In December 2014, students from our Youth Orchestras in Albany Park and Evanston traveled downtown to perform at our Concert & Celebration in honor of founder Rita Simó’s 80th birthday and the release of a book about her life. The concert took place at Braintree, a tech company whose Chicago office is located in the Merchandise Mart. Performing in Braintree’s impressive offices inspired many of our students and opened their eyes to the possibility of working in a successful tech company. Jonathan Alday, a violinist in the YOURS Orchestra, shared a bit about the experience:
My name is Jonathan Alday. I am 11 years old. I play the violin in The People’s Music School, Youth Orchestras at Hibbard Elementary School. I love music because it gives me the chance to relax and express myself through music. I think of music as another way to learn things like math, reading, and also history. My experience with The People’s Music School is very surprising because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today and has also changed the way I think of classical music. A couple years ago the only thing that I was sure I was going to learn to play was the recorder. But now The People’s Music School has given me a variety of instruments to learn.
To play in Merchandise Mart is really cool because it shows me that there are different places and those places allow you to listen to everything around you and help you be more unified with the rest of your orchestra members. It was really cool to play in that big building downtown because it made you feel that you are going up a ladder to reach your goal and going somewhere bigger. It made me think that there is really good tech places similar to Google in Chicago. It help me because it helps me know that there are not only big tech companies in America such as Google but small ones like the ones in the big building. I want to work in a tech company when I grow up, because technology really just fascinates me just as much as much as music does.