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2024 Music Institute of Chicago Gala Benefit Raises Over $900,000

2024 MIC Gala Dushkin Award recipient Marcus Roberts

The Music Institute of Chicago welcomed nearly 270 guests to its Annual Gala Benefit on Monday, May 20 at The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. The event raised more than $900,000 from a combination of corporate, foundation, and individual sponsorships and contributions.

Following a private cocktail reception, a New Orleans-style band escorted guests into the ballroom for an elegant dinner. Musical performances throughout the evening featured string and piano students from the Music Institute’s Academy for gifted pre-college musicians, as well as faculty.

MIC Academy chamber musicians - Quartet Meraviglia
MIC Academy Quartet Meraviglia: (l to r) Lauren Kim (Hoffman Estates), Elle Cho (Park Ridge)
Lucy Wu (Whitefish Bay, WI), and Emily Chen (Arlington Heights). 

The Music Institute of Chicago honored Erica Anderson with the Richard D. Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence to Erica Anderson, Fran and John Edwardson with the Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago and Marcus Roberts with the David and Dorothy Dushkin Award. The evening concluded with a special surprise performance from Roberts.

2024 Gala Honorees Erica Anderson, John and Fran Edwardson, and Marcus Roberts with Alexandra Nichols and Mark George
MIC Board Chair Emerita Alexandra C. Nichols, Colburn Award  honoree Erica Anderson,
Cultural Visionary Award recipients John and Fran Edwardson, Dushkin Award recipient Marcus Roberts, and MIC President and CEO Mark George

View Photo Gallery of 2024 MIC Gala

Proceeds from the Annual Gala Benefit support excellence in teaching and performance, upholding a standard and tradition that has been centuries in the making, and provide the single-largest source of funds for financial aid and scholarships, tuition-free community engagement, and neighborhood-based service activities. Each year the Music Institute positively impacts thousands of individuals of all ages and backgrounds from nearly 100 Illinois communities and scores of Chicago neighborhoods.

CDW Guests at MIC 2024 Gala Benefit
CDW guests with Cultural Visionary Award recipient John Edwardson

Gala Leadership

Gala leadership included Honorary Chairs Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr., and Scott and Nancy Santi; Chair Emerita Alexandra C. Nichols; and Co-Chairs Carlos R. Cardenas, Courtney Holohan and Wesley Mueller, David and Eileen Zampa, and Tao Zhu and Weihua Ye.

2024 MIC Gala Benefit Co-Chairs
MIC Gala Co-Chairs Dave Zampa, Courtney Holohan, Carlos Cardenas, Weihua Ye and Tao Zhu

Thank you to our sponsors

Key sponsorship support for the 2024 Gala Benefit was provided by Patron of the Arts sponsors the Edwardson Family Foundation and Grand Benefactors the John D. and Alexandra C. Nichols Foundation and John Fife. Benefactors include CDW; Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.; Courtney Holohan and Wesley Mueller; ITW; Northern Trust; Mr. and Mrs. Patrick G. Ryan; Barbara Speer and Christopher Noon; Scott and Areta Verschoor and KPMG; and David and Eileen Zampa and Sidley Austin, LLP.

2024 MIC Gala Sponsors


The Music Institute of Chicago leads people toward a lifelong engagement with music through unparalleled teaching, exceptional performances, and valuable service initiatives that educate, inspire, and build strong, healthy communities. Since its founding in 1931, the Music Institute’s commitment to innovation, access, and excellence has served as an important community resource and helps to ensure music is available to everyone.

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  Photo Credits:  Layne Dixon and Ana Miyares Photography, LLC