CYSO Youth Symphony Chicago
About CYSO

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has provided music education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946.

CYSO serves more than 500 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, multiple steel orchestras, and supplemental programs including chamber music ensembles, music theory, and composition. CYSO musicians receive superb orchestral and chamber music instruction from Chicago’s most respected professional musicians, perform in the world’s greatest concert halls, and gain the self-confidence and discipline necessary for a successful future.

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Upcoming Shows & Events
February 20, 2016
CYSO Open House
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February 23, 2016
Accelerando Strings Community Concert
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February 27, 2016
CYSO Chamber Showcase
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Discover Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras


CYSO serves more than 500 students ages 6-18 through four string orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, and supplemental programs. Musicians receive superb instruction and gain the skills necessary for a successful future.

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CYSO auditions are open to students who will be high school seniors or younger. Auditions for the upcoming season happen each spring. Tuition assistance is available for all programs for families with financial need.

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The best way to experience CYSO is to attend an event! From our annual fundraising gala, free community concerts, performances at Symphony Center’s venerable Orchestra Hall, we offer something for everyone.

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CYSO alumni play in the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles, as well many other respected professions. Regardless of whether they pursues further music studies, CYSO students leave with skills that will serve them for a lifetime.

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CYSO to Perform at Inaugural Ear Taxi Festival

Mark your calendars! This fall, CYSO will join more than 300 fellow musicians in the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival celebrating new classical music in Chicago. The festival takes place over six days from October 5-10, 2016 and will feature the work of 75 Chicago-based composers, including 53 world premiers, concerts, lectures, marathons, webcasts, and artist receptions. As part of Ear Taxi, …
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2016-2017 Season Auditions are Open!

Orchestra auditions for CYSO’s 2016-2017 season are now open! Register for an audition to play in one of four full orchestras or three string orchestras. Auditions are open to students who will be entering their senior year or younger in fall 2016, and financial assistance is available for all CYSO programs. See our audition FAQ and audition requirements for info. Interested in playing …
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CYSO Featured in Chicago Bulls 2015 Holiday Card

Bringing together two veritable Windy City institutions, members of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras were featured in this year’s Chicago Bulls holiday video, “A Chicago Bulls Holiday Scrimmage.” This live-action “holiday card” from the team features the team playing a scrimmage during practice while 70 members of Symphony Orchestra line the perimeter of the court playing the holiday classic “Sleigh Ride.” …
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CYSO & Third Coast Percussion Record RADIANT CHiLD

During fall and winter of 2014, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) and Third Coast Percussion partnered in a residency to bring David T. Little’s Radiant Child to the public through a performance and recording, as well as provide mentorship to young musicians and composers through masterclasses and workshops. As a part of this residency, CYSO’s Encore Chamber Orchestra and the …
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