year in review
ow do you celebrate and
cultivate a young person’s
passion for and dedication
to classical music? At the Institute,
you start by uniting Chicago’s rich
network of community-based musical
organizations, international guest
ensembles, artistic leadership of the
CSO and Civic musicians to create
an array of transformative musical
experiences that together make up
the biennial Chicago Youth in Music
Festival (CYMF). A key initiative of
the Institute, the Festival connects
young musicians to one another and
the CSO while achieving three goals:
create a cycle of mentorship that
stretches from beginner musicians to
professionals at the top of their field;
dissolve barriers to participation by
offering all events free of charge for
participants and audience members;
and create moments for cross cultural
exchange between Chicagoans and
their international counterparts.
The 2013 CYMF occurred
from January 14–February 4, 2013
and was produced in partnership
with nineteen of Chicago’s leading
organizations in music education. It
launched with an open rehearsal of
the Festival Orchestra, an advanced
ensemble composed of middle and
high school musicians from community
music schools across greater Chicago
conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
In preparation for the event, the
student musicians participated in
sectionals with CSO musicians and
studied alongside musicians of the
Civic Orchestra who imparted their
knowledge of orchestral playing to
their young stand partners. For the
second half of the Festival, Civic was
joined by twenty musicians from YOA
Orchestra of the America’s Global
Leaders Program. Representing 12
different countries in the Western
Hemisphere, the Global Leaders
formed small ensembles with Civic
musicians and offered interactive
chamber performances, presentations,
and coaching sessions at local
community music schools and select
Chicago Public Schools. “A lot of the
people from YOA have really opened
my eyes to a whole new way of thinking
that’s not so focused on what happens
on the stage,” said Joshua DeVries, a
Festival participant and member of the
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.
“It has a lot to do with interacting with
the audience, both through the music
and with no music—actually talking to
them. It sounds simple, but it is such a
huge difference in the way I think.”
The Festival concluded with a
culminating concert, “A Celebration of
Youth in Music,” in Orchestra Hall led
by Carlos Miguel Prieto and featuring
Civic, YOA and select Festival
Orchestra high school musicians.
To view a short documentary
about the 2013 CYMF, visit
Iván Javier Valbuena Páez of the YOA Global Leaders Program during a
CYMF reading session at Benito Juarez Community Academy in Pilsen
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