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 nearly 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, multiple steel orchestras, 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.

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Upcoming Shows & Events
September 28, 2017
Getting Into College 101
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October 01, 2017
CYSO College Fair
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October 21, 2017
CYSO Open House | Saturday Programs
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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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Spring Orchestra Hall Video Playlist

Ready to relive every moment of our spring 2017 Orchestra Hall concert? This performance had it all: drama, emotion, and even a rockstar world premiere! Check out the concert videos below, or experience the performance again and again by purchasing a DVD or CD/download of the concert in the CYSO shop. Franz von Suppé  | Poet and Peasant Overture CYSO’s Philharmonic …
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Two Great Events for College-Bound Students

This fall, CYSO hosts two events to take some of the guesswork out of applying to college. Whether you’re planning to study music or business, we’re here to help make the process slightly less overwhelming!   Getting Into College 101 Thursday, September 28 | 6:00-8:30 pm | CYSO Room 833 Applying to college can be a tricky process, and even …
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Arts in Education Week: Get Involved and Make Your Voice Heard!

This Arts in Education Week, Executive Director Susan Lape offers suggestions for how individuals can get involved in the important national conversation around funding and support for the arts. Here at CYSO, we believe the arts are essential for society to function, and we are strong advocates for arts education for children of every age. Studies have shown that students …
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Arts in Education Week: CYSO Artistic Staff on What Arts Education Taught Them

The arts challenge us, bring us joy, and sometimes, keep us out of trouble. There’s a million different ways we can count how arts education influences people from all walks of life. In honor of Arts in Education Week, the CYSO artistic staff shared their #BecauseofArtsEd stories about what arts education gave to them, and what the arts give to …
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