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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.

Latest Media
Upcoming Shows & Events
December 04, 2016
Debut Orchestra and Preparatory Strings Fall Concert
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December 04, 2016
Concert Orchestra and Accelerando Strings Fall Concert
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December 10, 2016
Overture Strings Fall Recital
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Discover Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Programs

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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Auditions

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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Events

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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Alumni

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 NEWS
Alumni Interview: Richard Davis, Renowned Bassist, Educator, and Activist

On Friday, November 14, 1947, double bassist Richard Davis played in the very first concert of what was then called the Youth Orchestra of Greater Chicago. A shy kid from Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Davis would go on to play bass professionally with some of the most famous classical and jazz personalities of the 20th century. Now 70 years on from …
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CYSO Internship Sparked Interest in Arts Administration for Carlos León Garcia

Former CYSO intern Carlos León Garcia epitomizes the word “hustle.” After playing in Symphony Orchestra his senior year of high school, Carlos stayed on as an Operations Intern the summer after he graduated. His enthusiasm and dedication were always apparent during Carlos’ tenure in CYSO, and still is today. Carlos recently stopped by the administrative office to catch up with old …
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CYSO Cheers on the Cubs

Like the rest of Chicago, CYSO staff and students have been watching with excitement the Cubs play in their first World Series since 1945. The last time the Cubs made it to the championship, CYSO didn’t even exist yet– that series took place the year before our founding in 1946. 71 years is a long time to wait! Last October, …
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Ghosts and Ghouls Take Over Rehearsal

This weekend, our youngest musicians came to rehearsal ready to play, and to spook! Overture Strings and Preparatory Strings students wore their Halloween costumes while preparing for upcoming concerts in December and there were definitely some haunted-looking musicians in the bunch! A pirate and World Series baseball player take a break from practicing.  Overture String ghouls and goblins! Overture Strings students …
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