Friday
Jun172011

Ticket Alert

Both pavilion and lawn for the June 26 Hall and Oates concert are sold out. Also, tickets for the June 17 Go-Go's and B-52s concert will be sold out within hours and will not be available for purchase at the concert. Do not drive out if you do not have tickets.

Friday
Jun172011

Free Concert: Beatrice Berrut

Tune in to WFMT at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, July 1, to hear a live performance from Beatrice Berrut for the PianoForte Salon Series, which is a monthly concert series presenting artists from around the world. Limited seating is also available to attend the concert at the Sherwood Community Music School Recital Hall, 1312 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. WFMT’s Peter Whorf hosts the series, featuring today's top solo pianists and chamber musicians. Berrut returns this summer for her second year as a participant at the Steans Music Institute, where she holds the Cottle and Goodman fellowships.

Friday
Jun172011

Top 5 Father’s Day Gifts

Finding the right Father’s Day gift isn’t always easy but we have some unique and affordable ideas for the dad who loves music.

Tickets to Dave Brubeck & Sons
Enjoy spending time with dad at Ravinia on Sunday, June 19, for the Dave Brubeck and Sons concert. Lawn tickets are just $16 in advance (add $5 if you buy the day of the concert), or you can splurge and treat dad to pavilion seats. Either way, you can still enjoy a picnic on the lawn prior to the concert. Don’t want to haul your picnic? Arrange to pick up a Picnic Box instead.

Ravinia Rocker Shirt
Have dad channel his inner rocker with this distressed 3-button Ash Henley 2011 shirt with Ravinia guitar graphic silkscreened on side. This hip shirt is just $29.99 and is available in unisex sizing with open-cuff sleeves.





Guitar Cheese Board
Help give dad a picnic with an edge with this great gift that pairs your love of music with entertaining. This Guitar Cheese Board comes with the Ravinia logo laser-engraved and opens to reveal gourmet tools inside. It is made of eco-friendly rubberwood and bamboo for durability and beauty. It retails for just $59.95.

Ticket Stub Diary
With this Ticket Stub Diary you can preserve your precious memories from concerts. The clear sleeves and acid-free pages allow you to fit a variety of ticket sizes, plus space in the margin to write down your memories from the event. The price can’t be beat at just $12.95.

Black Camp Chair $59.95
The Reclining Camp Chair is no ordinary camp chair. It’s the ultimate lounge chair for dad, whether he’s enjoying a concert on the lawn or sitting out in the back yard. This chair is $59.95 and features a padded seat and back rest covered in durable canvas, three seating positions, adjustable armrests, insulated drink holder, a large zippered pocket, and a matching storage tote with carrying strap.



Gift certificates are also available, and you can always shop Ravinia Gifts for more options. If you’re attending the concert on Sunday, June 19, we’ll even have your gift wrapped and ready to be picked up when you arrive for the Brubeck concert.. Contact Ravinia Gifts to make arrangements.

Thursday
Jun162011

Highland Park Students Experience Music with Ravinia Artists

Ravinia Festival's involvement with Highland Park elementary schools was showcased over the last two weeks as the 5th grade students from Indian Trail and Oak Terrace held their spring performances.  Each school received a 4-week Ravinia sponsored residency with the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble.  Indian Trail students explored concepts of music including; melody, harmony, form, tempo and rhythm and related them to the systems of the body. The students created and performed their own compositions to show how these individual components come together to create a piece.   Oak Terrace students discovered the symphony through the famous melodies of Beethoven.  At the final performance last week, students performed themes from Beethoven Symphonies with members of the Ensemble (pictured above).

The “professional” debut of over 100 Highland Park middle school students at Ravinia Festival’s Bennett Gordon Hall on April 19, was the highlight of the residencies with Ravinia artists. “A Morning of Jazz” featured performances by band students from Northwood, Elm Place and Edgewood Middle Schools alongside several Ravinia Festival Jazz Mentors, nine of Chicago’s best jazz musicians that give master classes to Chicago Public High School students and intensive year-round training to twenty-five CPS students (Jazz Scholars) selected through audition. Led by their respective band directors Margaret Delligatti (pictured right), Matt Taylor and Mollie McDougall, Northwood performed Duke Ellington's “Satin Doll,” Elm Place played “Round Midnight” by Thelonius Monk, and Edgewood rendered “Caravan” by Duke Ellington.  

