Chicago Festival of Gold

Chicago Festival of Gold

Orchestra Hall

Perform at the Chicago Festival of Gold! Chicago’s important role as the Midwest capital of the United States is reflected in its museums, theatres, shopping, dining, and dazzling skyline. Become a part of this flourishing cultural hub as a choral, band, or orchestral performer at this unique celebration of musical excellence. Students selected for this Festival of Gold will perform at the renowned Orchestra Hall at the Chicago Symphony Center. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the “Windy City” and enjoy the many experiences it has to offer!

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  • 03/17/2017 to
2017 Adjudicators
Choral: Dr. Cristian Grases & Sigrid JohnsonInstrumental: Dr. Peter Boonshaft & Dr. Robert Gillespie
Local Conditions
51℉ Current Temp
Current Time

Meet Your Clinicians

Choral Clinicians: 

Dr. Cristian F. Grases is an internationally known conductor/composer. She serves as an assistant professor in the department of choral and sacred music and is the conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir at the University of Southern California .

Sigrid Johnson holds degrees from St. Cloud State University and the University of Michigan. She has recently retired as Artist in Residence in Voice and Conductor of the Manitou Singers at St. Olaf College.


Instrumental Clinicians: 

Dr. Robert Gillespie is responsible for string teacher training at The Ohio State University, which has one of the largest and most extensive string pedagogy degree programs in the nation.

Dr. Peter Boonshaft has been invited to speak or conduct in every state in the nation and around the world. He holds a Bachelor of Music (Summa Cum Laude), Master of Music Education in Conducting, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He is currently the director of bands at Hofstra University.

Package Inclusions

The Festival of Gold is a truly unique event—a festival, clinic, and prestigious performance—all wrapped into one premier event. Every Festival of Gold package includes: 

  • Extensive one-on-one time with outstanding, internationally known clinicians
  • Formal festival performance and adjudication
  • Encore Concert at prestigious venue
  • Honor Ensemble distinctions
  • One free base travel package for every 25 packages purchased
  • WorldStrides approved, student-friendly hotel accommodations
  • Digital audio recording of performance and Encore Concert
  • Commemorative program
  • Digitally recorded adjudicator comments
  • The largest and most comprehensive insurance policy in the student travel field

Drums Band Student Festival Rehearsal

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 Welcome to Chicago!
  • Arrive in Chicago Arrive in Chicago and check-in to hotel.
  • Keynote Address and Combined Singing Rehearsal This evening, join our adjudicators and staff for the Keynote Address, followed by a combined singing rehearsal.
  • First Honor Ensemble Rehearsal It's time for your first rehearsals! Honor Ensembles will break out into separate rehearsals.
Day 2 Clinics and Rehearsals
  • Honor Ensemble Rehearsals Honor Ensembles will have morning rehearsals at your host hotel.
  • Individual Ensemble Clinics Throughout the day, adjudicators will hold 60-75 minute clinics for each group. Clinics will run on a set schedule (provided to you prior to the event).
  • Sightseeing During Off-Time Spend your evening free in Chicago. Our expert Destination Specialist can book a group dinner, a show, and more for you and your ensemble at your request.
Day 3 Scheduled Clinics and Sightseeing
  • Individual Ensemble Clinics Rehearsals and individual ensemble clinics will run on a set schedule (provided to you prior to the event) throughout the day.
  • Sightseeing During Off-Time Spend your evening free in Chicago. Our expert Destination Specialist can book a group dinner, a show, and more for you and your ensemble at your request.
Day 4 Festival Performances and Encore Concert at Orchestra Hall
  • Breakfast Enjoy an optional breakfast served at the hotel.
  • Festival Performances Each group will take the stage for their festival performances in Orchestra Hall. A schedule of these performances will be provided to you prior to travel. A short Honor Ensemble rehearsal will take place prior to the Encore Concert.
  • Encore Concert This evening, our groups host the Encore Concert at Orchestra Hall. This culminating concert gives all ensembles the chance for a performance of a lifetime.
Day 5 Goodbye, Chicago!
  • Depart for Home Depart for home, or choose to stay in Chicago for as long as you like. Our Destination Specialist can book sightseeing tours, meals, and extra arrangements as needed.

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