Civic Fellow trombone with kids

Civic Fellowship Program

Through an array of experiences designed to build and diversify creative and professional skills, the Civic Fellowship program empowers participants to realize their full potential as artistically excellent, civically engaged, collaborative and entrepreneurial musicians.

The program’s curriculum has four major pillars: artistic planning, music education, social justice and project management. Fellows serve as facilitators in projects like Notes for Peace, explore music by living composers, perform concerts at Symphony Center as well as in schools and communities across the city, mentor young musicians through the CSO-Connect program, design and implement independent projects, and more. Additionally, Fellows participate in enrichment activities including regular meetings as a cohort and professional development seminars with guest lecturers.

The 2023/24 Civic Orchestra season is generously sponsored by Lori Julian for the Julian Family Foundation, which also provides major funding for the Civic Fellowship program.

2023/24 Season Civic Fellows
Nick Collins
Ben Foerster
Aalia Hanif
J Holzen
Amy Hur
Nina Laube
Francisco Malespin
Marian Mayuga
Matt Musachio
Hugo Saavedra
Lina Yamin

Explore more on Experience CSO
Throughout the 2021/22 Season, 13 Civic Fellows participated in educational workshops, partnerships with Chicago Public Schools, Notes for Peace songwriting sessions and independent projects.
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The Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s second CSOtv episode, titled Shared Reality and premiering on February 18, was curated by the Civic Fellows and features works by living composers.
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It’s Halloween. I am sitting in an elementary school on the southwest side of Chicago, observing an interaction between a student and a violin teacher. Sebastian, a third grader, is dressed as a vampire. The teacher, Davis King, asks him if it would be easier to play without the plastic vampire teeth in his mouth.
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Chamber music is a complicated and intricate genre within the classical music confines. It requires a high level of musicality, an immense amount of focus and awareness, and the ability to communicate skillfully with other musicians, often without words.
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Music is a challenging life. It’s harder than I knew when I chose it, and I grew up on the inside, in a musical family. But for me, well, it’s pretty clear. I can’t stay away.
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Led by a team of five Civic Fellows, the Call for Scores project offers an opportunity to discover and perform exciting new pieces by contemporary composers. The program will be available to stream for free on CSOtv beginning on June 17.
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