Ravinia Festival Jazz Mentors Ernie Adams (drums), Pat Mallinger (saxophone), Audrey Morrison (trombone) and Pharez Whitted (trumpet) worked closely with District 112 band student’s at all three Highland Park middle schools to expand their repertoire into jazz with an in-depth exposure and study of jazz music, techniques and performance. These top Chicago Jazz musicians taught six workshops at each school in which Highland Park's aspiring middle school musicians were able to study and learn in small groups.

For over 10 years, Ravinia Festival and the 112 Education Foundation have partnered to bring high quality musical residencies and performances to Highland Park elementary and middle school students.  Ravinia provides top Chicago musicians to work with the students in band, orchestra and choir and musical programming that enhances the musical curriculum to at least two elementary schools on a rotating basis, and to all three middle schools. The Festival hosts the annual Kids-Go-Classic concert at Ravinia where thousands of District 112 students and their families are given free lawn passes to attend a summer afternoon concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

Isaac Sinnett
REACH*TEACH*PLAY Project Manager

 

Thursday
Jun162011

Our Place

Yesterday we gave the grand tour of behind-the-scenes Ravinia to a group of young adults from Our Place in Winnetka and their chaperones. One of the highlights of this field trip was a visit to the dining pavilion kitchens with their industrial-sized machines. Executive Chef Tim Raddack not only had a hearty lunch waiting at the end of the kitchen tour, but he presented each participant with a chef’s toque –which he autographed. The group then checked up on the hosta garden they helped Ravinia plant in the spring before taking to the pavilion stage to sing and dance. Telling these young music-lovers all about Ravinia was as much fun for me as it was for them.

--Nick Pullia
Director of Communications

Wednesday
Jun152011

This Week in Tweets: June 7-14

Each week this summer we post the top tweets of the week about Ravinia Festival under the heading This Week in Tweets. During the last week we scoured the depths of the twittersphere to bring you the best tweets that mention your favorite outdoor music festival. Log on to Twitter, follow @RaviniaFestival, tweet about us or twitpic your lawn set-up and you might wind up in our blog feature! Featured tweets will win you great prizes all summer long. We’ll contact you to claim your prize if you are featured. Don’t forget to read the contest rules too!

  1. If I can't find anyone to go to the Hall & Oates concert with me, I might *actually* turn into a maneater.
    8 Jun via web 
  1. Whoa. I just bought tickets to see Steely Dan at Ravinia in August. Is this happening? Can this be real?
    13 Jun via web
  1. Enjoyable evening at with and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra! Well played. Swingin' dreams tonight.
    12 Jun via Twitter for iPhone
  1. Ravinia tonight. yay! feeling culturiffic :-) Ruth Page event and Chicago Children's Choir - me & my kid are alums, respectively!
    9 Jun via web


Wednesday
Jun152011

Ravinia Teams to Support Jackie on WTTW

Ever since we announced that 11-year-old singing sensation Jackie Evancho, the angelic blond who wowed the jaded judges of America’s Got Talent, would make her debt this summer, I was curious just how good was she and how could a little girl hold a crowd. Boy, did I get my answers. PBS had actually given her a Great Performances special, a banner program usually reserved for operas, orchestras and Broadway stars. I rounded up some Ravinia Festival co-workers and their friends as a Ravinia team to answer phones for the WTTW Pledge Drive, during which Jackie’s Great Performances concert would air. After a mystifying, dizzyfying and a little terrifying crash course in the station’s phone and computer operations and brief introduction to the script we were to use to secure the callers’ donations, we were let loose to accept the calls from the public who had just been watching Jackie on TV. There goes the script. People were so enthralled with the young performer that they were more concerned with singing her praises than going through the pre-drilled motions. They compared her voice to singing legends. They compared her voice to angelic choirs. They compared her to the best concert they ever attended in their own lives. They pledged ever-higher amounts to receive the Jackie CD; no, the DVD; no, the tickets to Ravinia Festival. When phone traffic slowed enough for me to tune into the special for a few minutes I saw what made believers out of so many callers. Check it out for yourself at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, when Jackie performs her live concert at Ravinia with an orchestra and young pianist Conrad Tao. By the way, we were told that call-ins to the station broke records during Jackie’s concert.

