The People’s Music School presents Performapaloozathon 2023 at Northeastern Illinois University on June 3, 2023

CHICAGO, IL – The People’s Music School, Chicago’s largest completely tuition-free, intensive music education program (since 1976) is pleased to announce our first in-person Performapaloozathon since 2019, occurring on June 3, 2023 on the Northeastern Illinois University campus in Chicago.

Performapaloozathon, the capstone performance experience of the school year for the school’s students, captures the spirit and celebrates the work of our intensive after-school programs. Each of our 700+ students has an opportunity to perform onstage for an audience of their peers, family members, community members, and faculty, staff, and board of the People’s Music School. The daylong event will feature 34 different musical ensembles that feature the breadth of People’s Music School programs across our four sites–in Woodlawn, Back of the Yards, Albany Park, and at our original flagship location–the Uptown Academy–in Uptown. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience instrumental and vocal performances on 21 different instruments.

A highlight of the day will be a special performance of students from our Service, Leadership, Artistry, and Mentorship (SLAM) high school honors program alongside musicians from Chicago Sinfonietta.

“As a cultural leader and a source of community through music, Chicago Sinfonietta is pleased to collaborate with Performapaloozathon, created by The People’s Music School, which shares our vision in championing diversity, equity, and inclusion through the musical arts,” said Sinfonietta President and Chief Executive Officer Blake-Anthony Johnson, about the collaboration. “Collaborating in this event to reach music lovers, learners, and performers of all ages and walks of life is another chapter in our work in the community.  We look forward to working together on this transformative, high-octane, musical event.” 

This performance–conducted by David Sands, Senior Manager of Artistic Engagement and adjunct professor at DePaul University–will feature Violins of Hope, a collection of 70 restored WWII-era instruments, each linked to holocaust victims and survivors. A selection of our SLAM students will have the opportunity to play these restored instruments and to help educate audiences about the legacy of a lost generation of Jewish people and to stand up against hate.

Steward of the Violins of Hope project in Chicago, JCC Chicago Director of Community Engagement Ilene Uhlmann, said “We are acutely aware of the challenges facing the youth today especially in this time of increased antisemitism and rising hate talk/crimes more broadly.  We hope that the sounds of these instruments and their amazing stories will inspire resilience, resistance and hope for generations to come.”

Additional activities include an Xbox Gaming Suite produced by Microsoft, food trucks, lawn games, and a VIP lounge. The event is open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to stop by the NEIU campus at any point between 10am and 5pm to experience this one-of-a-kind event.

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