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 25, 2017
CYSO Open House Weekend
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February 26, 2017
Philharmonic Orchestra Winter Concert
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March 11, 2017
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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Jack Boettcher Wins Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition

Thursday evening, the final round of Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Concerto Competition was held at the Fine Arts Building. From 22 first round competitors, six finalists competed in the finals, including Rachel Hsu (violin), Cristina Cuibancan (violin), Rabia Brooke (violin), Jack Boettcher (cello), Duncan Steele (viola), and Jennifer Wang (flute). The competition this year was fierce, with each of the six students …
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CYSO 70th Anniversary Celebration Breaks Previous Fundraising Records

The CYSO 70th Anniversary Celebration took place Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Four Seasons Chicago. A glamorous celebration of the music of James Bond, the event was dubbed “0070th.” As CYSO’s largest fundraising event of the year, the gala broke previous records, raising $365,000 for our music training and education programs. Highlights of the evening included internationally-acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who joined …
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Meet the Conductor: Dana Green

If there’s such a thing as an “honorary alum,” Dana Green would be it. Though he wasn’t himself a member of CYSO, Dana’s father Michael Green was a percussionist with CYSO back in the 1960’s (and then went on to serve as timpanist with the Grant Park Symphony for more than 40 seasons). Dana didn’t play with CYSO as a young …
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Packed House for Jazz Orchestra’s First Concert

CYSO’s new Jazz Orchestra took the stage the Chicago’s legendary Jazz Showcase on a cold Wednesday night in January. Playing to a sold out crowd, the 25 young musicians performed a range of classic big band tunes ranging from Dizzy Gillespie’s “Dizzy Atmosphere” to Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” Check out the photos below and view the entire gallery.