News

Steel Orchestras Mannequin Challenge
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CYSO Steel Orchestras students will team up this Saturday, December 10 for a joint concert featuring all four ensembles at the Studebaker Theater. This is the first time our entire steel program will share the same bill, and with performers from elementary to high school, it’s sure to get you moving! Before they take the stage, though, students teamed up …
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Meet the Conductor: Michael Mascari, Concert Orchestra Conductor
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Michael Mascari is in his first season leading CYSO’s Concert Orchestra, but he’s been a respected figure city- and state-wide music education scene for years. Maestro Mascari has led Whitney Young High School’s award-winning orchestra for the past 10 years and is a respected voice within the arts education community. Mascari’s background and his ability to learn from his mistakes is …
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Alumni Interview: Richard Davis, Renowned Bassist, Educator, and Activist
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On Friday, November 14, 1947, double bassist Richard Davis played in the very first concert of what was then called the Youth Orchestra of Greater Chicago. A shy kid from Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Davis would go on to play bass professionally with some of the most famous classical and jazz personalities of the 20th century. Now 70 years on from …
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CYSO Internship Sparked Interest in Arts Administration for Carlos León Garcia
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Former CYSO intern Carlos León Garcia epitomizes the word “hustle.” After playing in Symphony Orchestra his senior year of high school, Carlos stayed on as an Operations Intern the summer after he graduated. His enthusiasm and dedication were always apparent during Carlos’ tenure in CYSO, and still is today. Carlos recently stopped by the administrative office to catch up with old …
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CYSO Cheers on the Cubs
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Like the rest of Chicago, CYSO staff and students have been watching with excitement the Cubs play in their first World Series since 1945. The last time the Cubs made it to the championship, CYSO didn’t even exist yet– that series took place the year before our founding in 1946. 71 years is a long time to wait! Last October, …
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Ghosts and Ghouls Take Over Rehearsal
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This weekend, our youngest musicians came to rehearsal ready to play, and to spook! Overture Strings and Preparatory Strings students wore their Halloween costumes while preparing for upcoming concerts in December and there were definitely some haunted-looking musicians in the bunch! A pirate and World Series baseball player take a break from practicing.  Overture String ghouls and goblins! Overture Strings students …
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Announcing the Lucie Ticho Principal Cello Chair
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CYSO is honored to announce Symphony Orchestra’s newly-named “Lucie Ticho Principal Cello Chair” thanks to a generous gift from Kathy and Benjamin Ticho. The gift was made in memory of Lucie’s great grandfather Louis Swartenberg and grandfather Bruce Levenberg, both of whom played violin and passed on their love of music to their families. The Tichos have long been involved …
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CYSO Stories: Pam and Kayla Cabrera
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Over the course of a student’s time with CYSO, we have the privilege of watching them mature as musicians and as people. During this formative time, young people learn about dedication and hard work, stretching themselves and discovering their untapped potential. One student who we’ve watched grow into an accomplished young musician is Kayla Cabrera. Currently in her fourth season with CYSO, Kayla serves …
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Meet the Conductor: Pharez Whitted, Jazz Orchestra Director
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Pharez Whitted is a renowned jazz musician, bandleader, and educator, and now the newest member of CYSO’s Artistic Staff. As Jazz Orchestra Director, Whitted leads high school-age musicians who perform works from the full spectrum of jazz compositions, from classic big band swing charts to new pieces incorporating current and emerging styles. Upon the announcement of the new Jazz Orchestra, Whitted said that he hopes …
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CYSO Celebrates 70th Anniversary Season
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The 2016-2017 season marks CYSO’s 70th anniversary. Founded in 1946 by a group of parents and students, CYSO has spent the past seven decades providing orchestral training to youth from across the Chicago region. Our programs have come a long way over the past 70 years, but what remains the same is CYSO’s commitment to inspire and cultivate personal excellence …
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