Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has the distinction of being the oldest, continuous community music organization in the United States. On October 4, 1884, Mrs. Chandler Starr entertained her first group of Rockford music lovers at her home on North Main Street.
From that day on, the name Mendelssohn in Rockford has been synonymous with the performance of quality music. Mendelssohn PAC provides quality music for all people of the Rockford area through live performances by local and world renowned artists. Performing artist members participate in concerts, the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, the Mendelssohn Chorale, and yearly opera productions.
The Mendelssohn Youth Program includes choirs, a Young Musician Concert Series, workshops, master classes and the Chandler Starr Miller Scholarship Competition. Outstanding guest artists through the years include Artur Rubenstein, Isaac Stern, the Vienna Boys Choir, Robert Merrill, Dave Brubeck, Jean Pierre Rampal, Dawn Upshaw, Horatio Guetiérrez and Beaux Arts Trio and Chanticleer.