The Institute for Learning, Access and Training at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is set to launch a six-week citywide Festival of Youth in Music, in partnership with fourteen Chicago arts organizations. The festival, which begins on April 9, will bring together 1,000 young people from throughout the Chicago area for performances, side-by-side orchestra workshops, master classes, symposia, and a three-day residency by the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela led by Gustavo Dudamel. Speakers will include José Antonio Abreu, founder of Venezuela’s El Sistema music-education program; Mark Churchill, dean and artistic director of preparatory and continuing education at New England Conservatory; Timothy Knowles of the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago; and Adam Becker of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children. During the festival student musicians will play at Orchestra Hall with musicians from the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra in an open rehearsal and reading session of Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and the last movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. In addition to the SBYO, performing groups will include the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s Percussion Scholarship Group, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Brass, DePaul University Guitar Ensemble, Ravinia Guitar Ensemble, saxophone, brass, string ensembles, and vocalists from the Merit School of Music, Ravinia Jazz Scholars, Chicago Children’s Choir, Midwest Young Artists Jazz Ensemble, and Hyde Park Suzuki Strings Ensemble.

Posted March 31, 2009