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A blog to consider

A blog to consider: Kicking off the 2016/17 season

As I am typing this post I am listening to the BBC World Service report of the battle at Mosul, where Iraqi and Kurdish troops advance toward a city full of innocent civilians and IS fighters.

Civic Fellows

Meet the 2016/17 Civic Fellows

The Civic Orchestra of Chicago is proud to announce the 2016/17 class of Civic Fellows. Throughout the season, in addition…

Davis King

Don’t Touch the Horsehair: An afternoon observing Davis King

It’s Halloween. I am sitting in an elementary school on the southwest side of Chicago, observing an interaction between a…

Fellows at Warrenville

Time to Shine

On a Sunday afternoon in mid-September 2014, four Citizen Musician Fellows visited the Illinois Youth Center Warrenville. The Fellows were there with Storycatchers Theatre to meet the young women in residence at the facility, and to discuss the upcoming performances of this year’s musical, Teenage Tears — a story inspired by the girls’ life experiences, as captured by Storycatchers.

11/22/14 6:04:21 PM -- 

Civic Orchestra of Chicago Portraits

Anna Sheider

. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2014

For the Love of Chamber Music

Making music in a small group can be challenging for even the most seasoned professionals, which is why I was especially intrigued when I learned the Citizen Musician Fellows were about to witness musicians as young as ten partake in the complex process that is chamber music.

2/8/10 1:44:32 PM -- CSO100208 Music Education at Prieto Math and Science School © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2010

Musical Connections with Avo Randruut

There is a hidden gift in the omnipresence of music and sound; people seem to know a lot about music without even realizing it. In the often music-less schools throughout Chicago, Avo Randruut has exploited this implicit knowledge to not only teach students about classical music, but to even make music with them.

Sharing Notes

Sharing Notes with Allegra Montanari

After a while, she realized that maybe being driven and ambitious didn’t have to mean pursuing this one single-minded goal. There had to be more to a life in music than the orchestra job she had always assumed she would get. She had to ask herself—is this what’s going to make me happy?

11/20/14 6:15:41 PM -- 

Civic Orchestra of Chicago Portraits

Erin Rafferty 

. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2014

Learning to Love Audition Prep

Like running marathons, taking orchestral auditions isn’t for everyone. But for me, well, it’s pretty clear. I can’t stay away.

Teaching Tuba with Scott

Teaching Tuba with Scott Tegge

Seventy. Seventy students. The number rang through my head as I made the hour-long journey to Symphony Center a few weeks ago. I was excited to meet someone who leads his life in a way I envision for my own.

Myron at the piano 3

Myron’s Story

For him it’s all about the music. More importantly, he believes in advocating for the visibility of composers whose works may have fallen by the wayside amidst the complexities and anxieties of premiers, hidden estates, or family feuds.

Constellation pic from Simon

Collaboration at Constellation

On a cold and windy Friday evening, the fellows set out to Constellation, a new music venue on a mission to “present progressive performance and forward-thinking music with a focus on jazz, improvisation and contemporary classical.” Most of us had never been to Constellation before, but boy, did we choose the right night to go.