In Wednesday’s (2/10) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein writes, “Benjamin Das kept a secret for two months: His music students at the Pritzker College Prep High School were about to get new instruments. ‘You knew about it?’ a student asked Tuesday in disbelief. ‘Well, yeah,’ said Das, music director at Pritzker in Chicago’s Cragin neighborhood, with a mischievous smile. Pritzker is one of four Chicago public schools that received a combined $100,000 worth of musical instruments from FutureStage, a program run by investment firm Fidelity that supports arts education. Kenwood Academy High School, another participating school, hosted a kickoff event Tuesday. Other beneficiaries were Lincoln Park High School and Jones College Prep High School. A total of $500,000 worth of instruments have been donated to schools across the country this year, according to Fidelity. Simulcast from Chicago, Houston, Boston and Los Angeles, the event was emceed by ‘Lost’ star Dominic Monaghan from Los Angeles, with actress Joan Cusack appearing in Chicago. … In an interview before the event, Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, said the 2010 schools were selected by the CSO because, ‘They have consistent music programs and are in some significant need of support.’ ”

Posted February 10, 2010