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CMPI held our first in-person benefit event, “Opening Doors,” on Wednesday, October 26 in Symphony Center’s Buntrock Hall. A celebration of diversity and excellence in classical music, the evening featured exciting performances by current violin fellows Sameer Agrawal and Paloma Chavira, as well as both a stunning performance and personal remarks by current oboe fellow Zachary Allen. Emceed by CMPI Project Director James Hall, the program also featured stirring words from Project Advisor Adrienne Thompson that reminded us of the crucial nature of CMPI’s work.

We were especially pleased to welcome composer-violinist Jessie Montgomery, the CSO Mead Composer in Residence, as the event’s special guest and key speaker. Ms. Montgomery shared her support for the work CMPI is doing, her enthusiasm for the high standards that fellows achieve, and spoke about some of the key doors opened for her in her own career path. Guests also enjoyed conversing with her and one another over bites and beverages before and after the presented portion of the evening.

Thank you to the many organizations and individuals who made the event – and make this work – possible. A special thank you to Lori Julian of the Julian Family Foundation for her presenting sponsorship of the event, as well as to the Negaunee Music Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association for hosting us at Symphony Center. We are grateful for the additional event sponsors listed below, as well as everyone who bought a ticket or gave what they could to the Opening Doors campaign. Every gift helps us ensure the future of this work with these promising musicians of tomorrow.

If you feel moved and able to join CMPI’s growing community of support, please visit our online donation form at: In Zach’s words from the event, “CMPI has opened so many doors for me, and it’s because of CMPI’s support that I feel prepared to audition for top colleges in a few months. I hope that all of you will support CMPI so that they can continue to open doors for students like me.”

Vivace Sponsors

Steve and Megan Shebik

Allegro Sponsor

John Sirek

Grazioso Sponsors

Toni-Marie Montgomery
Yana Nedvetsky and Axel Vargas
Steve and Emmy Stanley

Andante Sponsors

Jeff and Keiko Alexander
Charles and Carol Emmons
Charles Grode and Heidi Lukas
Elizabeth Ko
Michael Manson
Susan Noel
Julie Stapel
Adrienne Thompson
Marie and Steve Valenzuela


All photos: © 2022 Todd Rosenberg

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