Community Engagement

The University of Chicago Department of Music has been known as a leader in the study and creation of music for nearly 90 years. Beyond the classroom, the Department offers a thriving Performance program that provides an exceptional environment for artistic inspiration and musical growth to students from all backgrounds and academic programs. Involving more than 700 musicians, these wide-ranging musical ensembles and programs are a vital component of undergraduate and graduate student life at the University and in the surrounding communities.

Educational Programs

The Music Department partners with K-12 schools and other educational entities in the city through interactive performances and lecture presentations at school venues, and for school trips to campus for recitals and concerts by the Department’s artists and ensembles-in-residences. We work together to find cross-curriculum alignment and integration of performances with academic-based activities and projects. 

During the summer of 2021, the Department piloted a new educational program. Making Waves is an innovative STEM+Music program that sharpens students’ creative and analytical skills while building community. This program is currently offered at KIPP Bloom Primary. Learn more.

Community Partnerships

The Performance Program partners with local community centers, senior living facilities, hospitals, community arts organizations, and more to bring engaging and informative musical experiences to seniors, adults, and youth on the south side of Chicago.

Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company

The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and the Department of Music join together each spring to showcase the legendary musicality and wit of William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan. Presenting fully-staged productions in Hyde Park since 1960, the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company is devoted to the promotion and performance of the musical arts through the presentation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s delightful operatic oeuvre. Featuring the Department’s own Chamber Orchestra as the pit orchestra, recent productions have included Princess Ida, Iolanthe, and Patience.  

The 2022 production of The Pirates of Penzance takes place March 4, 5, and 6 in Mandel Hall. 

Public Performances and Master Classes

Experience more than 100 concerts and musical events each season, including a variety of programs featuring our instrumental ensembles and orchestras, choirs and vocalists, and early music, world music, and jazz groups. All of our performances and events are free, and tickets are not required. Reserved seating may be requested for groups of 10 or more.

Guest Artists and Ensemble-in-Residence

The University’s Don Michael Randel Ensemble Residency provides a home for world-class musicians to engage with the campus and surrounding communities. Additional guest artists, including winners of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, frequently come to campus to perform with University ensembles and provide workshops and coaching to student musicians. In addition to public performances, these artists present a range of supplemental programs, including dance workshops and meet-the-artist events.