View Gallery

In the fall of 2015, the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra launched two exciting new partnership programs for Chicago Public Schools: an in-school residency program and a teacher professional development community. On this page, you will find more information about the CSO Ensemble Visits to schools in year two of the residency program. To learn more about the residency program on Sounds & Stories, please click here.


As part of the residency program, the two CPS elementary schools participating during the 2016/17 season hosted a unique in-school visit by a CSO chamber ensemble, continuing a long-standing tradition of CSO ensembles performing in schools and at community sites throughout the city of Chicago.

The ensemble–including Baird Dodge and Hermine Gagné, violins; Danny Lai, viola; Keith Buncke, bassoon; and Dan Armstrong, bass–visited Sawyer Elementary School and Pickard Elementary School in December and March, respectively. The musicians visited the classrooms participating in the program, to meet the students and provide an in-depth and up-close introduction to their instruments. They also played small excerpts of music from Don Quixote and Peter and the Wolf, creating a connection to the CSO School Concert the students would later attend.

“It was such a rich experience for my students. They loved being able to see and interact with the musicians up close.” -3rd Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary

In addition to the in-class visits, each school received a 45-minute educational performance that same day in the auditorium, which explored different styles of music and other musical concepts that the students were learning in the residency.

“Our school is so fortunate to have this opportunity. Our students loved being able to meet the musicians in the classroom, and then see them perform on stage later that day. With humor, grace and expertise, they explained their instruments and roles in the orchestra, answered questions and developed a curiosity about music within our students.” – 4th Grade Teacher, Pickard Elementary