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.

In 2017, the Festival hosted 34 sessions of Chicago Park District Day Camps, including 6 special recreation camps from 44 different Chicago neighborhoods. In addition, the Festival opened up the program to community organizations and music groups including students from CPS schools, campers from McCormick Tribune YMCA, Waukegan "Bravo Buddies" music camp, as well as an inter-generational event for "Grandparents and Special Friends" in partnership with residents of The Clare. 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