Elgin Symphony Orchestra
The U-46 Fine Arts Department has developed a robust partnership with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. The ESO hosts a series of youth concerts, titled the Ainsworth Youth Concerts, to which hundreds of U-46 elementary school students have been sent. Pre-concert activities, inspired by concert repertoire, are planned and facilitated by elementary art and music teachers and high school music students. We host ESO guest artists and ensembles in our classrooms to perform and conduct master classes. We have transported students to sites to observe master classes such as the one conducted by world renowned violinist Midori. Students create artwork for the yearly "Seeing the Music" project based on their study and interpretation of various composers and musical genres. The work is exhibited in the lobby of concert hall in conjunction with concert events. In addition, opportunities are available for U-46 chamber groups to perform prior to ESO concerts. High School students can accrue community service hours by volunteering in various capacities at ESO events.
Elgin State Bank (originally First Community Bank)
Since 2006, Elgin State Bank (originally First Community Bank) has hosted the three U-46 student art showcases. The Tyler Creek Plaza branch in Elgin hosts the "Art is Elementary" (elementary) and "Art Madness" (middle school) art shows. In addition, the Randall Road branch hosts the "VISION" juried high school visual arts exhibit. 25 pieces of work are submitted from each U-46 high school for this exhibition and competition. Prizes are awarded in the categories of: Drawing, Painting, Photography, Digital Art, Mixed Media, and 3-Dimensional Art. Elgin State Bank promotes this event throughout the community, hosts a reception for student artists, their families and community members, and provides generous cash prizes to the top artists in each of the categories.