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 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, jazz orchestra, and supplemental programs including chamber music ensembles 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.

Latest Media
Upcoming Shows & Events
November 18, 2018
Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert at Orchestra Hall
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November 27, 2018
“How Gen Z Can Change the Face(s) of Classical Music” Panel Discussion
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December 04, 2018
CPS Education Concert: Jazz Orchestra
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Discover Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras


CYSO serves nearly 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, jazz orchestra, 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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Hannah Lin to Perform Bartok at CYSO’s Fall Orchestra Hall Concert

At CYSO’s November 18th concert at Orchestra Hall, Symphony Orchestra co-principal second violinist Hannah Lin, one of the winners of our 2018 Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, will perform the first movement from Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Hannah is in her seventh season with CYSO. She living in Rolling Meadows and is a senior at Fremd High School. Hannah studies violin …
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2018 CYSO Alumni Award to be Presented to Michelle Miller Burns

The CYSO Alumni Award recognizes distinguished orchestra members from the organization’s seven decade history and is awarded based on an alum’s contribution to music and culture. This year’s award, to be presented at our fall Orchestra Hall concert on November 18th, will be presented to Michelle Miller Burns, 1986 CYSO alum and President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra. Michelle …
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Announcing the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative

CYSO recently joined Merit School of Music, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DePaul University School of Music, and The Ravinia Festival to announce a $3.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the creation of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI). CMPI aims to build a robust music training pathway for …
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College Week at CYSO

September 23-30 is CYSO College Week! Join us on Thursday 9/27 and Sunday 9/30 for great events to answer all your burning questions about higher ed. GETTING INTO COLLEGE 101 THURS, SEPT 27 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of college applications? Our popular Getting Into College 101 masterclass includes everything you need to know about …
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