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The History of One Composer, One Community

The Music Institute of Chicago uses the power of music to educate, inspire, and bring comfort to the communities we serve.

Through our One Composer, One Community initiative, MIC partners with a composer and connects MIC student musicians of all ages and levels with their music.

In May 2020, nearly a hundred faculty and staff members gathered to reflect on how MIC could improve diversity and inclusion within our environment. A Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, facilitated by Trustees Carlos Cardenas and Barbara Sereda and comprised of a diverse representation of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and current families, formed. 

As part of this process, MIC developed the "One Composer, One Community" program, a curriculum and related performances relevant to and celebrating communities.

Each year, MIC focuses on the music of an under-represented composer that will be highlighted in MIC teaching studios and on stage at Nichols Concert Hall. The inaugural composer was William Grant Still in 2022. Hector Villa Lobos was the 2023 selection.

In 2024, Composer Reena Esmail was selected.

As the year unfolds, additional information about the life and music of Reena Esmail will be shared on our website, in community forums, and in curricular units designed for K-12 classrooms.

Community Events with Reena Esmail

Ask Reena!
Ever wonder how a composer creates music? Ask Reena Esmail! 
Reena personally answered questions from our community. 

Watch the full Q&A video

Free Community Showcase Concert!
Join us for a Free Faculty and Student Showcase Concert featuring works by Composer Reena Esmail!
Saturday, April 20, 2024 at 7:30pm

Click Here for concert Details

Women's History Month on WFMT
Works by Reena Esmail are included in an annual fixture for the start of Women’s History Month: performances of female composers’ works by young local musicians on WFMT - Introductions.
Learn More About This Event



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