Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra to Present the Ruth D. And Ken M. Davee Excellence in the Arts Award to Sharing Notes at the October 19, 2019 Opening Night Post-Concert Celebration


Media Contact: Mary Kate Luzzo Marketing, Communications, and Events Coordinator

Phone: 708.481.7774

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Every season, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra's Board of Directors presents the Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee Excellence in the Arts Award to honor an individual, group of individuals or organization whose exceptional commitment, vision, leadership and achievements have resulted in major contributions to the arts and music. This award is the most prestigious given by the orchestra.


Sharing Notes will be honored as the 2019 recipient of the Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee Excellence in the Arts Award by IPO on Saturday October 19, 2019. Sharing Notes is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for Chicago hospital patients through personal, intimate, engaging and uplifting live music performances. Allegra Montanari, Founder and Executive Director of Sharing Notes, will receive the award on behalf of her organization during IPO's Post-Concert Dinner Celebration at Midlothian Country Club.


Each year, approximately forty musicians perform with Sharing Notes, volunteering their time and talent to care for others through their music. Their volunteers range from passionate amateurs to professionals in the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestra and instruments range from banjo to bassoon. Since Sharing Notes started visiting hospitals in 2012, over 250 musicians from across the country have joined their mission to bring live music to approximately 25,000 people during their time in Chicago hospitals. Ms. Montanari states, "As a small organization, having the recognition of such a prominent and beloved arts institution as the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is an honor. We hope that the visibility from this award will give greater awareness for our work and the value of personalized arts programming in hospital settings. We have the warmest gratitude for all who have helped support and allowed us to fulfill our mission for over seven years."


Sharing Notes provides approximately 90 performances each year in four Chicago area medical facilities: La Rabida Children's Hospital, The Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, the oncology wards at Prentice Women's Hospital, and the Cardiac Care Units at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In 2013, Sharing Notes received the Award for Community Partnership from La Rabida Children's Hospital. IPO Executive Director, Christina Salerno expresses, "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. IPO is particularly proud to honor Sharing Notes with the Davee Award this season in recognition of the fine work they do to help those who find themselves in hospitals experience the beauty of music."


Sharing Notes will receive the award on Saturday, October 19, at 7:30 PM during the Act II Post-Concert Celebration dinner celebrating the opening night of IPO's 42nd season. The dinner at Midlothian Country Club will immediately follow the 5:30 PM concert at Ozinga Chapel at Trinity College featuring works by Leroy Anderson, Gershwin, Piston, and a world premiere from, IPO's 2019-20 Composer-in-Residence, Martha Horst. Tickets are available after August 15, 2019 for the concert and dinner at or 708.481.7774.


Previous Davee Award winners include Merit School of Music, Larry Johnson (Chicago Classical Review and The Classical Review), James Ginsburg (Cedille Records), 98.7 WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network, and Thomas Zoells (PianoForte Chicago and PianoForte Foundation).



Founded as a student group within the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University by cellist Allegra Montanari, Sharing Notes began organizing monthly performances for cancer patients at Prentice Women's Hospital in April 2012. Since then, the organization has grown as an independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit and now provides more than 85 performances each year in four Chicago-area medical facilities: La Rabida Children's Hospital, the Lurie Cancer Center, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, and the Bluhm Cardiovascular Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Through partnerships with educational institutions such as Roosevelt University and the Negaunee Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sharing Notes offers music students experiential learning opportunities that build skills in audience-driven performance, public speaking, and working with children, aging populations, and individuals with disabilities. After involvement with Sharing Notes, volunteer musicians are equipped with a unique skill set and have gone on to actively serve audiences including incarcerated youth, palliative care/hospice patients, and Alzheimer's patients around the US, Canada, and Costa Rica. Sharing Notes is supported by the La Rabida Children's Hospital, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Sage Foundation, Andrew and Alice Fischer Charitable Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the Alice and Andrew Fischer Trust, the Service Club of Chicago, and founding sponsor, the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. For more information, please visit



Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra concluded its 41st Season in 2018-19 last May and looks forward to an exciting 42nd season beginning in October 2019. From its community orchestra roots in Park Forest, the 69-member orchestra has grown into a critically acclaimed professional regional orchestra. Under the leadership of Music Director Stilian Kirov and Executive Director Christina Salerno, the mission of IPO is to provide concerts of compelling professional symphonic music, support music education, and expand audience awareness of musical excellence for the diverse communities of the greater Chicago region. During the 2019-20 season, IPO will perform five classical concerts, a holiday pops, and a family friendly Firebird pops concert at their venue Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights. In addition, the orchestra performs four educational youth concerts each year, serving over 4,000 students in the Chicago Southland and a summer chamber series, IPO Summer @ Olympia Fields Country Club. Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is supported in part by: Bimba/IMI Precision Engineering, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Ozinga Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.


For more information, visit or call 708.481.7774.