Chicago Philharmonic Mentors to Perform Alongside Students in Humboldt Park

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, Chicago Philharmonic musicians will perform alongside students at the Chicago High School for the Arts in a band and orchestra concert.

The concert is the culmination of the Chicago Philharmonic Mentorship Program, which was expanded this year to the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city's West Side after being launched last year at Old Orchard Junior High School (OOJH) in Skokie.

Elements of the Mentorship Program include masterclasses, side-by-side rehearsals, and band and orchestra concerts presented by students and their musician mentors. The program further engages students and their families with group outings to attend a Chicago Philharmonic concert.

Through repeated meaningful contacts with professional musicians, the program is designed to cultivate students' musical skills while developing relationships that allow the mentors to serve as role models not only as musicians but also as dedicated professional adults. Students build confidence, responsibility, critical thinking, and other skills valuable to them in their lives as musicians and beyond.

The March 8 concert marks the first time that ChiArts band and orchestra students will have performed as a full symphonic orchestra. The two ensembles will merge together, with the addition of Chicago Philharmonic musicians, to create one large orchestra for a performance of the Farandole from L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 by Georges Bizet. Students and their musician mentors will also perform separate band and orchestra repertoire.

The efforts at ChiArts are part of a planned expansion for the Mentorship Program. Chicago Philharmonic Society executive director Donna Milanovich said, "We are excited about this opportunity to engage the school's bright, dedicated young musicians, who come from a broad range of neighborhoods and backgrounds."

ChiArts is Chicago's first public high school for the arts and one of its most diverse schools. It serves approximately 600 students, over half of whom come from low-income communities.

ChiArts Music Department Head Betsy Koh and faculty member Terrance Gray direct the side- by-side rehearsals and performances and, along with other leaders in the schools' administrations and music departments, coordinate the program with Chicago Philharmonic Society staff.

The side-by-side concert will take place at ChiArts, located at 2714 W. Augusta Blvd. in Chicago, on March 8 at 7:00 P.M. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Chicago Philharmonic Mentorship Program is made possible by the generous support of the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation (principal supporter of the Mentorship Program at ChiArts), the Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, and program sponsors Mathew Lucante Violins, J.W. Pepper, and Music & Arts. Individual contributions to The Chicago Philharmonic Society can be made at

The Chicago Philharmonic Society is a collaboration of over 200 of the highest-level classical musicians performing in the Chicago metropolitan area. Governed under a groundbreaking structure of musician leadership, the Society presents concerts at venues throughout the Chicago area that cover the full spectrum of classical music, from Bach to Britten and beyond. The Society's orchestra, known simply as the Chicago Philharmonic, has been called "one of the country's finest symphonic orchestras" (Chicago Tribune), and its unique chamber music ensembles, which perform as the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players (cp2), draw from its vast pool of versatile musicians. The Society's outreach programs connect Chicago-area youth to classical music and provide performance opportunities for members of the community. Founded 26 years ago by principal musicians from the Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic currently serves as the official orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet, continues its 21-year association with the Ravinia Festival, and presents symphonic concerts in Evanston and, beginning in May 2016, at the Harris Theater.

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