Local volunteer musicians performing at area hospitals
"As a small organization, having the recognition of such a prominent and beloved arts’ institution as the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is an honor." Allegra Montanari Director of the Center for Arts Leadershi, and Founder of Sharing Notes

The most prestigious award made annually by the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) will be presented on Oct. 19 to Sharing Notes, a non-profit organization that includes student volunteer musicians performing for patients at area hospitals.

The local volunteer musician’s group, which has given more than 500 performances for patients at area hospitals since 2012, will be recognized for spreading widely the beauty of music beyond the concert hall.

“Sharing Notes unique ability to selflessly help others through their musical talents builds community even as it opens up space for transformative healing and change,” said Christina Salerno, executive director of IPO.

Allegra Montanari, director of Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Center for Arts Leadership, founded Sharing Notes as a student group while finishing her graduate degree in Cello Performance at Roosevelt in 2012.

She began by organizing monthly performances by students for cancer patients at Prentice Women’s Hospital in April 2012. Since then, the organization has grown as an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with the continued support of Roosevelt University as an educational sponsor.

“As students pursuing degrees in the performing arts, we are surrounded by the beauty of live music and it can be easy to take that for granted,” said Montanari. “With my colleagues, I decided that we needed to reconnect with the power we have to create that beauty for others – especially those who lack access to it.”

Montanari will receive the coveted Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee Excellence in the Arts Award on behalf of Sharing Notes during the opening-night celebration of IPO’s 42nd season.

“As a small organization, having the recognition of such a prominent and beloved arts’ institution, as the IPO is an honor,” she said.

Approximately 40 musicians, including many who are students and alumni from Roosevelt’s CCPA, volunteer with Sharing Notes, which gives an estimated 85 performances, reaching about 4,500 patients annually.

Each month, Sharing Notes regularly performs for patients at Northwestern Memorial’s Lurie Cancer Center at Prentice Women’s Hospital, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.

Click here for more information on how to get involved or for more information regarding Sharing Notes hospital performances, contact Laura Janota, ljanota@roosevelt.edu or Allegra Montanari, amontanari@roosevelt.edu.

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