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The Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s mission statement is “To serve and engage a broad audience through the performance of powerful symphonic music and dynamic educational programs while developing strong community relationships.”

The ESO Education and Community Outreach programs provide something for everyone and include a wide selection to accommodate every age group. Our programs for youth include our annual field trip concerts, Traveling Ensembles, Masterclasses and Family Concerts – touching more than 25,000 students per season.

2019-2020 SEASON Education and Community Outreach Programs

Ainsworth Concerts for Youth

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 (Middle School Day)
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020

Reserve seats now! Call 847-888-4000 or email w.evans@elginsymphony.org
Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin

2019-20 Theme: Symphony in Space
Grades 1 through 8

Inside the Music

Inside the Music with Andrew Grams are lively, 90 minute in-depth explorations of masterworks using visuals and musical excerpts to explain the history and form of the piece.  After intermission, the ESO will perform the entire work with participants having gained newfound insight into what makes the piece so special. These programs will be informal, laid-back and fun!  All part of our goal to offer musical experiences for a new age. Learn more about these exciting programs for students!

Traveling Ensembles

Bring the ESO to your location! Inviting one of our Traveling Ensembles to perform at your school, retirement community or event is an enjoyable way to educate and entertain. It also provides a rare opportunity to see and hear professional musicians play their instruments in an informal setting.


Sponsoring guest artists to provide free masterclasses is one of the ESO’s gifts to the community. These events take place in the Meadows Community Rooms in the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. All are welcome to come sit in the audience to hear the individuals perform for a master. Individuals are selected by application and teacher recommendation.

The world-class expert will work with the individuals on performance technique, musicality and presentation. This form of teaching is invaluable for students because it gives them a master’s perspective on performance, enhancing their current music study. Our past masterclasses include Carter Brey and Alicia Weilerstein, cello; Joyce Yang, piano; Michael Ludwig, Philip Quint and Jaime Laredo, violin; Michael Sweeney, bassoon; Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Amy Porter, flute; Thomas Mesa, cello and Jennifer Frautschi, violin.

Listeners Club with Jim Kendros

The maestro Andrew Grams designs each Elgin Symphony Orchestra concert to be a stimulating musical journey. Of course, when you travel it’s always wise to bring a guidebook to point out the details. Think of the Listeners Club as your musical guidebook…with the magnetic Jim Kendros, composer and music lecturer, as your tour guide!

The Listeners Club meetings are free to anyone and take place on the Wednesday before every concert weekend at the Gail Borden Public Library from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The doors open at noon so that you can mingle and eat lunch if you like (the café at the library has wonderful food).

Sign up here so that we can have a chair and a syllabus waiting when you arrive!

The Listeners Club also has a local radio show on Huntley Community Radio. Click here to listen to the show on podcast.