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.
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?
Every concert that an orchestra plays is a unique experience, not only because there are different pieces being performed as well as different conductors on the podium, but also because of the setting. Orchestras perform various styles of programs: educational concerts, Halloween concerts, holiday concerts, classics, subscription, pops, movies and more. As you would expect, the energy of the orchestra can change for each occasion.
On October 20th, after waiting patiently and excitedly for a month and a half, the musicians of the Civic Orchestra met Yo-Yo Ma for the first time in the 2014-2015 season. Having been a Yo-Yo fan since six years old and knowing that I was about to be steps away from him, playing for him, and speaking to him – words cannot describe how ecstatic I was.
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.
After spending five hours with the musicians, it became evident that this non-profit musical organization is thriving thanks to each of the performer’s enthusiasm for their craft as well as their personable approach to sharing music.
The experience of a live classical music concert is unlike any other. To some, the conventional classical concert is heaven — to most others, however, a change in how we experience live classical music is much needed in order to keep up with the fast paced world we live in.
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.
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.
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.
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.