Once Upon a Symphony

Once Upon a Symphony weaves together performances by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with vivid storytelling, sets, costumes and multimedia to create a captivating and magical introduction to live music for 3-5 year olds.

Free tickets and transportation are provided to CPS schools attending CSO for Kids School Concerts and Once Upon a Symphony. For more information, visit the FAQ page found here.

Once Upon a Symphony is created in partnership with Chicago Children's Theatre.



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Children’s concerts help to spark a lifelong appreciation of music
Count Gabby Rosenblum among the believers. A veteran music teacher in Oak Park Elementary School District No. 97, Rosenblum has brought third graders to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s school concerts for years. “In Chicago, there are so many great cultural opportunities, and having the opportunity to introduce my students to one — it’s wonderful,” she said.
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‘My Magic Breath,’ video for young children, to premiere Sept. 10
In response to the social and emotional effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people, as well as their parents, caregivers and teachers, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is partnering with Chicago Children’s Theatre to premiere My Magic Breath, a video co-production that helps young children learn to harness the calming and restorative power of mindful breathing.
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How a youth concert started conductor Thomas Wilkins on his career path
When the Boston Symphony Orchestra offered Thomas Wilkins the position of youth and family concerts conductor, he hesitated. “I thought, ‘I don’t want be known as the guy who does kiddie concerts for a living,’” he recalled.
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