- Arrival in Chicago Arrive in the Windy City and prepare for an action-packed adventure in Chicago.
- Museum of Science and Industry (optional) Descend into a coal mine, explore the U-505 captured German submarine, or simulate a cross-country flight at the largest science museum in the US. IMAX films and exhibits available at an additional charge.
- Navy Pier (optional) Showcasing 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, and entertainment, Navy Pier is Chicago’s premier leisure destination. Choose from the following rides: Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Wave Swinger, or Light Tower Ride or try your hand at miniature golf.
- Blue Man Group (optional) Performances feature enigmatic bald and blue characters who take the audience through a multi-sensory experience.
Every Heritage Festival package includes:
- One free base travel package for every 25 packages purchased
- Positive, constructive adjudication with written and recorded comments from a panel of three nationally acclaimed adjudicators
- On-stage mini clinic
- Quality hotel accommodations
- Gift for the director and commemorative gift for each student
- Professional performance recording
- Accident, medical, and dental insurance for all travelers plus extensive liability insurance coverage for directors
- Free high school academic credit for students
- Free professional development and opportunity to earn discounted graduate credit for directors
The AIM Experience
Affirm. Inspire. Mentor. Directors have been asking for it, and here it is! The AIM Experience is an exclusive private master-class session offered as an elective to participating groups at all Heritage Festivals. This 60-90 minute concentrated educational experience provides extra performance time and customized one-on-one instruction from one of our professional clinicians. Music directors can set the focus of the session’s content through their planning call with the instructor. Reaffirm your classroom teachings, fine tune your festival performance, or focus on a few specific skills – the choice is yours! Ask your Festival Selection Advisor about setting up your own AIM Experience!
Your Adventure, Day by Day
- First Day of Festival Performances Festival performances run throughout the day at your event venue. After arriving at your concert venue, your group will warm up in a private rehearsal room. Each ensemble will perform for 15 minutes on stage. A panel of three adjudicators will provide written and recorded feedback for each performance. Following your performance, a select adjudicator will conduct a mini-clinic on stage with your group, providing valuable feedback and reinforcement for your classroom teachings. Groups will also have the opportunity to participate as an audience for other groups competing—giving your ensemble exposure to their peers.
- SkyDeck at Willis Tower (optional) Access the breathtaking view from one of the world’s tallest buildings via a high-speed elevator. Stand on "The Ledge," a glass balcony extending 4 feet outside the 103rd floor.
- Chicago Theater (optional) Take in a show at Broadway in Chicago, Drury Lane Dinner Theatre, Lyric Opera, or Chicago Symphony. There's always a wide range of shows, so there's something for everyone!
- Continue Festival Performances Festival performances will continue throughout the day. Your performance time will be given to you weeks before your event, so you can plan your day accordingly. Bringing more than one ensemble? No problem! Our team will arrange your schedule so you can maximize your free time.
- My Kind of Town City Tour (optional) This is a group favorite! Spend up to four hours with a local guide on a hop-on/hop-off bus at all the high spots of Chicago.
- Dinner and Jousting Tournament at Medieval Times Enjoy delicious food and a show with all your new friends. Cheer for your favorite knight and be swept away to an age of bravery and honor and witness epic battles of steel and steed.
- Awards Ceremony and Dance Celebrate your performances at your exclusive Awards Ceremony and dance party. Choirs, orchestras, and bands will be recognized for high scores within their class—plus standout individuals will be recognized for outstanding performances.
- Bye, Chicago! Depart for home, or stay an extra day or two! Our team can help you arrange travel or extra time in the Windy City.