DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Music Club has been a big part of supporting musicians and students in the village since 1927, and this year they are looking to make an even bigger impact.
The organization is hosting its first Celebration of the Arts Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the First Congregational Church, 1047 Curtiss St. Tickets for the benefit concert are $25.
The French-themed concert features six professional musicians playing a selection of works by Chopin, Debussy, Faure and Ravel. The show will also feature cellist and high school senior Andrew Moline, one of the club’s six Rising Star winners last year.
Following the concert, guests are invited to a silent auction and reception with coffee, wine and deserts by J. Fleming’s Absolutely Delicious.
The Downers Grove Music Club awards six juniors as Rising Stars each year with a $400 prize and opportunity to perform a solo recital as a senior. Proceeds from the Nov. 2 event will benefit future Rising Stars awards.
While the club is not officially affiliated with the school district, its Rising Stars solo performance opportunity has been key in encouraging young musicians in town for years, said South High School Fine Arts Department Chairman Glenn Williams.
“The highest level of performance is playing as a solo performer,” Williams said. “So anytime you give students a highlighted venue to aspire for, it raises their level of preparation and performance.”
In addition to the club’s Rising Stars program, it also runs the annual Piano Festival and hosts a regular schedule of music performances throughout town by professional musicians.
For many people in Downers Grove, their involvement with the club is generational.
Downers Grove resident and current club education chair Gloria Salazar remembers her mom’s participation in the club. Both her son and daughter were awarded Rising Star awards as well.
She said the club became a 501c3 charity about five years ago as the first step in its plan to grow, and now the benefit concert puts the plan into action.
“It’s an opportunity to expand fundraising efforts an increase the monetary support that the club offers these kids,” she said. “The other side is promoting music within the community.”