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National Orchestral Institute + Festival Partnership Fosters Musical Mentorship and Training

By The Clarice Staff

The National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F), a program of the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, will be the orchestra partner for 2024’s National Seminario Ravinia: Orchestras for All initiative.

Next summer after their annual residency at The Clarice, NOI+F musicians will travel to Ravinia Festival, the oldest music festival in North America, located in Highland Park, Illinois, to work with students from youth orchestras based in underserved communities in the Chicago area. They will be conducted by Marin Alsop, NOI+F music director and chief conductor of Ravinia Festival.

The Seminario is inspired by El Sistema, a music education program started in 1975 dedicated to music for social change.

"Mentorship and engagement are hallmarks of the National Orchestral Institute + Festival. NOI+F fellows—some of the most talented musicians from across the country—are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with and perform alongside students from El Sistema-inspired youth orchestras,” said Richard Scerbo, NOI+F director.

Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play (RTP) education programs serve more than 20,000 young people in the Chicago area annually through a variety of high-quality and inclusive engagement. National Seminario Ravinia expands on RTP’s vision to provide accessible music education to all, paving the way for students to create their own paths to success in their music education and beyond.

“I’m excited to begin our new partnership with NOI+F and embark on the second year of National Seminario Ravinia. This new collaboration will enable us to further our mission,” said Christine Taylor Conda, director of Ravinia’s RTP education programs. “I can’t wait to see the positive impact it will have on young people’s lives.”

NOI+F’s mission of fostering the growth of young, aspiring orchestral musicians aligns with National Seminario Ravinia’s overall mission. Each summer, NOI+F brings together musicians on the thresholds of their professional careers for a month of dynamic music-making and professional exploration.

National Seminario Ravinia, which takes place July 7-10, culminates in a public concert in Ravinia’s Pavilion on July 10, with the NOI+F musicians performing multiple pieces side-by-side with the Seminario students as well as a major orchestral work on their own, conducted by Alsop.

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