Community Profile: International Music Foundation

International Music FoundationInterested in music?  The International Music Foundation of Chicago provides music performances and music education at no cost.  The Foundation was established in 1976 by Chicagoan Al Booth to present the Do-It Yourself Messiah, a large public sing-a-long of a Baroque masterpiece with world class conductor/soloists and an 80 piece orchestra.  It was the first of its kind in the city.  In 1977, the Foundation created the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts  in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center to provide performance opportunities for musicians early in their professional careers.   Due to the enthusiasm of their audiences, both the Do-It Yourself Messiah and the Hess series have continued uninterrupted since their  respective introductions.

Do It Yourself MessiahThe Do-it-yourself Messiah has been a Chicago holiday tradition since 1976.  This wonderful program brings together a world-class conductor and soloists along with an all-volunteer orchestra of local professionals and amateur musicians. The audience sings the choral parts so it is very much a DIY experience and definitely worth coming to participate in at the Harris Theater in December.

The Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts started on October 20,1977 with their first concert taking place in the magnificently restored Preston Bradley Hall of the newly re-opened Chicago Public Library Cultural Center.  Since then, there have been more than 1,500 artists performing.  The concerts are free and open to the public every Wednesday at 12:15pm at the Chicago Cultural Center, and are also broadcast live  on WFMT-FM radio and  The next scheduled concert is Wednesday, March 23rd at 12:15pm.

Dame Myra Hess Memorial ConcertLive Music Now!  International Music FoundationLive Music Now! was inspired by a similar program created in Great Britain by Yehudi Menuhin who served as a consultant on the Chicago program.  Young People’s Concerts are presented monthly for Chicago Public School grades K-6 at the Chicago Cultural Center and Kenwood Academy.  The upcoming Pangaea Jazz Quartet will be something fun to see.  They perform on Thursday, March 24th at the Chicago Cultural Center in Preston Bradley Hall at 10:30am and again at 12pm

For more information on the International Music Foundation, or if you would like to donate to this wonderful not-for-profit organization, visit their website at



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