Grant Park Music Festival 2011
The Festival is one of the best music values anywhere in the world. Much of the cost of the Festival is picked up by the City of Chicago or the Chicago Park District with the remainder being funded by a dedicated core of donors and patrons who pay a premium for reserved seating. Even after the reserved seating there are still over 2,000 free seats in the seating bowl of the magnificent Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion plus the entire Great Lawn. You're surrounded by the world's greatest architectural treasures in a city that is the only city in the world that has a water front completely dedicated to the recreation of its citizens. Add to this Music Director Carlos Kalmar's stunning and adventuresome programming and Chorus Director Christopher Bell's impeccable singers and you won't find a festival anywhere to top what you can experience in Chicago's Millennium Park. (Technically, this is The Grant Park Music Festival in Millennium Park, but that's really nit-picking.)
My Connection to the Festival
I worked as an Usher for the Festival in 2009 and in Patron Services in 2010. It was an experience never to be forgotten. I value highly the many friends I made at the Festival. Some of the musicians also show up at other places in my life. Thomas Yang, who plays in the Festival violin section, is the Concert Master for the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra where I occasionally volunteer or attend concerts.
I wanted to pay tribute to the "ground-zero" workers at the Festival who contribute so much to the Festival's success and to House Manager Joe Fernicola who works so hard to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience. Armed with my camera, I took a few photos of Ushers and Staff to preserve for the next time a book is published about the Festival. The photo-essay opens in a new window. To see it, click here.