Photo Blog: Behind the Scenes at Ravinia

Catch a glimpse of the biggest space you've never seen at Ravinia. That's right, we are resurfacing the pavilion roof. The tar buckets are out and the flags are up. Everything is prepared and ready to roll for this week. Did you know that they are going to be using 4-wheelers up there? They also used a crane to haul the equipment up to the roof. It almost looks like the flags are set out for the rooftop 4-wheeler race. I'll be sure to keep an eye on the progress just in case that happens.
Russell Jenkins
Manager of Graphics & Photography



Love Story Contest Winner: To Many Happy Returns

In honor of Valentine's Day we held a contest on our Twitter and Facebook pages for our followers and fans to send us their most romantic memories at Ravinia. It was very touching to read all of the stories and to see what a huge impact summers at Ravinia have had on some of our guests. We will be featuring some of our favorites soon. This first story is one of the winning entries from Mark of Champaign, Illinois. 

"Emily and I met in the Spring of 2001 at a Memorial Day cookout at a friend’s house in Chicago.  Unfortunately for the both of us, I lived in Chicago and she was attending the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.   Nevertheless, our long distance relationship would grow over the next six years as we quickly learned to cherish every moment of our weekends together.  Often our dates involved exploring Chicago’s art fairs, street festivals and great restaurants all summer long. 

Still, our favorite date became packing a dinner, a bottle of wine and a blanket, and boarding the Metra right to the door of Ravinia.  We spread out under the stars as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra seemed to provide us with  our own, private serenade.  Our multiple visits to Ravinia over those summer months each year were so memorable, I knew it would provide the perfect backdrop for me to ask the love of my life to marry me.   

On July 21, 2007, Emily accepted my proposal on the lawn of Ravinia, and again I would sit…under the stars…listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra…but now with my fiancée.

This past August, 2009, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a familiar visit to Ravinia’s lawn to begin an anniversary tradition reflecting on one of the important places our love began…and will continue to grow."

(Photo of the proposal provided by Mark.)


Photo Blog: Ravinia After the Snow Storm 

What a difference a day makes. The snow finally stopped and the sun is out.  The winter storm yesterday left us a big pile of crisp, white beautiful snow today.

The grounds here at Ravinia look as breathtaking as ever. That doesn't mean we don't miss seeing the green grass and colorful flowers, though!

We can't wait for the warm weather and great music under the stars. Until then, enjoy some photos of the snow-covered park by clicking here



Women's Board Launches New Orchestra

On Monday, January 25th the Ravinia Women’s Board launched a new youth orchestra, called REACH at Hibbard Elementary.  "What a wonderful feeling it was to watch as 72 students received their instruments and started to make music for the first time.  It was like Christmas with no wrapping paper!" said Caroline Huebner. 

The  Women’s Board of Ravinia Festival, in conjunction with  Ravinia’s professional education staff and the People’s Music  School of Chicago, has created a new student orchestra for children 8 to 12 years old at the William  G. Hibbard Elementary School in the Albany Park  neighborhood of Chicago. The students selected their instruments, which were funded by a grant from Fifth Third Bank, and played them for the first time. WGN News was there to capture the event. You can watch  the video here. The program is modeled on the  successful “El Sistema” orchestral education plan devised in Venezuela. It is a system of total immersion  in music study. The Women’s Board continues a instrument drive, please contact Agatha Hwong at 847-266-5045 or

Photo by Patrick Gipson. Special thanks to Caroline Huebner & Patty McGrath, Co-chairs of the Reach*Teach*Play Task Force.


Ultimate Birthday Celebration

Is there a better time of year to celebrate than summer? Could there be a better event to have a celebration then the Women's Board Gala Benefit Evening? I think not and this year's ultimate party will be on July 31, 2010. Don't miss it!

Honoring the 80th birthday of the great American composer Stephen Sondheim with a program featuring an incredible lineup of soloists who have been featured in Ravinia’s Sondheim celebrations since they began in 2001.

The evening of Sondheim’s “greatest hits,” will star Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, George Hearn and Michael Cerveris. Conductor Paul Gemignani will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lonny Price will direct. The program will include highlights from past Ravinia Festival presentations of Sondheim shows including Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Passion, Sunday in the Park with George, Anyone Can Whistle, West Side Story and Gypsy.  


Photo Blog: Reach. Teach. Play. 


Fourth graders at Sherwood Elementary learned to play world rhythms on percussion instruments as part of their 10 week residency with internationally acclaimed world percussionist Doug Brush.  Ravinia Festival partners with the District 112 Education Foundation to bring high quality music programs to Highland Park’s elementary and middle schools.  

This photo was provided by Isaac Sinnett. He is a project manager for the Education & Community Partners department at Ravinia Festival.



Finally Something to Like About Winter

Check out the new gloves that are available at Ravinia Gifts. They are so warm and cozy but you can still use your fingers for small tasks (like typing when you are still trying to thaw out from the cold). The inside is lined in a snuggly fleece and the outside is 100% wool. Look at all of the colors and patterns. (These photos were taken on my phone.)

I don't want to sound like an infomercial here but I really do love these gloves. They are so practical, fun and warm, which is kind of weird considering that your fingers are exposed.

Anyway, it's hard to do them justice online. Just imagine yourself keeping warm while easily finding the right key to open your front door instead of fumbling around with your big gloves and dropping them in the snow because you can't tell what you're doing (not that this has ever happened to me).

Stay warm!

Adriana McClintock

Marketing Manager (and winter clutz)


JethroTull at Ravinia

For those of you who ask, what’s your real job during the off-season? Well, working at Ravinia is the real job and planning is a huge part of what we all do October through April, and the most important part is the schedule. As the dates fill up, the office becomes abuzz with excitement. You can imagine my joy when I came into the office a few weeks ago and heard that Jethro Tull tickets would be going on-sale December 4. 

The group formed in 1968 outside of London after their other bands had called it quits.  Their eclectic and unique sound led by flautist and singer Ian Anderson, soon brought them the success they had been looking for and launched Jethro Tull as a world-famous group rivaling the great live performers like Led Zeppelin and Elton John among others. To give you a taste of what you have to look forward to this summer, listen to this live recording of Jethro Tull performing “Aqualung.”

Germaine Maschoff

Corporate Relations and Communications Coordinator

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