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Rush Hour Concerts Returns for 15th Season June 3rd

By Marielle Shaw in Arts & Entertainment on May 31, 2014 8:00PM

Performers Johnathan Wheat and Sara Su Jones at Make Music Chicago at the St. James Cathedral Photo credit: John W Iwanski

Working Arts and Entertainment here at Chicagoist, we share a deep appreciation for music, dance, theater and the arts in general. It’s what we do, what we love and who we are. As a lifelong musician, this is even more true for me.

But what about those who want to dip their toes in the arts and are looking for an inexpensive, easy introduction to such things? If you’re in Chicago and it’s classical music you’re looking to learn more about (or already enjoy, of course) then the answer to your questions is Rush Hour Concerts.

The Rush Hour Summer Concert series’ goal is to bring classical music to everyone, especially those with busy lives.

Founder of the series, Deborah Sobol, who sadly passed away this January, was said to think of music as the great equalizer. “It doesn’t recognize age, nationality, sexual orientation, race or economic status. It needs only humanity to affirm its reason for being and serves us all,” Sobol said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Concerts for the series are always free, and are held at St. James Cathedral on Huron. Tired 9 to 5ers can perk up with refreshments starting at 5:15, with concerts beginning at 5:45 and running 30 minutes each.

Composers' works to be featured include Stravinsky, Brahms, Schubert, Copland and more- a full schedule can be acquired here. Performers include members of the CSO and Lyric Opera Orchestras, Third Coast Percussion, the Jason Seed Stringtet and Quintet Attaca, just to name a few, and there will be fantastic piano, cello and viola soloists as well as storytelling and poetry at some events.

This is a great series that has a great vision. With 30 minute run times it’s a slice of great music at a time when you’d otherwise be cursing construction, other drivers, or the good ol' CTA.

You can plan ahead or drop in last minute as it’s free and unticketed, and the series offers both quality and quantity. We couldn’t recommend this more—for those already at home in the hands of Handel or those looking to dig into Chicago’s rich classical music vein to find some true gems.

Check out the schedule here, and ditch the commute for snacks and music one of these upcoming summer days instead.