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
April 09, 2017
Spring Chamberpalooza
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April 30, 2017
Symphony Orchestra Community Concert
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May 03, 2017
Jazz Orchestra Spring Concert
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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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Meet the Conductor: Anne McTighe, Overture Strings Conductor

Now in her fourth year with CYSO, Anne McTighe started playing violin at a young age and by second grade had already joined her first orchestra. It’s no surprise then that she has a knack for working with CYSO’s youngest players. Anne McTighe currently conducts Overture Strings and is Assistant Conductor for Preparatory Strings.  How old were you when you …
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Malika Green Wins Fulbright Global Scholar Grant to Study International Steelpan Education Programs

Malika Green, CYSO Director of Steel Orchestras and Community Engagement Coordinator, was awarded the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program’s Global Scholar Grant to study international steelpan education programs. Awarded by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Green will research and lecture in Trinidad and Tobago, Toronoto, Canada, and London, U.K in 2017 and 2018. …
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Recent Student Achievements: Fischoff, CCPA Young Composer, M-Prize

Chamber ensemble Cerulean Quartet will advance to the Fischoff Competition quarterfinals this May. The group, composed of violinists Cristina Ciubancan and Vincent Wong, violist Margaret Mary O’Malley, and cellist Alex Levinson and coached by Paula Kosower, recently won second place at the 2017 Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition.   Composition Seminar student Angelica Ketcham was recently awarded first place in the Chicago College …
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CYSO Wins Programming of the Year Award from Illinois Council of Orchestras

We recently learned that CYSO won the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ Programming of the Year Award for our 2015-2016 season. The award is given each year to an Illinois orchestra that demonstrates innovative musical choices and presents interesting soloists themes. Highlights of our 2015-2016 season included Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Mahler 6 and Varese’s Tuning Up, Encore Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Bryce Dessner’s Tenebre, …
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