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June 22, 2023

As summer blooms in the enchanting city of Highland Park, Illinois, a harmonious celebration of music and collaboration awaits. From July 5th to 8th, 2023, Ravinia Festival will host the National Seminario Ravinia, a remarkable gathering of students from El Sistema-inspired organizations. This extraordinary event, inspired by Chief Conductor Marin Alsop’s artistic vision, is part of Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play education programs, which aim to nurture musical talent and foster community engagement.  Bringing together over 130 young musicians from 15 states and Canada, the National Seminario Ravinia promises four days of immersive orchestral training and mentorship. These talented individuals, carefully selected through a collaborative nomination process, will have the unique opportunity to learn from esteemed members of the National Seminario Ravinia Orchestra Partner, the renowned Chicago Philharmonic.


The culmination of this musical convergence will be a grand concert featuring the Seminario students performing side-by-side with the Chicago Philharmonic. The concert, open to the public, will showcase the incredible talent and dedication of these young musicians. The collaboration between the National Seminario Ravinia and El Sistema USA exemplifies the power of music to inspire, connect, and transform lives.


On July 8th, the expansive Pavilion stage will come alive with the mesmerizing sounds of Ravel’s iconic “Bolero,” a newly commissioned work, and a heartwarming arrangement of the familiar tune from the Global Ode To Joy project. Under the skilled baton of Marin Alsop and Jonathan Rush, this extraordinary performance will captivate audiences of all ages, presented as part of Ravinia’s 2023 Kids Concerts series.


At the helm of the artistic leadership, Marin Alsop, Ravinia’s Chief Conductor, brings her unparalleled expertise and passion to guide the musicians. Jonathan Rush, the Lead Seminario Conductor, complements the ensemble’s artistic vision, ensuring a harmonious and inspiring experience for all involved.


The Chicago Philharmonic Society, the Orchestra Partner for the National Seminario Ravinia, represents a collaboration of nearly 200 exceptional classical musicians in the Midwest. Their symphonic and chamber concerts have garnered praise from both audiences and critics, and they continually strive to break down genre barriers and create innovative programs. Performing at prestigious venues such as the Ravinia Festival, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Auditorium Theatre, and Symphony Center, the Chicago Philharmonic’s commitment extends beyond music as they actively work to dismantle systems of segregation and racism within the classical music community.


The Reach Teach Play education programs, an integral part of Ravinia’s mission, impact thousands of young people across the Chicago area each year. These programs, including the transformative Sistema Ravinia, provide music education and live performances to underserved children and families. By fostering social development through small ensemble and orchestral training, the Sistema Ravinia empowers 4th to 12th-grade students in Chicago and Lake County public schools.


The National Seminario Ravinia amplifies the Reach Teach Play vision by opening doors and creating pathways for students to access and experience the positive impact of music. Christine Taylor Conda, Director of Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play education programs, eagerly anticipates the Seminario, envisioning it as a unique opportunity for diverse young musicians to come together, be musically challenged, and form lasting friendships.


The incredible initiative and success of the National Seminario Ravinia would not be possible without the generous support of its sponsors. The Ralla Klepak Foundation proudly serves as the Presenting Sponsor, furthering the mission of the Seminario and amplifying its impact. The program also partners with esteemed organizations like El Sistema USA and the Chicago Philharmonic to foster a collaborative and inclusive environment.


Among the esteemed participating organizations, the Sunstate Orchestral Program stands proudly as a representative of El Sistema Tampa. With the generous support of El Sistema USA, a main benefactor and our main sponsor, a group of scholarship students from the Sunstate Orchestral Program has been given the incredible opportunity to participate in this prestigious festival. Our Students will showcase their exceptional talents and represent the spirit and dedication of El Sistema Tampa.