Music

Celia Hannan, Visual Arts ’22. Self-Portrait Collage. 2021, Drawing.

A Day in the Life

The ChiArts Music Conservatory, Illinois High School State Champions in Music (IHSA Class A), continues to be one of the most enriching and engaging pre-professional high school music departments in the country. The conservatory offers both Instrumental and Vocal tracks featuring a vast array of courses including: Symphony Orchestra, Music Production, Contemporary Music Studies, A Capella Choir, and Guitar Ensemble, just to name a few. ChiArts Music prides itself on having studios available for all instruments and voices, and all scholar-artists are involved in performing ensembles, technique classes, and music theory classes.

46 Pre-Professional & Donor-Funded Courses Offered

21 Dedicated Faculty Members

4 Illinois High School Association champion titles*, listing ChiArts as the #1 Class A Music Program in Illinois

29 Scholar-artists selected to perform for Illinois Music Education Association’s Festival*

Music Alumni Stories
’13
Profile photo of Elijah Daniel Smith

Elijah Daniel Smith

Post-Secondary
Bachelor of Music in Music Composition, Boston Conservatory and Master of Music in Music Composition, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University
Currently
Composer with work premiered by world-renowned ensembles, and PhD candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University as a President’s Fellow
’17
Profile photo of Ravyn Lenae

Ravyn Lenae

Post-Secondary
Signed with Atlantic Records senior year of ChiArts, and opened for rapper, poet, and record producer, NoName on the Telefone Tour
Currently
Released debut album Hypnos with Atlantic Records in 2022, and announced a headlining tour spanning 16 cities
Group of music conservatory scholar artists

What Do Scholar-Artists Gain?

  1. Pre-professional training from nationally acclaimed musicians, college professors, recording artists, and renowned music composers and producers. 
  2. Wide array of solo and ensemble experience through 1-1 lessons combined with specialized ensembles such as Big Band, Chamber Singers, and Jazz Combo. 
  3. Arts partnerships with regional and national organizations such as University of Illinois at Chicago, Jazz Education Network Conference, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, and more. 
  4. Network of alumni graduates who go on to major universities, receive full-ride scholarships, accept record deals, and have toured nationwide.
Music conservatory performance

Performances & Arts Partnerships

ChiArts’ Music Conservatory hosts 14+ instrumental and vocal productions each year, and participates in countless off-campus performances and events. ChiArts  performances range from large ensemble showcases, cultural tributes, and small ensembles for both the instrumental and vocal programs. In 2023, music scholar-artists performed for audiences at Chicago institutions such as Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Chicago Jazz Festival, FOX News, and for special guests such as Michelle Obama. The  Music Conservatory continues to expand performance and producing opportunities through curriculum enhancements that focus on the individual’s ability to self-produce, record, and write. In courses like Music Production and Guitar Skills for Vocalists, scholar-artists have the opportunity to produce an album, and vocalists learn how to accompany themselves. 

Expert Leadership

Headshot of Anthony Bruno

Anthony Bruno has been a driving force in the ChiArts Music Department since 2010. After serving as the esteemed ChiArts Jazz Coordinator since 2013, Mr. Bruno was promoted to Music Conservatory Head in 2021.

As an in-demand saxophonist in Chicago, he has performed with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Larry Carlton (Steely Dan), Bobby Watson, Jeff Hamilton, Gerald Clayton, Bobby Broom, and Mary Wilson of The Supremes to name a few. Mr. Bruno has also performed at various music festivals such as the New York City Winter Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival. He has released numerous recordings that can be found on all streaming platforms including multiple releases chosen for Spotify Editorial Playlists. Mr. Bruno’s main musical influences are Jazz, Afro-Cuban, and R&B and considers them the foundational language to his approach to music.

In addition to his teaching at ChiArts, he has served as adjunct faculty at DePaul University teaching the Saxophone Technique course from 2010 to 2015. An experienced guest artist, clinician and arranger, he has worked with such schools and organizations as Dartmouth College, Youth Jazz Ensemble of DuPage, and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Mr. Bruno graduated Magna Cum Laude from DePaul University earning a Bachelor of Music Education in 2007. He is a licensed Music Educator in the state of Illinois.

Two students playing guitar onstage

You make it possible

With your help, the ChiArts Foundation will raise more than $3 million this year to fully fund ChiArts’ five arts conservatories and provide a safe and supportive environment for scholar-artists to flourish during and beyond high school.