12 Things You May Not Know About the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra

1. PRCOrchestra is one of Park Ridge’s fastest-growing attractions: Our fall-to-spring season of pops and classics at the Pickwick Theatre increased concert attendance 67 percent in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons alone!

2. We engage many of the same professional musicians, but PRCOrchestra is not the same as Concerts in the Park. (Those excellent concerts are run by the Park Ridge Fine Arts Society and are held in Hodges Park, managed by the Park Ridge Park District.) PRCOrchestra performs indoors in private theaters and concert halls.

3. PRCOrchestra provides a professional concert experience for extremely budget-friendly tickets, especially for seniors and youth under 18. Family-, season-, and other reduced-price and free ticket offers also make PRCOrchestra one of the Chicago area’s top concert values.

4. PRCOrchestra depends entirely on private grants, donations and ticket sales to pay for our concert venues, musicians and other expenses. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible as provided by law. Every gift is acknowledged in our program book.

5. Families especially love our Halloween Concert in October and our Holiday Concert in December. Top-ranked, local student musicians join celebrity soloists and our professional orchestra for select concerts. PRCOrchestra is developing the next generation of musicians and audiences!

6. PRCOrchestra performs several additional concerts between January and May. All our concerts delight audiences with an exciting mix of orchestra scores from movies and thrilling classics by the world’s greatest composers.

7. PRCOrchestra regularly features world-renowned soloists such as Rachel Barton Pine. Other performers in our 75-person orchestra include local top artists as well as professional musicians from throughout the greater Chicago area.

8. We perform at the iconic Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, and in other convenient locations. Our venues are accessible to all, just steps from restaurants, public transportation and free parking.

9. PRCOrchestra provides local in-school music presentations, clinics and coaching; special musical experiences for people with Down syndrome; and more than $25,000 in scholarships.

10. PRCOrchestra was founded in 1993 by then-Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist Edgar Muenzer, his wife, Nancy, and their tireless volunteers and generous donors. In 2014-15, PRCOrchestra added new fans when the founders’ son, Victor Muenzer, became music director. 

11. John Alden Carpenter, who composed “Skyscraper: A Ballet of Modern American Life” and other innovative symphonies, was born in Park Ridge. His father, George Carpenter, was mayor in the late l800s of the community that was eventually named Park Ridge. PRCOrchestra has performed Carpenter’s pieces.

12. PRCOrchestra supporters mix and mingle at our sparkling annual fundraising Gala featuring a glam theme, gourmet food, drinks, raffles, a silent auction and of course, live musical entertainment. Individual and corporate sponsors and donors make sure it’s a must-attend night!