Launched in 1995, the Percussion Scholarship Program offers intensive, individual, weekly percussion instruction on a full scholarship basis. This year, PSP celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing the highest quality individual and ensemble percussion education to a diverse community of youths from across the city of Chicago.
Deborah Rutter, the current president for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, will be leaving her position at the end of the 2013/14 season for a wonderful opportunity to become the president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. During her tenure as the CSOA’s president, Rutter encompassed the ideals of Citizen Musicianship. This was present in her desire to bring more diverse audiences to enjoy performances at Orchestra Hall, and her dedication to bringing music and music education to communities across the city of Chicago. To learn more about Rutter’s journey and accomplishments at the CSOA, please continue reading.
Linden Christ, founder of the Chicago Opera Playhouse (COP) and manager of education and outreach at the Chicago Opera Theater, engages hundreds of students each year through innovative programming, making opera accessible and available to young people throughout Chicago. Each program provides an opportunity for young students to learn about opera and practice citizen musicianship within their schools and communities.
Will Riley Robbins is a Citizen Musician Fellow of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. A member of the orchestra for the past two years, Robbins has participated in each Artistic Challenge, the most recent culminating in a performance at Orchestra Hall on April 7, 2014. The Artistic Challenge was inspired by Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, who tasked the musicians of Civic to attain ownership of the music they are performing. To learn more about the Civic Orchestra, please visit cso.org/Civic.
Samantha Gamble is a music teacher at Swift Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois. Gamble works to integrate the arts into core subject areas, and provides meaningful instruction to her students, many of whom are English Language Learners, prompting her to include world music in her teaching. She also strives to give her students ownership of their experiences with music, with a student-produced, upper grade musical.
Whitney Covalle is the choir director at Jones College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. Inspired by music from a young age, Covalle uses her own experiences with music to create an environment for her students to thrive and develop as musicians and as people. Also a staunch advocate for the arts, Covalle hopes that her students will be able to receive the benefits of participating in music – and then tell others about the importance of it. To learn more about her program, please visit JonesCollegePrep.org.
During the 2012/2013 season, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago participated in its first Artistic Challenge: a project inspired by CSO Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma. The project, which ran through the entire season, centered on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. The challenge? To memorize the work in its entirety and perform it without a conductor.
This spring, the Truth to Power Festival focuses on the music and actions of composers Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, and Benjamin Britten. Shostakovich provides a particularly interesting case – in addition to his already large output of published works, so many of his works were either abandoned or lost, and then rediscovered. Gerard McBurney, a composer and arranger – and artistic programming advisor at the CSO – has been called upon multiple times to recreate Shostakovich’s lost or unfinished work. We spoke with him about his experiences in reconstructing some of Shostakovich’s compositions.
Leo Park is the orchestra director at Northside College Prep in Chicago, Ill. Over his career at Northside, Park has helped grow his program exponentially, which offers a variety of music classes, including the four orchestras that he teaches. A strong advocate for the arts, and inspired by the Citizen Musician Initiative, Park encourages his students to do more in their community through music.
Max Raimi is a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra viola section. His Citizen Musician project offered periodic performances with CSO colleagues and coaching sessions for students at the Merit School of Music throughout the season.
May 22, 2014 marks the start of the CSO’s Truth to Power Festival, a three-week spring event that celebrates the compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev and Benjamin Britten. Beyond the concert programming, the CSO’s Institute for Learning, Access and Training has facilitated a related educational program for schools in Chicago. Over the course of the season, teachers at selected schools developed curricula that focused on the work and actions of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Britten – composers who embody such an important aspect of citizen musicianship: when face with adversity, they used their art to bring together and give voice to their communities.