Lawn concert, organized by musicians from Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago

Posted on: July 7, 2020

Miguel E. Rosario-Vega conducts members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera Orchestra during a Fourth of July-themed concert in Oak Park, Illinois, on July 2, 2020. Photo by Chris Sweda

“On a balmy summer’s evening, more than two dozen musicians played John Philip Sousa marches and Louis Armstrong classics in the front yards of picturesque homes on a leafy block in Oak Park,” writes Howard Reich in Friday’s (7/3) Chicago Tribune. “The performers … generally sat at safe distances from one another (except for those who happened to be married to each other).… Neighbors eased into lawn chairs, sat on the curb or stretched out on a swath of grass, listening to members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera Orchestra and various freelancers play together Thursday evening…. ‘My husband is David Griffin, CSO horn,’ said Lyric Opera Orchestra co-assistant principal clarinetist Susan Warner, one of the event’s organizers. The home she shares with Griffin formed the evening’s primary backdrop…. Miguel E. Rosario-Vega, a Valparaiso (Ind.) High School music teacher … pulled together the scores and [conducted] on a slightly lopsided makeshift podium…. CSO principal trumpet Esteban Batallan produced creamy lines on Steve Rouse’s arrangement of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.’ … It’s hard to top Sousa’s ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ as a finale…. Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September’ proved a soulful encore…. Children danced. Grown-ups tapped toes. Seniors smiled. Everyone applauded.”