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.

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Upcoming Shows & Events
September 01, 2018
Jazz Orchestra at the Chicago Jazz Fest
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September 15, 2018
Saturday Orchestra Parent Meetings
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September 16, 2018
Sunday Orchestras Parent Meetings
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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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Lucy Mangalapalli Named to Chicago’s 2018 Rising Start Honor Roll

2018 CYSO alum Lucy Mangalapalli was recently named to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ (DCASE) 2018 Rising Star Honor Roll, recognizing her as one of Chicago’s most accomplished young creatives. Lucy was nominated by CYSO in recognition of her work as a young musician and exemplary community member. Madalyne Tregellas Maxwell, CYSO Director of Operations, said that …
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Reflecting on Maestro Tinkham’s Words of Wisdom

Jennifer Yu Wang is a (very) recent CYSO alum, having served as Symphony Orchestra co-principal flute  during the 2017-2018 season before graduating this spring. As she reflected on the end of her time with CYSO, Jenny decided that her final post for the blog would focus on all the lessons she’s learned during her time in the program. In this …
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Thank you for a great 2017-2018 season!

 A tremendous thank you to all of the students, families, and supporters who helped make CYSO’s 2017-2018 season our best yet! Over the past season, more than 600 CYSO students performed for more than 6,000 audience members and 8,000 CPS students, were raved about in the Chicago Tribune and featured on NBC Chicago, performed Gershwin classics to a sold-out crowd, …
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Alums Anthony & Demarre McGill Help CYSO Close Out 2017-2018 Season

Talk about ending the season on a high note! CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra closed out our 2017-2018 season with two performances AND a recording session with orchestral superstars and CYSO alums, Anthony McGill (Principal clarinet New York Philharmonic) and Demarre McGill (Principal flute, Seattle Symphony). Starting with the League of American Orchestras conference in Chicago, the McGills were featured in a …
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