Joining CYSO - Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Have you dreamed of playing in CYSO? Make that dream a reality by auditioning for one of our award-winning programs!

CYSO provides young musicians with the tools they need to grow and thrive. Students learn from the city’s top educators and collaborate with young people who share their passion for music. Ensembles are open to young people ages 6-18 and need-based financial assistance is available for all programs.

Orchestra

Full and string

Elementary through high school

Some experience required

Jazz

High school

No previous jazz experience required

Steelpan

Elementary through high school

No previous experience required

How it Works

When auditioning for CYSO, students audition for CYSO in general, not a specific ensemble. Based on the student’s age and performance, our Artistic Staff place them in the appropriate ensemble. Whether a video or in-person audition, CYSO judges will be evaluating your performance based on a few specific criteria only.

Things the Judges Consider

  • Rhythmic accuracy
  • Rhythmic stability (steady tempo)
  • Intonation (playing in-tune with yourself)
  • Tone quality
  • Dynamic contrast
  • Instrument-specific technique
  • Musicality, expression, and phrasing
  • Appropriateness of repertoire for your technical level
  • Ability to recover if you make a mistake
  • Careful preparation of all audition music

Things the Judges Do Not Consider

  • The audio quality of the device you used to record
  • The video quality of the device used to record
  • Where you recorded your video and what it looked like (bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc. However, acoustics can be an issue if, for example, you record in your bathroom and the sound is unclear due to the echo. Wherever you record, make sure you can be clearly heard.)
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Gender or gender presentation
  • If you have a private teacher or who your teacher is
  • Other auditions you’ve taken or groups you’ve played with
  • How fancy or expensive your instrument is

Pin It on Pinterest