Whitacre Festival Information

Good evening!

I hope everyone is getting excited about the Whitacre Festival next week! See below for a comprehensive email from Georgia State regarding the Festival procedures. The short version for us is:

  • 10:00am – Departure from Harrison HS, chaperones meet us at 9:45 by checking in at the Freshman Academy office.
  • 11:00am – Arrive in downtown Atlanta – eat lunch at the CNN center
  • 12:30pm – Walk from the CNN center to the Rialto Center for the Arts (0.4 mile)
  • 1:00pm – Check in at the Rialto
  • 4:30-6:00pm – Dinner break, students may split off in groups to nearby restaurants (listed here – Georgia State Area Restaurants[1])
  • 6:15pm – Check in for concert/festival seating
  • 9:30pm – Concert conclusion, return home
  • 10:30pm – Arrive back at Harrison

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know as soon as possible! All participants have been sent practice tracks for most of the music, as well as given copies in class. Recommended attire is business casual, since every school has a different concert attire This is going to be a really unique experience and I hope the kids are getting excited for it!


Thank you for joining us for the Eric Whitacre Residency at Georgia State University.  We are excited to host such a fabulous musician, composer and conductor!  As the residency draws closer, I wanted to share important information and reminders with you as you make your plans to arrive to campus.  Please read this email carefully.


The residency will be housed in the Rialto Center for the Arts, located at 80 Forsyth Street NW, Atlanta.  Maps and driving directions to the Rialto can be found on the Rialto Center Website.  Please allow plenty of time for downtown traffic as you make your arrival plans.


Check-in opens for the Choral Festival at 1:00pm on Tuesday, February 4 and closes at 1:45pm.  The rehearsal begins at promptly at 2:00pm.  When your school arrives, the director should check in at the information table in the Rialto Lobby to receive your student wristbands, adult credentials and group’s concert tickets. After check-in, you and your group will receive further instructions and be directed to rehearsal seating.

Credentials & wristbands MUST be worn at all times. Admittance into rehearsal will not be permitted without them.  Entrance into the evening concert will not be permitted without a ticket.


1:00pm – Check in opens for the Choral Festival
2:00pm – Choral Festival Begins
4:30pm – Choral Festival Concludes
Dismissed for dinner on your own
6:30pm – House opens for concert seating
7:30pm – Concert Begins
9:30pm – Estimated concert conclusion


Schools should purchase their own original music for Animal Crackers Vol. 1, Animal Crackers Vol. 2, and Sleep prior to arriving to the festival.  Music will not be provided on-site; please ensure your students bring their music.

We ask that you keep personal items to a minimum.  You WILL NOT need iPods, iPads, tablets, laptop computers, or any other sort of electronic devices during the festival.  Cell phones are permitted if kept silent and you feel their presence is necessary.  Large amounts of cash are NOT NEEDED.  While we have a flawless safety record with our student camps, we would like to remind everyone that you will be visiting a city environment and spending the day with people they do not know.  Please leave unnecessary items at home.

The School of Music’s ACDA chapter will be holding a bake sale between 1pm – 5pm.  If your students would like to purchase baked goods during this time, please have them bring additional money.


Dinner is on your own prior to the concert.  Ample time is allocated for your group to walk to and enjoy dinner at any nearby restaurant.  A sample list of restaurants is attached.  While it is not an exhaustive list, it should give you an idea of the types of restaurants within walking distance.  If you are planning to sit down for a group meal, it is recommended that you contact the restaurant in advance to make reservations.  You can view the Georgia State Interactive Map to see locations such as Peachtree Street and CNN Center’s proximity to the Rialto, each about a 10 – 15 min walk.


Dress Code for the concert will be comfortable, business casual. Each school may determine their own dress code. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for performing from their seats in the audience during the concert. Participants are encouraged to wear nice, comfortable clothes for the day and plan to wear the same attire for the evening. It is recommended to wear shoes that are comfortable for walking downtown. Concert black will NOT be required for Choral Festival Participants. Changing/Dressing rooms will not be provided.

We look forward to having you on our campus in the coming weeks.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office at directly at cotaoeo@gsu.edu.

Amy Reid

Georgia State University | College of the Arts

Office of Educational Outreach | 404.413.5927

55 Park Place | Suite 910


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