Hi Christine,

     My family and I attended Ravinia this past Sunday for the Family Place events and the CSO concert. We are new to the Chicago area this year and that was our first true experience & picnic and all. My daughter is 4 1/2 and has always loved music at whatever age/stage she has been in. This weekend provided an experience for her (and us) that will stay with us forever.

     The volunteers at the Instrument Petting Zoo were wonderful. They were patient, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and an inspiration to the children. I am attaching photos of Isabelle's (my daughter) violin interaction. You can see the progression in both the volunteer and Isabelle's face as she listened, learned and then produced sound from the violin. She was so excited to hear the music! This happened at each station as my daughter was successful in making sounds on the violin, bass, french horn, trombone, trumpet, saxophone and clarinet.

     I want to thank you and your staff for generously providing this type of opportunity for the children. Not only did Isabelle get to experience music in a way that is truly unique, her mommy (Me!) got to feel the joy as she watched Isabelle's excitement.

     Isabelle also loved hearing and seeing the CSO. We hung out behind the Pavilion for a little while and she danced around like only a child can do as she felt the beautiful music of the orchestra.

Thanks again!


Karen, Ira and Isabelle Smith