On October 3, 2016, the International Music Foundation merged with Rush Hour Concerts, NFP and now produces their combined six programs comprised of free, world class classical concerts, beloved participatory solstice celebrations, and stellar music education outreach in under-resourced neighborhoods of Chicago. IMF serves over 85,000 live listeners and participants annually, including 45,000 Chicago Public School students. An additional 300,000 virtual listeners access live and recorded broadcasts on WFMT and IMF's free streaming platforms each month.
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts features solo and ensemble performances that showcase emerging classical performers. Held year-round on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center.
A Chicago holiday tradition since 1976, the Do-It-Yourself Messiah brings together a world-class conductor and soloists, an all-volunteer orchestra of local professionals and amateur musicians and thousands of chorus/audience in a thrilling performance of Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah.
Live Music Now! brings the experience and joy of live performances to Chicago Public School students through in-school recitals and young people’s concerts. The program was inspired by a similar effort created in Great Britain by Yehudi Menuhin who served as a consultant for the Chicago program.
Make Music Chicago is a one-day, citywide, free music festival that takes place annually on the Summer Solstice, June 21, and is completely free for musicians and audiences alike.
Rush Hour Concerts has reinvented the classical music experience through a dedication to artistic quality, a concert format suitable to contemporary lifestyles and a policy of admission-free events. Held on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer at 5:45 p.m. at St. James Cathedral.
Since 2012, Rush Hour Concerts has partnered with many of Chicago’s finest classical ensembles, including Avalon Quartet, Axiom Brass, Third Coast Percussion and Spektral Quartet, to develop curriculum and partner with after school music programs, currently The People’s Music School, for embedded residencies that allow students to interact with working professionals as mentors and teachers in a dynamic way in their own neighborhoods.