--Nick Pullia
Director of communications

Tuesday
Jun142011

The Judds and the Electric Cowboy Hat!

No this isn't a new record release from the Judds, it’s something that actually happened on Friday night. I manage Ravinia Gifts and was working in the Martin Theatre store on Friday night at The Judds concert. Ok, I wasn't really working at the time, I wanted a glimpse of Naomi and Wynonna performing and it was my only chance for the night, we had been too busy selling our light-up cowboy hats all evening.

It was towards the end of their performance (which was amazing by the way, I loved the onstage banter with the audience just as much as their music) when Wynonna asked a gentleman in the audience to give up his light-up cowboy hat. She said she wanted it for her mother so she could find her when she would get lost in the woods. The audience member offered up his orange baseball hat, which she promptly refused saying she wanted the light-up cowboy hat, which she absolutely loved. It was so cool!

The audience member gave up the light-up cowboy hat and she let him sing with her on their last song. He didn’t sound quite as good as The Judds, but was laughing so hard it didn't even matter. The audience went wild. What an amazing time at Ravinia.

I lost count how many hats we sold that night but that was all you could see on the lawn and in the pavilion, light-up cowboy hats bouncing along to the sounds of The Judds!

Click here to see our photo gallery from the performance, what a great opening weekend!

Jennifer J. Wood, Manager of Retail Operations

 



Tuesday
Jun142011

Guest Blog – Jazz at Ravinia on June 12

 

 

 

Jazz is a musical language of storytelling and on Sunday, June 12, 2011, many stories were shared throughout the Ravinia Festival. By the afternoon, things were cookin’ in the Martin Theatre as the Ravinia Jazz Scholars and Mentors played a short and sweet two song introduction set of Drew’s Blues and Mr. Kenyatta. Once the masters set the stage, the Jazz Scholars were introduced and performed a memorable set of tunes that showcased a variety of styles within the jazz spectrum. The high school Ravinia Jazz Scholars started off with a fast bebop tune, Groovin’ High, in which soloists Andrew Rehayem on trumpet, and Brian Sanborn on guitar, displayed their learned abilities of “keeping with the changes” and playing meaningful solo lines. Max Bezanson and Angie Fritz then showcased their voices on the well known swing tunes In a Mellow Tone and Do Nothing Til’ You Hear From Me. The Jazz Scholars concluded with a Latin percussion-driven feel in Afro Blue where soloists Rachel Alicea on tenor sax, Raleigh Ford on flute, and Charles Ruiz on drums, revealed their keen sense of Afro-Cuban jazz. With songs and stories chosen from across the century, the Jazz Scholars did well to respect the roots and traditions of jazz history.
                As the evening continued on, the stories played on. From jazz compositions inspired by the impressionist paintings of Claude Monet to the traditional New Orleans standards of King Oliver, Wynton Marsalis lead the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in an array of illustrious tunes that each told a story of their own. The various modern jazz compositions based on famous works of art within the last century painted vivid and almost mystical pieces. Marsalis introduced each song and as he spoke, nothing short of honesty remained, as he told us the story of each song and then sang it together most beautifully with the jazz orchestra. Then, at the peak of evening, Duke Ellington’s Sunset and the Mockingbird spoke for itself.
                With just barely enough time, Marsalis kindly allowed a meet and greet with the Ravinia Jazz Scholars during the intermission. No more than a minute had passed since he entered the room in which he began humming the various tunes that we played earlier that afternoon, bringing smiles to each of our faces. When asked the question, “What do you think about where jazz is going today as opposed to traditionalism,” Marsalis responded by saying that “the legacy [of jazz] works both forwards and backwards.  While the tradition and standard was set early in the 20th century the legacy is still being carried on into this generation, where teacher teaches what needs to be known and student bring about what is new.”
              The legacy of jazz will live on, far beyond the events of this past Sunday, yet it is hard to now imagine how one can forget such a beautiful day of storytelling and simply gorgeous music.

