The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s premier training ensemble of emerging professional musicians, returns to perform its first live concert at Symphony Center since March 2020. Led by guest conductor Thomas Wilkins, the program features Adolphus Hailstork’s An American Port of Call, an energetic piece that evokes a bustling seaside port, alongside William Schuman’s anthemic New England Triptych and Carlos Simon’s fiery tribute to Beethoven, Fate Now Conquers. Completing the program is William Grant Still’s beautiful and impassioned Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American), his most famous work, which blends blues elements into its orchestrations.


Fate Now Conquers


An American Port of Call


New England Triptych


Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American)


The 2021/22 Civic Orchestra of Chicago season is generously sponsored by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

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The Civic Orchestra’s 2021-22 season, which begins Nov. 8, puts an emphasis on diversity, with an array of works by women and people of color — what Principal Conductor Ken-David Masur describes as giving “voice to musicians and composers who perhaps had been neglected.”
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For Dr. Marylou Witz, the members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago — the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s ensemble for young professional musicians — are “like family.”
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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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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is committed to creating a comfortable, enjoyable and safe environment.

For everyone’s comfort and safety, all patrons must wear a face mask throughout their visit.

Individuals are expected to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending a CSOA event. Patrons 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 contact Patron Services for flexible exchange and refund options.

Visit cso.org/SafeAndSound for the most recent information. Ticket holders receive specific instructions for entry ahead of each performance. Please note, other venues in Chicago may have policies that differ from Symphony Center.