Chicago Park District Partners with Grant Park Music Festival to Bring Six Classical Concerts into Neighborhood Parks

6/12/2013
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This summer, Chicago Park District in partnership with the Grant Park Music Festival brings six classical music concerts into neighborhood parks through Festival Connect, the Festival’s comprehensive initiative aimed to increase music education and engagement opportunities for audiences of all ages. 

A cornerstone of Festival Connect will be Classical Campers, an arts immersion program that introduces 1,600 Chicago Park District day campers to classical music.

“In addition to 20 minutes of dedicated reading time through Mayor Emanuel’s Summer of Learning initiative, some of our day campers also have the chance to learn about the arts through our innovative partnership with the Grant Park Music Festival,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly.

The classical concerts are part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks initiative, which features more than 750 citywide cultural and arts activities in 230 parks this summer, making them a safe haven and a hub of activity.

Grant Park Chorus in the Neighborhoods
Chorus Director Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus will reach new audiences by bringing Songs of Praise and Passion, a program of a cappella music, to:
• South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., Tuesday, July 30, 7 p.m.
• Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Blvd., Thursday, Aug. 1, 7 p.m. 

Project Inclusion
New this year, the Festival will partner with the Chicago Sinfonietta on Project Inclusion, a professional development program that guides young minority musicians in their career, with a goal of increasing diversity among orchestral ensembles.  Four string musicians have been selected to spend their summer rehearsing and performing with Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra.  In addition to Millennium Park, the fellows will perform at:
• Gage Park, 2411 W. 55 St., Monday, July 8, 6:30 p.m.
• Mozart Park, 2036 N. Avers, Tuesday, July 9, 6:30 p.m.
• Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan, Thursday, July 11, 6:30 p.m.

Apprentice Chorale
The Festival will again collaborate with DePaul University School of Music and Roosevelt: Chicago College of Performing Arts to offer advanced training and performance opportunities for pre-professional vocal students as part of its Apprentice Chorale.  Led by Christopher Bell, these 18 students will perform alongside the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus.  The Apprentice Chorale, along with the fellows from Project Inclusion, will perform at:
• Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72 St., Monday, June 17, 7 p.m.

Classical Campers
The Festival will host Classical Campers, its popular half-day music and arts immersion program this summer for children ages 6-12, in collaboration with the Chicago Park District’s day camp program.  Throughout the season, 1,600 day campers from more than 30 different Chicago neighborhoods will tour Millennium Park and the Lurie Garden; learn about the instruments and sections of the orchestra with Project Inclusion fellows; take part in an art project that focuses on the connections between music, architecture and nature; and conclude their day with a visit to a Grant Park Music Festival rehearsal.  Now in its fourth summer, Classical Campers often provides children with their first exposure to a live classical music performance. 

About the Grant Park Music Festival
The Grant Park Music Festival is the nation’s only free, summer-long outdoor classical music series of its kind.  Its 79th season, running June 12—August 17, 2013, will take place in Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion with Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar leading the Grammy® Award-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus Director Christopher Bell directing the award-winning Grant Park Chorus.

The Grant Park Music Festival is proudly presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association with key support from the Chicago Park District, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival, visit gpmf.org or call 312.742.7638.  For additional information, visit the Grant Park Music Festival Facebook page or follow the Festival on Twitter @gpmf.

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