Charlie Kim, Ravinia Jazz Scholar

Click here to visit the Image Gallery from June 12, 2011

 

Monday
Jun132011

Classical Youth Initiative Student Profile: Jonas Tarm

As you may have heard or seen on the Ravinia website, this summer will be the inaugural summer of the Classical Youth Initiative (CYI). A wonderful group of students from Highland Park High School worked alongside the Ravinia Communications Department to encourage young listeners to attend the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances at Ravinia.  We will be featuring students on the blog all summer. Here we have our talk with Jonas Tarm about his love for western art music.

Jonas just finished his junior year at Highland Park High School. He is heavily involved in his high school’s music program along with many other music programs in the Chicago area. He played in the Midwest Young Artists program for four years. Currently, he plays in Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy program. He also composes his own pieces; some of his which were featured in the Institute’s “Generation Next: Composers Concert”, which was aired on WMFT this year. He is an extremely talented violin player and composer. This fall, he was placed in the IMEA All-State honors orchestra. In the spring, he won Highland Park High School’s concerto audition, which led to him being featured in the top orchestra’s performance of the third and fourth movements of Edouard Lalo’s  “Le Symphonie Espagnole.” He has had a wonderfully accomplished music career so far.

Jonas’s background is far different from your typical suburban teenager. He was born in Estonia, and lived there for the first ten years of his life. He began playing music while still living in Estonia. He started playing the violin when he was seven years old. He chose to play violin mainly at the request of his mother who hoped buying violins would cheaper than buying pianos! He moved to Highland Park at age ten and began playing in the school orchestras. As he has grown up, Jonas said his main influences are musicians and composers that display diversity and refuse to be narrowly defined. He stated that Yo-Yo Ma and Leonard Bernstein are of his biggest influences because both used classical training to fuel explorative careers in both performing and composing music. His favorite pieces to play are anything written in the 20th century, and one day hopes to play Mahler’s renowned compositions. Kids like Jonas Classical music is not dead as some would lead you to believe. There are teenagers out there who love blasting Bartok’s symphonies out of their stereo just as much as they love blasting out Kanye West’s music.

Jonas chose to be a part of the student marketing team because Ravinia has always been a big part of his life. He wanted to show other kids the positive experiences he has every time he sees a CSO performance. He lives in the neighborhood surrounding Ravinia, so he hears every concert from his house. He attends many CSO shows every summer. He even visits CSO rehearsals to learn how professionals rehearse. Jonas also hoped working on the team would help him develop skills that would allow him to help sell his own playing as he begins to pursue a professional music career. He feels the marketing team’s biggest challenges are coming this summer. He specifically mentioned the challenge of executing the CYI successfully so that students actually come see CSO shows. He really hopes that this summer’s Cannon-Ball Event will open teenagers from other schools who may not know as much about Ravinia. Working on this team has helped him learn more of the business obstacles facing classical music. The challenge above led Jonas to a few beliefs about the state of classical music today. Jonas feels the solution to the problems facing the world’s top orchestras is finding an effective way to present traditional western art music to a young audience.

That belief demonstrates what struck me the most about Jonas. He is extremely aware of the challenges that a musician faces; and is willing to ask himself difficult questions that most shy away from. For example, when I was in high school, I vividly remember one guy who is one of the best singers I have ever heard. He was good enough to compete on American Idol last year. Even though he was ridiculously talented, he did not have Jonas’s foresight. He never spent time learning musical marketing skills while he was in high school. Jonas’s decision to work on these skills at such a young age demonstrates his character. It bodes well for him that he is willing to look around and ask himself difficult questions like “Can western art music be sold to kids? Does the art need to change?” Kids like Jonas and the other students I will be interviewing make those difficult choices, which is one of the biggest reasons why all of us at Ravinia believe that we can find a way to market the CSO to teenagers through the Classical Youth Initiative.

Edwin Pratt

Communications Intern