year in review
art of being one of the most
heard, most engaged orchestras
in the world involves taking
the musical and educational resources
of the organization beyond traditional
venues and into places where classical
music is rarely heard. In this spirit, the
Institute has amassed over three years
of experience offering programming
for young people who are detained at
the Cook County Juvenile Temporary
Detention Center (CCJTDC) or
incarcerated at the Illinois Youth
Center in Warrenville, IL (IYCW).
The young people engaged by this
programming already carry with them
a love of music. They rap and sing;
some have previous experience playing
a musical instrument in school or in a
place of worship. The Institute’s role—
in partnership with specialists in the
field—is to build on that enthusiasm,
connect it to active music-making
experiences, construct a safe space for
creative expression, and help the youth
develop transferrable skills and assets
that serve as a resource to them in the
It was Riccardo Muti who, during
his first few moments as CSO music
director, encouraged the CSO to take
classical music into uncharted territory
for the organization. Making good
on his promise, Maestro Muti offered
an interactive recital at CCJTDC for
more than fifty youth on September 30,
2012. Alongside singers Eric Owens
and Raúl Melo and a brass quintet of
CSO musicians, Maestro Muti led
the youth through a recital of operatic
arias and chamber music. Later in
the fall at IYCW, teaching artists
from the Chicago Symphony Chorus
and musicians of the Civic Orchestra
worked alongside Storycatchers Theater
to present a fully-staged musical (one
they were developing for over a year)
featuring residents of the prison known
as the “Fabulous Females.”
In April 2013, the Institute returned
to the detention center and joined
forces with
Music in Prisons
), a
London, England-based organization
with thirty years of experience offering
musical programming for at-risk and
incarcerated youth and adults. In
collaboration with two CSO musicians,
Lora Schaefer (oboe) and Dan
Armstrong (bass),
produced an
intensive workshop that engaged eight
youth detained at CCJTDC. Over the
course of six six-hour days, they worked
Artistic Director Sara
Project Leader Nick Hayes,
Dan and Lora to create thirty minutes
of original music that was shared
through two culminating concerts in
the CCJTDC chapel: the first for an
audience of fifty of their peers, the
second for a smaller group consisting of
their families, detention center staff and
Riccardo Muti.
The Institute will expand its
offerings for at-risk and incarcerated
youth in 2013/14 through continued
work with Storycatchers Theatre
Company, another workshop led by
and a first-ever collaboration with
the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie
Hall. To learn more and to hear
samples of the youth’s work, visit
A brass quintet of CSO musicians performS at the
Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center
creating active music-making
experiences that develop
transferrable skills and
assets for the future
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