Free Do-It-Yourself Messiah Tickets – Dec 21-22

Come out and sing! The Harris Theater for Music and Dance will host the 2009 Bank of America free Do-It-Yourself Messiah, the 34th annual holiday event where the audience serves as the chorus in George Frederic Handel’s masterpieceon December 21 and 22 at 7:00 pm . Bank of America will offer 1,500 free tickets for each performance at no charge on a first come, first served basis. The music of Handel comes to life in Chicago every Christmas with his magnificent Messiah performed by an audience of thousands, featuring world-class soloists and a full orchestra of local amateur musicians.

Free Dance-Along Nutcracker for Families – Dec 6

FREE ADMISSION: Calling all Chicago families! Enjoy one of the most memorable holiday musical traditions and come join in with sugar-plum fairies and toy soldiers during the eighth annual Dance-Along Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet becomes a spectacular, interactive holiday event with juggling, acrobatics, and other fantastic feats. Audience members, young and old, are encouraged to dress in their finest tutus (or clown shoes) and hit the dance floor alongside professional dancers and circus performers.

Free Christmas Caroling Each Friday at The Bean

Looking to get in the Christmas spirit? Then make your way down to Millennium Park to hear the sounds of Christmas Carollers each Friday evening at 6 pm for an hour during the holiday season. Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to Cloud Gate (the Bean) for free carolling to hear the beautiful voices of different Chicago choral groups, including the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Chicago Children’s Choir, the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Wooten Choral Ensemble and participate in a holiday sing-along. Admission is free. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation, with complimentary coffee and hot chocolate courtesy of Caribou Coffee.

Free Chicago Concerts – World Music in November

Free Concert from the Khmer Cultural Dance Troupe — On wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 8:30 PM the Old Town School of Folk Music, in partnership with the Cambodian Association of Illinois, presents an evening of free traditional Cambodian music and dance. The troupe features master Cambodian musicians Bun San and Song San leading a traditional pinpeat (pluck and strike) musical ensemble complemented by folk and classical dance under the direction of Sareth and Sarun Kong. Join Cambodian artists who have made tremendous sacrifices to preserve these treasured traditions in the face of enormous odds.

Free Concert by Midwest Young Artists – October 17

FREE CONCERT: The Midwest Young Artists present a free concert featuring the ensemble called “I Solisti MYA” at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 17 at the MYA Center, 878 Lyster Road in Highwood, IL. I Solisti MYA is an ensemble composed of soloists from Young Artist’s symphony orchestra, the organization’s top orchestra. Under the direction of Charles Pikler (principal violist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), the group accompanies as each member takes a turn as soloist.

This event is free and open to music enthusiasts of all ages. For more information visit the concerts and events page at, or call (847) 926-9898.

Free Classical Concert Sunday: Sounds of Spain – Oct 18th

Come hear the free Sunday Classical Music Salon Series, which explores the rich landscape of classical music. On October 18th, this free concert highlights the beautiful music of New York Opera Society composer in residence, Ricardo Llorca and his Music for Guitar and Song Cycles and features Argentine baritone Gustavo Ahualli, Puerto Rican soprano Rosa Betancourt, Argentine pianist/conductor Alan Darling and Italian guitarist Giuliano Belotti. This free concert is co-presented by New York Opera Society.

Free Classical Music Concert Each Month – Nov 2

The Chicago Chamber Musicians offer a free classical music concert each month at lunchtime during the school year, with the next free concert on Nov 2. The CCM has built a strong national reputation with its quality programs in artistic development, concert performances and education. With its resident ensemble comprising piano, string, wind and brass artists, CCM annually reaches thousands of individuals through an extraordinary range of programs that include: a critically-acclaimed subscription series; the award-winning Composer Perspectives series of contemporary chamber music; annual Family Concerts; radio broadcasts and touring engagements; plus extensive outreach and education in the Chicago community. The Chicago Tribune calls it “the city’s flagship chamber music organization”.

Free Concert Finale: World Music Festival – Sept 24

FREE CONCERTS: Our great city of Chicago showcases the best of international music at the free 11th Annual World Music Festival: Chicago 2009, occurring in sites around the city from Friday, September 18 through Thursday, September 24, 2009. The multi-venue, one-week free concert festival, showcases both traditional and contemporary music from diverse cultures across the world. The 2009 festival line-up will feature 55 events at 21 venues. Many events are free and family friendly.

Free Sept Lunchtime Concerts Downtown — Every Day!

If you work downtown, then tune in for these excellent but often overlooked free concerts. Spend your lunch break in Chicago’s Millennium Park where you will find concerts and special programs on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at noon all summer long. All the way to September 30, Millennium Park offers free concerts in jazz, world music, indie-rock, hip hop and electronica, along with family programs and open rehearsals of the acclaimed Grant Park Music Festival.