The Maine South High School percussionists performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in their season finale concert at Ravinia on August 21.
They played Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture which was originally written to include cannon blasts. However, out of respect to the neighbors in Highland Park and with the war in Ukraine in mind, the CSO opted to use bass drums instead of cannons this year.
The students that participated in the event from Maine South included: Samantha Brown, Eduardo Contreas, Gabe Esparza, Lily Heneghan, Brooke Henning, Jason Kaplan, Bart Kubis, Maeve Lennon, Jake Nelson, Ryan Schoenstedt, Antonio Smeriglio, Tori Stott, Laith Tannous, Luca Tricarico and Alex Wille. The band directors are Andy Burkemper and David Hutter.
“Playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was a once in a lifetime experience,” Hutter says. “The students were put in the position of being a professional musician by arriving early and only rehearsing the piece one time with the orchestra before performing in front of more than 10,000 audience members at the concert that evening. We also had the opportunity to learn about the history of the piece, the technique used on the instrument, and how to play with the orchestra in a masterclass with Vadim Karpinos, the Principal Percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It will be a performance that the students and I will remember forever.”
There were 40 local high school and collegiate percussionists who came together to create this special performance with the CSO.