Classical Youth Initiative 2012 Grant Winner

Ravinia Festival, along with the Ravinia Student Advisory Board and the Ravinia Associates, has announced that Central High School in Burlington, IL, has been declared the winner of the festival’s second annual high school attendance contest for Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts. The attendance contest spanned the duration of the CSO summer residency at Ravinia, and any high school student who attended a concert simply showed a valid student I.D. at the Ravinia Box Office for free lawn admission and to receive a point for the high school they attend. Over 100 high schools participated in the teen attendance contest. The first runner-up was Evanston Township, followed by Highland Park, New Trier and Adlai E. Stevenson high schools.

To encourage schools throughout Illinois to participate and better reward students who had to travel further distances to get to the festival, the Ravinia Student Advisory Board created a new point system this summer based on the distance between the festival and each high school. Double points were also honored for two special concerts: the performance of Holst’s The Planets and an all- Tchaikovsky evening. Central High School brought the highest number of students from the furthest distance on a double points evening. The school will be awarded a $5,000 grant donated generously by the Ravinia Associates, a group of young professionals in the Chicago area who volunteer to support the festival by raising funds, increasing awareness of the festival’s programs and developing a younger audience for classical music through the festival’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs.

“Being able to take the students to hear the CSO at Ravinia was an amazing highlight of our band camp week, it is something they still talk about and will remember beyond their high school careers,” said Central High School Director of Bands Jim Struyk. “The grant will be used to purchase new percussion equipment for our second-year percussion ensemble class, and to help our Jazz Lab Band students travel to Peoria to perform at the Illinois All-State Music Conference. We will also be looking at bringing in guest artists and clinicians as we prepare for our performances in New York this April.”