This program—one of the oldest traditions in CPS, going into its 56th year—attracts students from across all regions at the elementary and high school levels.


2018–19 All-City Performing Arts Program

Students are still being accepted into the 2018-19 All-City program! Click here to apply!

Click the button below to find rehearsal schedules, director bios, and more important information about the 2018–19 All-City Performing Arts program. 


About the All-City Performing Arts Program

Regional All-City Ensembles

Students at beginning to advanced levels in their art forms are eligible for Regional Ensemble auditions in music, theater and dance. Students who are accepted rehearse each Saturday during the fall semester at either Schurz High School (Northside) or Jones College Prep High School (Loop), receiving exceptional instruction from highly-qualified CPS teachers.* They go on to perform at a Regional Showcase in the winter.

Spring All-City Performing Arts Ensembles

Students from Regional Ensembles may be eligible for nomination to the All-­City Performing Arts Ensembles, who rehearse on Saturdays throughout the spring semester at Jones College Prep High School.* They go on to perform at a Spring Showcase at the Harris Theater for Music & Dance. Students who participate are eligible for scholarships to Columbia College.

*NOTE: As of October 2018, All-City students will be offered free breakfast and lunch during rehearsals.


Ensemble Information

Students can be at a beginning to advanced level in their performing art form and can apply for the following Regional Ensembles.

Chorus

Students in the Chorus will rehearse and perform a variety of choral music including traditional pieces, madrigals, contemporary pieces and more. Students will develop their vocal technique and strengthen their independence when singing in harmony. Through this vocal training and shared experience, this diverse ensemble will learn to sing with one voice.

  • Grades Allowed: 3rd through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students should choose one song to perform that emphasizes singing strengths.
  • Level of Preferred Experience: Students should have at least one year of experience singing and be comfortable and proficient at singing in a round in a group setting.
Concert Band (intermediate ensemble)

Woodwind, brass, and percussion players will rehearse and develop each member’s individual technical ability and group musicianship. Various styles of music will be performed, ranging from lyrical classics to pop to contemporary pieces. Students and directors will collaborate to produce a fun and rewarding musical experience for all involved.

  • Grades Allowed: 4th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students should be able to play a concert B flat major scale and play one prepared selection.
  • Level of Preferred Experience: Students should have at least one year of playing experience, either in band or through private lessons.
Symphonic Band (advanced ensemble)

Woodwind, brass, and percussion students will rehearse a wide array of repertoire (ranging from proficient-to-advanced concert band and orchestral transcriptions) while developing individual technical and ensemble performance skills. Students in this ensemble are expected to maintain a consistent at-home practice routine to prepare to rehearse in a large group setting. Students will work in collaboration with directors and fellow musicians to prepare a musical experience that is satisfying for performers and audience members alike.

  • Grades Allowed: 4th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students should be able to play 2 minor and major scales of their choice. They should also have a prepared piece (a solo or band piece) that showcases their ability, and be prepared for sight reading.
  • Level of Preferred Experience: Students should have at least one year of playing experience, either in band or through private lessons.
Jazz Band

Through playing, listening, and improvising in various jazz styles, students will rehearse and perform a varied repertoire of music in combo and big-band formats. Instruments include trumpet, trombone, saxophone, guitar, bass, piano and drums.

  • Grades Allowed: 4th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students should prepare the following: a blues scale, pentatonic scale, and major or minor scale of their choice (both preferred). Students will be asked at the audition to play from a rhythm and lead sheet.
  • Level of Preferred Experience: Students should have at least one year of playing experience, either in band or through private lessons.
Orchestra

Violin, viola, cello, and string bass musicians will come together to rehearse and perform some of the world’s greatest music. Orchestra members will show superior leadership through consistent rehearsal attendance and at-home practice. Orchestra members may also be invited to perform at some of Chicago’s most prominent performance and art venues.  Both directors and students will maintain a supportive and positive environment in which the highest degree of music-making is possible.

  • Grades Allowed: 6th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Please refer to Level of Preferred Experience (below).
  • Level of Preferred Experience:  Students should have at least one year of ensemble or private lessons. Experience playing in the major keys of D, G, F, and C will also be helpful.
Theatre

Theatre students will work in both individual and group settings to generate original material to be performed onstage. Students will experience the theatre process of writing, acting, and directing, while collaborating with peers to build a final performance. Monologue development, acting technique, and performance basics will be covered.

  • Grades Allowed: 6th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students should be able to read provided scripts with dramatic inflection.
  • Level of Preferred Experience: Any
Dance

Dance students will rehearse and perform different styles of dance such as modern, ballet, jazz and hip hop.  Students will learn how to use dance to convey meaning and/or tell a story. In addition, they will be asked to use their own knowledge of dance to create small dance sequences throughout the rehearsal process. Dance ensemble members will work together to create a positive and thorough dance experience for each other and the audience.

  • Grades Allowed: 6th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students should be able to copy and/or create simple movement sequences.
  • Level of Preferred Experience: Any
New Music Ensemble

Singer/songwriters, rappers, beat-makers, and jamming musicians are highly encouraged to join this ensemble.

  • Grades Allowed: 6th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students must have a strong desire to create original music, and have a creative talent they have been practicing. Students must demonstrate their talents for at least one minute on the first day.  
  • Level of Preferred Experience: Open to youth of all experience levels and talents. Exposure to digital music production software preferred. Any instrument welcome; must be open to experimenting.
Elementary and High School Modern Rock Bands

The Modern Bands consist of vocalists, keyboards, guitarists, bassists, drummers, and occasional featured horns. These young musicians come together to create an ensemble sound through collaborative song selection, independent practice, and focused group rehearsals. This ensemble extends the skills musicians have acquired in their music classrooms and provides them with a unique musical experience.

  • Grades Allowed: Elementary: 5th through 8th | High School: 9th through 12th
  • Placement Information: Students should ideally have at least a year of experience on their desired instrument.
  • Level of Preferred Experience: The musician should be able to read charts for their instrument and be able to play independently.

Students are still being accepted into the 2018-19 All-City program! Click here to apply!