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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Merit School of Music Appoints Charles Grode as New President and Executive Director

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Merit School of Music Appoints Charles Grode as New President and Executive Director

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Jul 21, 2015

On July 15th, Chicago's Merit School of Music announced the appointment of Charles Grode as the new president & executive director. Grode comes to Merit after 17 seasons at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, most recently as vice president for the Negaunee Music Institute, the CSO's education and community engagement division which engages more than 200,000 students, parents and educators annually.

"The choice was obvious. Charlie's skills and his obvious enthusiasm for Merit's mission made him the perfect candidate," said Barry Mitchell, Chair of Merit's board of trustees.

In his new role, Grode will work with Merit's board of trustees on strategic planning and guide Merit's efforts to expand programming and engage a wider range of students. Additionally, Grode will be responsible for leadership and overall management of the organization, including overseeing administrative staff and faculty, ensuring that all programs meet Merit's mission and are effectively implemented, serving as Merit's representative with its external constituents and developing and overseeing major projects.

Grode starts at Merit on September 1. He succeeds Tom Bracy, who departed Merit last March to become director of education programs for the Conn-Selmer Company. Longtime Merit president and National Guild trustee Duffie Adelson retired in June after 33 years of devoted service, although she remains active with the school as a life trustee.

About Merit School of Music

Since its founding in 1979, Merit School of Music has successfully motivated and inspired more than 50,000 young people with high-quality music instruction. Our non-profit community music school is based at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center in Chicago’s West Loop, and we also provide programs at nearly 50 locations in Chicago’s neighborhoods.  Our skilled faculty provides a multi-leveled, structured curriculum to youth—from newborns to teens—regardless of their ability to pay. Merit transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth by providing the highest quality music education – with a focus on underserved communities – inspiring young people to achieve their full musical and personal potential.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.