Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), the oldest continuously operated music organization of its kind in the country, has been a staple of the Rockford cultural and arts scene since 1884. As a community arts center, its mission is to present exciting, personal, interactive music experiences while enriching the community by fostering and supporting the performing arts. In addition to concerts, music programming, educational workshops, and master classes, MPAC serves to support a growing art scene in downtown Rockford by being a home and venue for many area arts organizations operating as Community Arts Partners on MPAC’s three-building campus.
MPAC offers several distinct concert series. Curated to represent a wide variety of the finest classical music performances, the Mainstage Series features inspiring classical musicians performing as soloists and in small ensembles. Established in 1972 and now a division of Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, the Charlotte’s Web Series brings a wide variety of world and folk music to the Mendelssohn Hall stage. The Music on Main Series features regionally acclaimed classical artists performing in a casual after-work setting. The Jazz at Starr Center Series celebrates the wealth of talented jazz musicians in the Rockford area.
Education is an integral part of MPAC’s mission. Several concerts each year include a pre-concert lecture. MPAC frequently partners with local schools and music studios to provide students the opportunity to learn from the artists who perform in the concert series. MPAC holds the annual Chandler Starr Miller Scholarship Competition which provides an opportunity for young musicians to hear constructive feedback from regional professional musicians and to win cash prizes. There are also several programs for adults such as the award-winning Mendelssohn Chorale, the Art Song Project, and the Piano Performance Group.