School Concerts FAQ

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is committed to creating a comfortable, enjoyable and safe environment for all and is looking forward to welcoming school groups back to Symphony Center. For designated school performances, we are planning the following safety measures:

  • All attendees are required to wear face coverings at all times and in all areas of Symphony Center, including while seated during the performance. Face coverings should be worn properly, covering the nose and mouth, and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standards. Neck gaiters and bandanas are not permitted. Those arriving without an appropriate face coverings will be provided a disposable face mask.
  • Those who are not feeling well, are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms or have had or been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 10 days should not come to Symphony Center and will not be permitted entry.
  • School groups will be seated by individual classroom/school pods with at least one empty row between each pod. One chair will remain empty between each student as well.
  • School group members are encouraged to sanitize their hands frequently while at Symphony Center, and follow other public health best practices, such as frequent hand washing.
  • Symphony Center has implemented enhanced cleaning procedures and has an air ventilation (HVAC) system that meets all CDC-recommended guidelines.
  • Please note: while proof of full vaccination is required for all patrons ages 5 and older attending public performances, this requirement will not be in place for School Concerts. The practices outlined above have been reviewed by public health professionals and policies may change based on the latest public health recommendations.
During the 2021/22 season, tickets and transportation to CSO school concerts are FREE for CPS schools.

What concerts are free for CPS? Free tickets are available for the CSO school concerts and Once Upon a Symphony concerts (Mondays, only) next season.

Are transportation costs included in this offer? Yes! All CPS schools will receive complimentary busing to and from Symphony Center.

How do I receive free transportation? Schools must complete and submit the busing order form, a minimum of three weeks prior to their scheduled concert date. Please only submit bus requests after receiving a ticket confirmation form—you will need your order number to complete the form.

How many concerts can my CPS classroom attend? CPS schools are allowed comp tickets for a single concert. Additional requests are placed on a waiting list. Approximately 6 weeks before the concert, if additional tickets are available, wait-listed schools may be awarded tickets for a second concert.

What if my CPS school is willing to pay for tickets to a second or third concert? These schools have the option of purchasing tickets for additional concerts and can do so as soon as their order is received and processed.

How many tickets can be requested per concert? We hope to provide access to as many CPS schools as possible. Please limit your order to 150 tickets.

When do I need to order tickets for my school? Orders will be processed based on the date when they are received. Schools whose orders cannot be accommodated—from CPS schools and non-CPS schools—will be placed on a waiting list.

How will CPS orders be seated? CPS schools should indicate their seat location preference on their order forms. Efforts will be made to seat CPS groups in their preferred locations. Final seating locations are subject to change.

What is your cancellation policy? We expect there to be high demand for these free tickets. If a school is unable to attend, they must notify the CSO by calling 312-294-3076 as soon as possible but no later than six weeks prior to the concert date, to avoid displacing wait-listed schools.

Who is providing funds for free tickets and transportation? Generous donors of the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are providing support to enable students to attend performances at Symphony Center. To help make these experiences possible for other students, make a gift today to the Negaunee Music Institute at

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