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Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

With the health of our students and families in mind during the COVID-19 global pandemic, effective Saturday, March 14, all in-person CYSO activities have been suspended. Programming for all ensembles will continue virtually during April and May, with all participation optional out of respect for the incredible amount of stress and disruption families are facing. Auditions for the upcoming season continue and we are actively recruiting for all orchestras for the 2020-2021 season. More information on virtual auditions.

We know that the skills that make CYSO musicians great can also help carry us through challenging situations and we encourage everyone to continue to demonstrate empathy, respect, collaboration, and creativity as we navigate these uncertain times. Visit our updates page for the latest news.

CYSO IS INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF MUSIC AND THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS

CYSO IS INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF MUSIC AND THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS

CYSO Week logo

Join us for CYSO Week, a 5-night virtual celebration of our students' spring learning and the entire 19/20 season! Tune in at 6:00 pm cst Monday, June 1-Friday, June 5 on CYSO's Facebook page (no account necessary to watch!).

Have you dreamed of playing in CYSO? Make that dream a reality—New student auditions for orchestra, steelpan, and jazz are open now!

CYSO joined with music organizations from across the city to announce a $3.5 million grant to fund the creation of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI).

About CYSO

CYSO's mission is to inspire and cultivate personal excellence through music. We believe that ensemble music training develops young people with the skills necessary to achieve, whether in or outside the music world.

Through orchestras and small ensembles led by some of Chicago's most respected music educators, students develop self-discipline, communication and collaboration skills, and a deep appreciation for the arts.

With more than 650 young musicians ages 6-18 in on-site programs, and another 8,500 students in Community Partnership Programs, CYSO is investing in the future of music and the next generation of leaders.

CYSO'S IMPACT, AT A GLANCE

194 Different Zip Codes
1 in 4 families receive financial assistance
93% student retention each season
50k annual instruction hours
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CYSO Spotlight

CYSO's Keith Calloway was recently named to Chicago's 2019 Rising Star Honor Roll, a city-wide recognition for the city's most accomplished young creatives.

Keith, who began studying music at age 5 and was part of our inaugural steel orchestra along with playing cello in CYSO ensembles, write that "being a member of CYSO has allowed me to not only develop essential skills for musicianship, but also skills working in groups and leadership.”

Making Music in Chicago's Neighborhoods

We believe that the arts are vital to building strong communities. CYSO Community Partnership Programs include neighborhood-based ensembles, free workshops and concerts, and ongoing collaborations with organizations doing innovative and important work throughout Chicago.

INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF MUSIC

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, CYSO relies on the generosity of our donors to continue to provide the highest caliber music education to young musicians. With tuition only covering 30% of the total cost of each student’s participation, your generous gift empowers young people from all backgrounds to hone their musical skills, learn teamwork, and gain the self-confidence and discipline necessary for a successful future.