Old Irving Music School Reopens 2 Weeks After Fatal Gun Battle

Andy Dahn
December 02, 2019 - 7:19 pm
UpBeat Music School

UpBeat Music and Arts in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. (WBBM Newsradio)


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Nearly two weeks after it became the scene of a gun battle that sent a teenager to the hospital, a Northwest Side music school is getting back to what it does best: making music.

"We're just excited to be back,” Scott Barbeau said Monday.

Barbeau is the founder and executive director of Upbeat Music and Arts in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. The business is where 15-year-old intern Rylan Wilder was shot and wounded by a Des Plaines Police officer who was pursuing a bank robbery suspect on Nov. 19.

"It's shocking and it's random," Barbeau said Monday night. "As you can imagine, it's been a lot. We care, first and foremost, about Rylan and his family. It's great to hear that he's stable and he's hopefully going home in the next week or so."

Barbeau said the days following the chaotic shooting haven't been easy, but he credits support from the community and other music schools for helping Upbeat reopen.

"Music is powerful," he said. "As soon as we heard the first sounds of the piano or bass or someone singing, we all remembered why we're here. This is healing in and of itself."

Fundraising efforts have been launched to help Wilder’s family deal with medical bills that have been piling up. The teen musician, who was struck in the arm and abdomen, hopes to be able to play guitar again.