The mission of the dynamic Dubhe Ensemble is to feature rotating cohorts consisting of the most influential chamber and orchestra musicians. The rotating members of the ensemble dedicate themselves to performing and educating, encouraging authentic community connection and inclusivity among its audiences while making a long-lasting impact.
Citizen musician, entrepreneur, and youth advocate Joseph Conyers (Assistant Principal Double Bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra) is a highly acclaimed, multi-faceted artist whose innovative work in music education and access has been recognized internationally. He has been awarded the Sphinx Organization’s Medal of Excellence (2019); the Theodore L. Kesselman Award for Arts Education from the New York Youth Symphony (2019); the highest award bestowed upon a musician in The Philadelphia Orchestra, the C. Hartman Kuhn Award (2018); and the inaugural Young Alumni Award from the Curtis Institute of Music (2015). He has been named to the Musical America list of “30 Top Professionals: Innovators, Independent Thinkers, and Entrepreneurs” (2018) and Ebony’s “30 Leaders 30 and Under” (2007).
A 2004 Sphinx Laureate, Conyers has been a bass soloist with numerous orchestras and has been an artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for a number of years. As a conductor, Conyers served as the Music Director of the Philadelphia’s School District’s All-City Orchestra and is currently the Director of the Young Artists Orchestra of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. A frequent guest clinician and public speaker who presents from coast to coast, Conyers also serves on the double bass faculty of The Juilliard School.
Merit School of Music
A nationally accredited music school located in Chicago’s West Loop, Merit School of Music’s mission is to transform the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education.
For more than 40 years, Merit has been home to a diverse community of talented young musicians and have acted as a springboard for achieving full musical and personal potential. Merit’s passionate and experienced teaching artists provide access to high-quality music education, engaging over 2,500 students annually at our downtown location and in area schools and community centers.
Merit students, who reflect the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of Chicago, have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons as they build inspiring lives through music. Merit develops musicians and provides young people with the tools they need to excel in life, with 100% of our graduates going on to college.
Learn more at meritmusic.org.
Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative
The mission of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) is to identify and develop gifted and motivated orchestral students from underrepresented backgrounds for acceptance into top-tier conservatory, college or university classical music programs in preparation for careers as professional musicians.
The initiative involves close collaboration and resource sharing among a diverse network of well-established non-profit Chicago youth and music-education focused organizations. Together, participating organizations work to identify talented, motivated students early in their training. Musicians selected for CMPI are carefully assessed and provided with comprehensive supports – musical and extra-musical (e.g., financial, instructional, academic, etc.) to remove many of the barriers to access that can discourage or derail the training of talented young musicians from underrepresented backgrounds before they are able to realize their full musical potential.
Learn more at chicagopathways.org.