for 3 years and she finally let me start lessons when I was 5.

Xavier Perry

XAVIER PERRY

INSTRUMENT: Cello
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hyde Park
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Hyde Park Youth Symphony
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
Hyde Park Youth Symphony
MOST SIGNIFICANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE: Meeting and playing with Yo-Yo Ma back in 8th grade.

xitlali torres

XITLALI TORRES

INSTRUMENT: Trumpet
AGE: 16
NEIGHBORHOOD: Little Village
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago High School for the Arts
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN STUDYING MUSIC: I joined JROTC in middle school and we were required to pick an instrument. I chose trumpet and have been playing ever since.

Zachary allen cmpi

ZACHARY ALLEN

INSTRUMENT: Oboe
AGE: 14
NEIGHBORHOOD: Skokie
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music, Music Institute of Chicago
LARGE ENSEMBLES: 
CYSO – Symphony Orchestra, Merit – Philharmonic Orchestra and Wind Symphony
HOW I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN STUDYING MUSIC: I first got involved with studying music when I joined my school’s orchestra in 4th grade. I played cello in the orchestra for 5 years.

Applications are open for 2020/21