Alumni - Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

CYSO maintains a community of alumni who continue to inspire and cultivate personal excellence through all walks of life. Not only do CYSO alumni sit in some of the world’s most respected orchestras, they also continue to make a difference at the top of fields including law, science, business, entertainment, and more. The CYSO experience provides students from all backgrounds with the problem solving, teamwork, and creative skills necessary to succeed, whatever their future may hold.

Notable Alumni

Demare McGill, ‘92

Principal flute, Seattle Symphony

“The people and experiences from CYSO was huge. They were the perfect seed to what would become my life.”

Read more about Demarre’s “Winged Creatures” album with CYSO

Emma Gerstein, ‘05

Flute, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

“I was never the ‘best’ flute player in CYSO. It was great, and humbling, to always hear people who were much better than me. I learned to never get too comfortable or cocky, and to keep practicing.”

Read more about Emma

Richard Davis, ‘48

Bassist, educator, activist

“All the pieces that we played [in CYSO] were my favorite because they were challenging and were learning experiences.”

More about Richard Davis’ career working with some of music’s greats

Stay In Touch With CYSO

Alumni Association

The CYSO Alumni Association is a network of alumni that participate in social, fundraising and volunteer activities. Your membership is a great way to keep in touch with CYSO and helps support our programs for the next generation of young musicians.

Where Are You Now?

We love to hear updates from former CYSO students! Tell us what you’ve been up to, and stay up to date on current CYSO happenings.

Alumni Facebook Group

A group for all those who have been a part of CYSO!

CYSO Alum – Where Are You Now?

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