Chicago Philharmonic Summer Internship Provides Arts Experiences For High School Students

By: Aug. 08, 2018

For the first time ever, The Chicago Philharmonic Society is hosting four diverse students from Chicago high schools in an internship program supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency's Summer Youth Employment in the Arts. In addition to providing real world office and arts administration work across a variety of departments, the students are also rehearsing in a string quartet, with their experience culminating in a free public performance at Brown Memorial Park on August 18.

Violinist Cristal Hernandez, 17, a rising senior at UIC College Prep, assists with concert publicity, marketing, and patron services in the Marketing Department. Julian Mirque, 17, cellist and rising senior at Whitney Young Magnet High School, is working in the Development Department to help with foundation research and donor relations. Samia Khan, 16, a rising junior at Whitney Young and Elaina Huang, 17, a rising senior at Lane Tech College Prep have undertaken the monumental task of categorizing and cataloguing the Chicago Philharmonic's vast music library. Huang is a violinist, while Khan plays viola.

Hernandez, who is from Pilsen, plays in her high school orchestra and had previously been a participant in Chi Phil's Chi Phil AMP (Academy of Music Performance) program through UIC College Prep, but had never been in a quartet before.

"I get the experience of knowing how to work with people," she said. "I'm not just thinking about myself. I'm thinking about how we sound all together."

Huang, from Bridgeport, heard about the program from her teacher at the People's Music School in Uptown. She's had experience playing in quartets but had never worked in an office before.

"It's cool to work in a small office," she said. "It's like a family."

Chicago Philharmonic cellist Andrew Snow has been coaching the quartet in preparation for the end-of-program performance and the interns have carefully honed their performance skills throughout the summer as a part of Side by Side with the Chicago Philharmonic. In this program, community musicians have the opportunity to play alongside world-class Chicago Philharmonic musicians in free, public concerts held in Chicago parks, presented in partnership with the Park District's Night Out in the Parks Initiative. The students assist with the pre-concert preparations and stage management before taking their seat in the orchestra for rehearsals and performances. Chicago Philharmonic's next Side by Side concert will be at Hamilton Park on Saturday August 18.

Mirque said that he didn't know how many other people in the area are interested in classical music before playing in the Side by Side concerts.

"It's cool to see them all together, and everyone in the audience is having fun," he said.

Brown Memorial Park Annual Chatham Community Picnic
featuring a performance from the Chi Phil Intern String Quartet
August 18 2018
Picnic: 11:00am-4:00pm
String quartet performance: 1:00pm
Brown Memorial Park
634 E 86th Street, Chicago, IL 60619

Side by Side with the Chicago Philharmonic at Hamilton Park
presented in association with Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks initiative
August 18 2018
Rehearsal: 3:00-5:00pm
Free concert: 6:00pm
Hamilton Park
513 W 72nd Street, Chicago, IL 60621