An absolute highlight of our last month at CMPI has to be the Kick-off Event at Ravinia on September 8. CMPI families, mentors, and staff gathered on the Ravinia lawn to listen to the Chicago Sinfonietta’s triumphant return to the stage led by Maestra Mei-Ann Chen. The program featured an array of compositions representing a diverse set of backgrounds and influences. Our hosts at Ravinia offered us a large block of tickets for entrance, plenty of lawn chairs, and pavilion tickets for the chance to see and hear the orchestra up close.
There is no better way to express the impact and joy of this event than to read the words straight from our CMPI community. Here are some of their comments for you all to read.
I came to the event with my two daughters and we had such a great time! We had never been to the Ravinia Festival and the girls were blown away by the Chicago Sinfonietta as well as the venue itself. It was such a relaxing and enjoyable evening. We hope this is something that happens every year! ~ Katie Abramczyk (Lilia and Micaiah’s mom)
I had an amazing night with my family at the kick-off! It was the first time we’d all attended an orchestra concert together and it was so nice to share the experience with them! I unfortunately wasn’t able to make the first hour of the gathering where the families got to intermingle, but I’m sure it went well and I hope there will be another opportunity to meet them in the future! Overall, an amazing experience. ~ Jaz Rios (12th grade percussion fellow)
We loved it!!! Ravinia is such a great place to go to. It takes effort to go to Ravinia, especially during school days, but is WORTH IT!!! It was great to see CMPI staff, mentors and CMPI families. We love the Chicago Sinfonietta, they have a great variety of music, just like them, very diverse team!!!! We appreciated the auditorium tickets, as we enjoyed the closer experience!!! Thank you for making us go to Ravinia. ~ Claudia Esper (Rebekah’s mom)
It was a great pleasure for me to be at the Event at Ravinia last week. It was the first time for me and my daughter Samuella to be a part of such a wonderful soul-feeding music event in a nice and beautiful park. When the orchestra was playing, I even pictured my daughter being one of them one day. We both love it, love it, love it. I can’t wait to see what is next. The CMPI staff were very professional and helpful all the way. ~ Dovi Abbey (Samuella’s mom)
I thought the event was great. It was good weather and an all around beautiful night. It was good to meet new people. The Sinfonietta was lovely. There are no words for the beauty that was coming from the orchestra. We’re just happy to be part of a family that loves music and wants the best for our son and others. ~ Kenya Williams (Wanye’s mom)
I thought that everything at Ravinia was good at the beginning, the middle, and the end. The Chicago Sinfonietta was great at playing as individuals and as a whole. And the conductor was great at leading the whole orchestra. The orchestra had good intonation, coordination, dynamics, and rhythm. Sometimes I wished they played Happy Birthday classical music style for that man in one of the boxes. But I liked that the audience as a whole used their hands as percussion at the end. So overall it was really great. ~ Michael Joya (6th grade violin fellow)
I had a great time at Ravinia! It was my first time going there and it was such a cool experience. I really enjoyed the concert and I loved all the pieces on the program. I can’t wait for the start of the CMPI season and to return to Ravinia again next year! ~ Matthew Gnaden (10th grade violin fellow)
I really enjoyed the Kick off event. It was nice to be together with other orchestra families in a relaxing and fun atmosphere, all while listening to a fabulous concert. Thank you so much for sponsoring this event. ~ Beth Houston (Benjamin’s mom)
Going to Ravinia was fantastic! It was nice to board the buses with other parents and their kids and feel that we were all excited for the trip. As our family sat in the reserved grass area we had some picnic food and a bit later the concert started. I recognized one or two pieces that I had heard before in my life, but this time the music sounded crisp and brilliant because it was live. I felt so lucky and privileged to simply close my eyes and enjoy myself. As the music started, our daughter Olivia simply walked to the pavilion to fully listen and see the Sinfonietta and the director. When the concert was over, she was impressed and happy. What a joy. ~ Maria De La Torre (Olivia V.’s mom)
We are so thankful to our gracious hosts at Ravinia for welcoming us to their park, and offering us the space to safely gather and celebrate our CMPI community. Our gratitude also of course goes to the Chicago Sinfonietta conducted by Mei-Ann Chen for dazzling us with their exceptional musicianship and talent.
PHOTOS: CMPI families gathering at Ravinia