A Fellows’ Reflection: May 23 – June 11, 2017

The last few weeks of fellows activity were filled with special moments, celebrations and tearful farewells. Civic musicians concluded the month of May with an incredible two day workshop with Jesús López-Cobos. We watched López-Cobos conduct Dvorak’s Sixth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and then, afterward, Civic rehearsed and studied the piece. The experience emphasized the professional development we love about Civic as well as our wonderful relationship with the CSO.

On June 5, the Civic Orchestra, under the direction of Joshua Weilerstein, gave a rousing performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique to finish our Symphony Center series on a high note.

This was shortly followed by the fellows culminating residency at Kenwood Academy High School. For the capstone events on June 9 and 10, Civic members joined young, talented musicians from Kenwood in some chamber music pieces as well as a side-by-side concert with some fan favorites by Bach, Vivaldi and Desmond.

The Kenwood concert closed with the Civic Orchestra performing Sibelius’ Symphony no. 2 under conductor Michael Stern as a defacto farewell gift to the inspiring work of the students. Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma was also there to share in the music making and conversation with the high school musicians about their impact as future artists in our world. The music was a fitting last word from Yo-Yo and our fellows to encourage all to continue the conversation, spreading love and appreciation through music, to complete our year of activity.

What followed may have been some teary-eyed thank-yous and farewells, but more importantly we kept what we’ve cultivated all season: closer connections with our friends, mentors and great city of Chicago.

By Alex Schwarz

Cover Photo by Todd Rosenberg