CSO Education Concerts are
composed of three series:
Once Upon
a Symphony
) for children ages
Very Special Promenades
students grades K-3, and
Youth Concerts
for students grades 4-8. Each series is
designed especially for its respective
audience and pairs musicians of the
Orchestra with guest artists to create
uniquely dynamic concert experiences
for young listeners. All concert
attendees receive free preparatory
materials including a CD of listening
examples as well as a concert guide
that introduces relevant music history,
theory and programmatic content.
Many schools also supplement the
preparatory materials with free visits
by CSO Docents who work with the
students on music fundamentals and
concert etiquette.
2012/13 CSO Education Concerts
led young listeners through centuries
of standard repertoire and explored
many different modes of concert
featured two
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
—presented by a small
ensemble of CSO musicians and master
storyteller Meagan Wells. Produced in
collaboration with Chicago Children’s
Theater, each concert is carefully
crafted to teach young listeners to
draw connections between music and
story while supporting development of
literary skills, problem solving, focus
and self-regulation.
Three different
introduced young listeners to a full
orchestra and employed extra-musical
elements to enhance listening. “It’s
Time to Play” in December 2012
featured the CSO with image
magnification technology which
allowed the audience to have an
up-close and personal look at the
musicians of the Orchestra and their
instruments. In March 2013, “Now
Let’s Sing” unlocked the world of
opera with selections sung by soloists
of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.
To conclude the season, “Get Up and
Dance” featured musicians of the
Orchestra with young dancers from
Hubbard Street 2, the training program
of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
That same week,
Youth Concerts
welcomed pianist Kyle Jannak-Huang,
winner of the 2012 Crain-Maling
Foundation CSO Youth Auditions, as
part of a guided tour that explored the
many forms of symphonic music.
With Yo-Yo Ma’s creative consultancy,
the CSOA has emerged as a
stakeholder in the new Chicago Public
School’s Arts Education Plan. The
Plan aims to position the arts as a vital
facet of every CPS student’s education
and looks to external arts providers to
enrich students’ learning through on-
site instruction and access to Chicago’s
dynamic cultural network. In addition
to the thousands of students already
engaged by school programs of the
Institute, his participation has helped
to raise visibility for the plan while
engaging key stakeholders. Ma brought
advocacy to the front lines when he
joined forces with superstars from two
other artistic disciplines—Lyric Opera
Creative Consultant Renée Fleming
and former ballet dancer Damian
Woetzel. In an event at Perez School
on October, 15, 2012, the trio—
along with Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emmanuel and Cultural Affairs and
Special Events Commissioner Michelle
Boone—championed the importance
of the arts with performances for and
alongside students and teachers.
(from left) Damian Woetzel, Renée Fleming, and Yo-Yo Ma
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