This summer, Grant Park Music Festival is expanding its commitment to Festival Connect, its comprehensive initiative aimed to increase music education and engagement opportunities for audiences of all ages.

Working with the Chicago Park District and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks program, Festival Connect will continue to focus on the neighborhoods with performances by the Grant Park Orchestra, the Grant Park Chorus, Project Inclusion Choral and String Fellows and the Festival’s Apprentice Chorale.

In Millennium Park, the Festival Connect suite of programs includes Classical Campers, a half-day music immersion program for children, along with its Young Artists Showcase series, an opportunity for students from local music schools and summer music programs to perform in front of the Great Lawn at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, prior to select Festival concerts. Additionally, patrons can learn more about the Festival’s performances and guest artists through pre-concert lectures and open lunchtime rehearsals.

A partnership with the Chicago Sinfonietta, the goal of Project Inclusion is to help establish a professional development pipeline aimed at building diversity in American orchestras.

The Festival’s Apprentice Chorale, founded and led by Grant Park Music Festival Chorus Director Christopher Bell, provides advanced training and performance opportunities for pre-professional vocal students, offering students the opportunity to perform alongside the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus at the Pritzker Pavilion.

The Festival Connect initiative is supported by ComEd, Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc. and Colleen and Lloyd Fry and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation.

A complete listing of Festival Connect programs may be found online at Call 312.742.7647  for additional information.

Grant Park Orchestra performs to a full house at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park's Grant Park Music Festival (photo courtesy of the Grant Park Music Festival).

Grant Park Music Festival's Festival Connect Initiative to Expand Music Education and Engagement for Listeners of All Ages This Summer