CHICAGO (CBS) — A special music program that partners with Chicago Public Schools and other under-served schools is holding its 25th annual concert at the Chicago Symphony Center.

Hundreds of students are performing on the stage over the next two days.

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There are students who sing in the choir and students who play in the band. All of them are part of the Merit School of Music’s Bridges program.

It’s an initiative to help children in under-served communities have access to music.

Elias Neva, an 8th grader at Carson Elementary, plays the flute and piccolo. He says, if it wasn’t for the Bridges program, he probably wouldn’t be playing music.

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“Honestly, I don’t think I would be able to. That’s why I’m really grateful that that is available to students like me,” he said.

Every year the Merit School of Music puts on a concert at the Symphony center.

Merit School of Music executive director Charlie Grode says it’s a chance for students to feel ownership of their city and visit the downtown area, a place many rarely get to see.

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“It’s an act of ownership of the city, of seeing the downtown, and preparing. We’ve all done things in our life where we work really hard, so this is a big moment for them to step up,” he said.