To offer exceptional music education and performance opportunities to youth and adults regardless of their financial status, and to enrich and improve the cultural lives of our communities.
McHenry County Music Center focuses on orchestral music opportunities for the youth of McHenry County and surrounding counties in northwest Illinois. A number of high schools in the area do not offer string programs. It maintains a center of private instruction, the Academy, which also welcomes adult students, and supports three youth orchestra ensembles for students of increasing skill levels: Prelude, Intermezzo, and Symphony. No student is turned away for inability to pay - scholarships are available based on need. New programs in development include the Sage String Program for younger beginning string players, based on the Venezuelan "El Sistema" program, in which all students receive scholarships and reduced-size instruments.
The organization is 28 years old. Its youth orchestras received the 2011 "Illinois Youth Orchestra of the Year" award from the Illinois Council of Orchestras.