CIVIC ORCHESTRA REGULAR MEMBERSHIP
Participation in the Civic Orchestra as a regular member is a part-time commitment, enabling musicians to pursue additional educational opportunities and engage in the rich professional musical life of Chicago. Each regular member of the Civic Orchestra will receive a stipend of $7,500 in the 2017/18 season. Those who audition successfully for rotating principal string positions will receive an additional stipend ranging from $90-$210 per concert cycle. The stipend is payable in bi-weekly installments, September through June. Regular members are eligible to participate in the Civic Orchestra for up to two consecutive seasons, provided they maintain good standing throughout the first season and upon receipt of an invitation from the CSO for a second year of membership. Musicians accepted as associate members are offered a one-season associate membership only, and are contacted on as-needed basis as extra/substitute musicians throughout the season.
Each season, the Civic Orchestra typically presents 7-8 concerts at Symphony Center and 2-3 performances in community locations, participates in 3-4 residencies with Yo-Yo Ma, and offers two open rehearsal with CSO Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti. The Civic season also includes side-by-side rehearsals and coaching sessions with CSO musicians, reading sessions with special guest conductors, career development workshops, as well as master classes with CSO guest artists as opportunities arise.
Members of Civic Orchestra must be aged 18 or older, and must have, at minimum, a high school diploma to join the Civic Orchestra as a Regular or Associate Member. Most members are between the ages of 22 and 30 and are either graduate level students or post-graduates with a Bachelor’s degree. While some members are current undergraduate students, the time commitment for the Civic Orchestra is substantial and may often conflict with undergraduate university obligations. All Regular Members must live within the Greater Chicago area, as the season schedule does not permit commuting from out of state.
Civic Fellows must first be accepted as a regular member of the Civic Orchestra and possess at least a Bachelor’s degree in music performance. Once chosen, fellows may not be enrolled in a degree, diploma, or certificate program at any time during their fellowship.
2017/18 auditions are open to new, incoming Civic members (for a two-season term, concluding as late as June 2019) as well as to current Civic regular members who are advancing to their second year in the orchestra (for a one-season term only, concluding June 2018).
Applicants who have been accepted as Regular Members and have also applied for a Civic Fellowship must participate in a live interview (either in person or via Skype). Applicants who are advanced to the Fellowship interview process will be notified of their status and assigned an interview time by March 20, 2017.
The Civic Orchestra accepts applications from non-US citizens. If the application and audition are successful, members must have a valid visa or immigration status and appropriate employment authorization in order to participate in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. If an applicant is awarded an offer of Regular Membership or Civic Fellowship, the Civic Orchestra may be eligible to sponsor the member on an H-3 visa. H-3 visas are very restrictive in the US with regard to earning additional income, therefore it is highly recommended that international applicants have an F-1 status (with CPT or OPT), O-1 status, or Permanent Residency (Green Card).