Good things come in threes at MIC
Charles Darrow of Wilmette with Paula Danoff, Kathy Vondran and Kathy Bette all of Winnetka. | Lee Litas~Sun-Times Media
Music Institute of Chicago, 517 Green Bay Road, Wilmette; (847) 905-1500 or musicinst.org
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:29AM
The Event: If music produces a kind of pleasure that human nature cannot do without, as Confucius once said, then the more than 500 attendees at the 82nd anniversary gala of the Music Institute of Chicago on May 1 must have agreed.
Held inside the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, the pageantry-rich evening enthralled its audience with performances by virtuosos as young as 6 and honored veteran composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who, with his Tony-, Grammy-, Academy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning work, has literally helped shape musical theater for the past six decades.
Cause Célèbre: “The only [awards] that really mean something to me are the ones connected with education,” said Sondheim upon receiving MIC’s Dushkin Award for exceptional artists, music educators and role models for young music students. “I get very moved when I think about teaching and, as far as I am concerned, this award belongs to teachers as well as students.”
Gala and board chairman Alexandra Nichols summarized MIC’s success in three parts: “Extraordinary music school, great faculty, amazing students.”
In fact, the number three seemed to be a recurring theme.
“A few years ago we had Yo-Yo Ma, last year we had maestro [Riccardo] Muti and this year we have Stephen Sondheim. It’s a trifecta; we have been so fortunate,” said Nichols.
The Music Institute also presented its third annual Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago to Marilynn Alsdorf, recognizing her philanthropic and civic leadership for arts in Chicago and Illinois.
Reaching more than 10,000 individuals at campuses throughout the North Shore and Chicago, MIC’s mission is to provide a foundation for lifelong engagement with music based on the principle that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit.
Bottom Line: The event raised more than $1.36 million for MIC.