Classical Campers

Classical Campers is a half-day music and arts immersion program that serves over 2,000 children each summer in Millennium Park.

Classical Campers get hands-on demonstrations from musicians

With Classical Campers, the Festival provides an appealing introduction to classical music through engaged storytelling and interactive workshops, hands-on instrument instruction, and up-close access to the musicians of Grant Park Music Festival at Millennium Park.

Campers are exposed to a live classical music performance at an open rehearsal, followed by a hands-on presentation and Q & A with professional musicians in the orchestra. Bus service is provided by the Festival through generous funding of the program.

Campers learn the instruments of an orchestra at interactive workshops

Classical Campers offers a memorable and accessible experience intended to spark curiosity and foster interest in classical music for future audiences who may not otherwise have had exposure to a symphony orchestra.

The Festival hosts Classical Campers, its popular half-day music immersion program for children ages 6-12, in collaboration with the Chicago Park District.  Throughout the season, nearly 2,000 students from more than 30 different Chicago neighborhoods will learn about the instruments and sections of the orchestra with Festival educators and Project Inclusion fellows, take part in hands-on musical activities, and conclude their day with a visit to a Festival rehearsal and talkback with Grant Park Orchestra members. Classical Campers often provides children with their first exposure to a live classical music performance.  If you are interested in applying for a field trip to Classical Campers, please contact Education & Community Engagement Manager, Hilary Mercer at

Classical Campers and counselors enjoy a day in Millennium Park learning about music and nature

“I learned that music is the best thing ever and that I like classical music”
Classical Camper

“Many of the kids in this area would have never been exposed to classical music as such if it hadn't been for your program”
Day Camp Counselor from Columbus Park in Austin