CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of amateurs will get a chance to play with professional musicians this weekend during a holiday concert at the Garfield Park Conservatory.
The Side-by-Side concert “has a real fun, can-do atmosphere,” according to Donna Milanovich, executive director of the Chicago Philharmonic Society.
Amateur musicians ranging from elementary school students on up to a 77-year old have registered to play with the pros for Sunday afternoon’s Holiday Concert. They got their music online and will first rehearse with the Chicago Philharmonic at the Garfield Park Conservatory at 1 p.m. Sunday, two hours before concert.
“I think we have the youngest is at 7-years old which is quite young for this, because you still need a certain proficiency level,” Milanovich said.
The concert is part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks Initiative. Park District “Night Out in the Park” program director Krista Briski Richard said there was a “tremendous” response when word got out that amateurs could register to join.
“We have capped out, actually, for this performance at 120 (amateur musicians),” she sid.
Milanovich said the response was so good, a waiting list was set up in case any of the amateurs who were chosen for the performance could not make it.
This is the fifth Concert in the Park since 2015 with amateurs joining professionals of the Chicago Philharmonic.
“It really should be fun. It really has such a wonderful energy and spirit whenever we have these,” Milanovich said.
The free concert starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The program includes Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve Suite, Lucas Richman’s “Hanukkah Festival Overture,” Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s selections from The Nutcracker Suite, Johann Strauss Radetzky’s “March,” andLeroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival.”