Community Engagement

Community Engagement Programs

Our community engagement programs bridge the gap between the musicians in our orchestra and the Chicago community. By bringing music into public schools, hosting free concerts in public spaces, and providing young musicians with world-class performance opportunities, our goal is to serve our community and make classical music accessible to all.

Our latest work? Partnering with Ravinia Festival for the inaugural National Seminario Ravinia, a groundbreaking collaboration uniting 130 students from 23 El Sistema-inspired organizations across North America with our seasoned Chicago Philharmonic musicians. Led by renowned conductors Marin Alsop and Jonathan Rush, this transformative program provided master classes and mentorship opportunities, empowering young musicians to excel and fostering their love of learning.

Night Out in the Parks

Side by Side with the Chicago Philharmonic, presented through the Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks” initiative, brings free symphonic concerts to Chicago parks in local communities in Chicago’s South and West sides. Students and community members of all ages and levels bring their instruments and rehearse and perform free concerts with Chicago Philharmonic musicians. Since the initiative launched in 2015, we’ve brought the Side by Side program to 9 beautiful Chicago Parks, including:

    • Ping Tom Memorial Park (Chinatown)
    • Humboldt Park (Humboldt Park)
    • Columbus Park (Austin)
    • South Shore Cultural Center (South Shore)
    • Pottawattomie Park (Rogers Park)
    • Piotrowski Park (Little Village/South Lawndale)
    • Hamilton Park (Englewood)
    • Garfield Park Conservatory (Garfield Park)
    • La Follette Park (Austin)
Interested in performing?
Our next Side by Side concert will be announced soon. Stay tuned!



Chi Phil AMP

Brings Chicago Philharmonic musicians to schools for a six-week period to:

      • Teach lessons and masterclasses
      • Play alongside students in side-by-side rehearsals, led by the school orchestra or band teacher

These repeated interactions over the course of six weeks, and often for several consecutive years for some students, vastly improve students’ music technique and comfort playing and performing their instrument.

Current AMP School Partners:

      • Chicago Bulls College Prep, Near West Side
      • Benito Juarez Community Academy, Pilsen
      • Victoria Soto High, Archer Heights

Do you think your school would be a good fit for this program? Send us an email!

Families to the Phil

Families to the Phil provides young people and families the opportunity to share the powerful experience of a live, professional symphonic concert.

Each season we underwrite Chicago Philharmonic symphonic concert tickets for students and their family members from Chicago-area public schools, community music schools, and youth orchestras. Participation in the program opens doors to new musical and cultural worlds for these young people, planting the seeds for a lifelong enjoyment of music.

Would you like to participate in Families to the Phil and receive free concert tickets? Sign up for our waiting list here, and we’ll let you know when we have openings!

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Chicago Philharmonic began its NEXT! initiative to give emerging musicians the opportunity to be heard by Chicago Philharmonic patrons, musicians, and conductors. These fresh talents of merit are showcased in the foyer before Chicago Philharmonic concerts, and invited to attend the symphonic performance with their families. In recent seasons we have welcomed students from the Merit School of Music, The People’s Music School, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Music Institute Of Chicago, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Beinen School of Music.

Interested in performing as part of our NEXT! program? Send us an email!

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Spotlight is a mentoring program designed to give professional symphonic performance opportunities to exceptional young musicians. The program provides these students an opportunity to perform with orchestra mentors in rehearsal sessions, followed by a professional performance of one major classical work in a subscription concert. Past participants have been drawn from throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and have included students from New Trier High School, Protégé Philharmonic, Music Institute of Chicago, Midwest Young Artists, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, and Birch Creek Symphony Program.

Interested in participating in our Spotlight program? Send us an email!

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Chicago Philharmonic Summer Internship

Each summer, four high school Chicago students are selected to participate in the Chicago Philharmonic summer Internship. The internship includes mentorship and training in areas of arts administration such as marketing, development, operations, and community engagement, and includes a musical performance element guided by Chicago Philharmonic musicians.

Interesting in applying? Send us an email!

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Interested in getting involved?
Email Community Engagement Coordinator Erez Dessel.

Experience Chicago Philharmonic live! Explore our upcoming events:

Upcoming Concerts