Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center Receives Grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

By: From MPAC
By: From MPAC

ROCKFORD (MPAC) -- “The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has been awarded a grant of $500 by the President’s Discretionary Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois,” Laura Schweitzer said today.

According to Ms. Schweitzer, the grant will be used for a free student outreach with the NIU Steelband for middle and high school students on November 4, 2011. The 35-member ensemble, led by Liam Teague, will conduct a steelpan lecture/demonstration and mini-concert for up to 850 area students and teachers. The steelpan, or steel drum, is a musical instrument made from 55-gallon drums that usually store oil and is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. The NIU Steelband was created in 1973 and was the first active steel band formed in an American university. Over the years, the band has performed throughout the United States and around the world. NIU is one of the few institutions in the world at which students may pursue music degrees (undergraduate and graduate) with the steelpan as the major instrument of choice.

“The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has offered similar student outreaches with world-renowned musicians to upwards of 600 students per year for the past five years,” Ms. Schweitzer said. “The grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois will give us additional resources to increase area students’ enjoyment and knowledge of music and a culture which may be new to them.”

The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center was founded in 1884 and offers live performances by local and world-renowned artists, adult and student performing ensembles, and a vibrant and growing youth music program to the residents of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Robert Quimby is president of the Mendelssohn PAC Board of Directors.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is the area’s largest provider of grants and services. Stewarding almost $50 million in assets and over 400 funds, the Foundation awards over $3 million each year on behalf of caring donors who want to give something back to their community.

For more information, contact the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center at 815-964-9713 or, or visit

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