Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra to connect with the community on Make Music Winter Day

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra Percussion Ensemble will host an interactive musical experience at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center in Elgin.

Community members of all ages and all musical abilities are invited to roll, tap, and crash in spontaneous musical merriment on a series of gongs positioned along the wooded trail.

“On the darkest day of the year, when most of the creatures of the woods are seeking the warm shelter of their dens and nests, come out to hear percussionists build a sonic blanket of resonant gongs,” said Percussion Director Joe Beribak. “The quiet of a wooded trail in winter creates a soft backdrop for sonic explorations.”

This event is made possible by the support of Hawthorne Hill Nature Center, which partnered with EYSO to host this event.

The gong trail will begin on the trails of Hawthorne Hill Nature Center, 28 Brookside Drive, at 4 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m.

Visitors are welcome to warm up inside Hawthorne Hill Nature Center with free hot chocolate provided by EYSO.

In addition, the first 50 visitors will receive a free ceramic EYSO mug. This event is free and open to the public — no reservations are required to participate.

This event runs in conjunction with National Make Music Day, which is an initiative that encourages groups across the nation to create music-based parade events on the winter solstice. These events are free and open to anyone who wants to take part.

EYSO, with members from approximately 70 communities, is one of Chicagoland's oldest and most respected youth orchestras. Hawthorne Hill Nature Center is a 67-acre natural area that provides a place to relax, re-create, and explore the natural world with year-round programming for the Elgin area community.

The mission of EYSO is to create a community of young musicians, enriching their lives and the lives of their families, schools, communities, and beyond, through the study and performance of excellent music. For more information, visit or call (847) 841-7700.

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