Mendelssohn presents 2012 Starr of Excellence Award to Trish Rooney

Trish Rooney accepts the Mendelssohn Starr of Excellence Award April 27.

Staff Report

Trish Rooney, assistant director of Music Ministries at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Rockford and the dean of the Rockford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, was chosen as the winner of Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s 2012 Starr of Excellence Award.

The award was presented to Rooney at the world premiere performance of “Songs of the World” Friday, April 27, at Court Street United Methodist Church.

Rooney is a frequent piano and organ performer in the Rockford area, and will perform on the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s 2012-2013 concert season. She began accompanying as a student at Rockford West High School and continued throughout her educational career at Rock Valley College, Rockford College and the University of North Texas.

Rooney has also served as accompanist for many local organizations, including Bach Chamber Choir; Camerata Emanon; Kantorei, the Singing Boys of Rockford; Rock Valley Children’s Choir; Rock Valley College Starlight Theatre; and as an elementary music specialist for Rockford Public Schools.

Rooney is the current treasurer and a former president of the Beta Gamma Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (honoring key women educators) and was a longtime volunteer with the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts.

Mendelssohn initiated the annual Starr of Excellence Award in 1985. The award is named after Mrs. Chandler Starr, who established the original Mendelssohn Club in 1884 and was also its president for many years.

The award is given to those who have made a major contribution to the advancement of quality music in the Rockford area, who are significantly involved in the Rockford community, and who can be held up as role models, particularly to youth.

Since 1884, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has been a source of quality music experiences for the residents of northern Illinois. Mendelssohn PAC, a nonprofit organization at 415 N. Church St., Rockford, serves the community with a range of concerts, youth music programs and performing ensembles for all ages. Visit

From the May 9-15, 2012, issue

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