Some Chicago Public Schools students are getting an opportunity of a lifetime, getting to show off their skill and talent on one of the city's most prestigious stages.
Students at Chopin Elementary School in the city's Ukrainian Village neighborhood have their own orchestra. Now, they are picking up a few tips from professionals before performing this weekend at the Symphony Center's Orchestra Hall.
For some, playing their instruments is not just something they do. It is everything they feel.
"It, like, helps me be stress-free and relaxed. More than, like, other kids. They punch a wall or something like that, like, do violence. I just play my instrument," said Anayse Soto.
On this day, students are getting instruction and mentoring from musicians who were not long ago in their shoes. Young professionals from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago are on hand mentoring and sharing tips that helped them when they were that age.
"I can see when they're having a problem, and I can see their struggle. And I can remember having that same struggle, and I know the solution. And I can help guide them to get to the next place," said Davis King, Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
The partnership is set up through a program called Bridges: Partners in Music. It is run by the non-profit Merit School of Music. The program provides instruction to more than 4,500 students around Chicago each year.
"Our Bridges program really serves as an introduction to young people of all backgrounds and we've been really successful at providing intensive instruction for those kids," said Charlie Grode, president and executive director, Merit School of Music. "What we're doing is trying to create the world as we believe it should be through music."
On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chopin's student orchestra will perform side-by-side with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The program will include excerpts from Beethoven Symphony No. 7.
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CPS musicians get mentoring from Civic Orchestra members