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Music Academy of Rockford College Announces it will relocate to Rockford’s Midtown Area

Thursday, March 17, 2011  
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For immediate release: 3/15/11
Contact: Music Academy Foundation Board President,
Jim Epperson, 815-979-9131

Rockford, Ill., - The Music Academy Foundation Board announces the relocation of The Music Academy of Rockford College effective July 1.  Currently, The Music Academy of Rockford College (MARC) is housed in Svenson Hall on the Rockford College campus.  Its new location will be Loreen Hall, 226 S. Second St., through a partnership with First Lutheran Church.
Founded in 1974 by the late Eleanor Stanlis, MARC is a not-for-profit school of music offering music education for students of all ages. It provides high quality, affordable instruction and performing opportunities to academy students regardless of age or ability. Its faculty consists of 30 world-class teachers providing instruction to 1,600 students.  Martha Frantz is Academy director. 

The Music Academy affiliated with Rockford College in 1985. The successful partnership cemented the Music Academy’s reputation of providing exceptional music instruction to the community.  However, both organizations have decided to focus on their individual goals for the future.  As of June 30, 2011, The Music Academy of Rockford College will become The Music Academy, an autonomous organization with its own board to oversee its operations.

Jim Epperson, The Music Academy Foundation Board president, says, "We have been most grateful for the affiliation we’ve had with Rockford College for the past 26 years.  It has been a mutually beneficial arrangement. We look forward to the future and being able to focus on growth for The Music Academy.” Rockford College President Dr. Robert Head adds, "The Music Academy has been an integral part of Rockford College and although the structure of our relationship is changing, we will continue to be a strong advocate of the Academy and the outstanding tradition of music instruction it provides for our community.”

The 12,000 square feet of Loreen Hall, with its three floors, will accommodate The Music Academy’s need for studio, classroom, office and performance space. Owned by First Lutheran Church, Loreen Hall is located in residential and historic Haight Village.

Loreen Hall is recognized as the oldest church building in Rockford. It is owned by First Lutheran Church which has a long tradition of music. The church rebuilt the former Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1946 for its church school and named it Loreen Hall in honor of Rev. Albert Loreen who served First Lutheran Church from 1928 to 1956. Loreen Hall has been used for youth education, Sunday school classes, a Choir School, and a Junior Mission Band. Loreen Hall was the first home of Kantorei, The Singing Boys of Rockford.

First Lutheran Pastor Jane McChesney says, "First Lutheran Church looks forward to the new partnership with The Music Academy. We enjoy vibrant worship and outreach in our community, and music is a vital part of our worship and extended ministry. We anticipate opportunities to share our resources with each other, and the impact our partnership can offer to the redeveloping Midtown area, as well as throughout Rockford.” 

"We are excited about our move and new partnership with First Lutheran Church, a strong supporter of music in our community,” Epperson said.  The Music Academy plans a public open house to be held in fall 2011.

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