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Open House 2023

February 11 @ 9:00 am 3:00 pm

As we head into CYSO’s audition season, Open House gives prospective families a look at what it’s like to be a member of one of our ensembles. Join us on Saturday, February 11 for this day-long event that’s completely free and open to the public. Open House is a great way to get to know the programs we offer, see our conductors at work, and find out what makes CYSO so special!

Students may register to participate in a play-along with an ensemble or simply drop in and observe rehearsals throughout the day. Throughout the day, we’ll offer workshops to get to know CYSO programs and speak with staff, as well as a chance to explore playing the steelpan.

Please note: Masks are require for Open House visitors.

Schedule of Events

9:00-10:00 am | 8th Floor, Room 802
Level: Early elementary

OBSERVE: The Jumbies Steel Rehearsal

Observe rehearsal with The Jumbies, CYSO’s entry-level steelpan (steel drum) ensemble for young elementary age students. Led by conductor Scott McConnell and assisted by Jaron Woodsley


9:00 – 10:00 am | 10th floor, Curtiss Hall
Level: Early/mid elementary

OBSERVE: Overture Strings Rehearsal

Observe rehearsal with Overture Strings, CYSO’s entry-level string ensemble for young elementary age students. Led by conductor Anne Huynh McTighe


9:00-10:15 am | 8th Floor, Room 826 / 10th floor, Curtiss Hall
Level: 3rd and 4th graders

PLAY: Overture Strings Sit-In

3rd and 4th grade students can get a sense of what it’s like to be a member of CYSO by signing up to play along with Overture Strings. Use the button below to register. Students will be emailed play-along music and instructions for when/where to arrive for a short orientation before the play-along session.


10:00 am-12:00 pm | 8th floor, Room 833
Level: Middle school

OBSERVE: Debut Orchestra Rehearsal

Debut Orchestra is our beginner full orchestra serving primarily middle school age musicians, Debut is often students’ first exposure to high-level full orchestra playing. Led by Dana Green and assisted by Abby Black.


10:00-10:30 am | 5th floor, Room 560
All levels

LEARN: “What is CYSO” Session

Meet CYSO Community Engagement Manager Karen Mari and learn about the organization’s history and programs, the audition process, financial assistance options, and more.


10:30am-12:00 pm | 8th floor, Room 802
Level: Upper elementary

OBSERVE: Groove Steel Rehearsal

Our upper elementary-age steelpan (steel drum) ensemble is led by Scott McConnell and assisted by Jaron Woodsley.


10:30am-12:30 pm | 10th floor, Curtiss Hall
Level: Upper elementary

OBSERVE: Preparatory Strings Rehearsal

Observe rehearsal with Preparatory Strings, our upper elementary-age string ensemble. Conducted by Daniella Valdez and assisted by Anne Huynh McTighe.


10:30 am-12:00 pm | 8th floor, Room 833
Level: 7th and 8th graders

PLAY: Debut Orchestra Sit-in

7th and 8th grade winds, brass, percussion, and string players can get a sense of what it’s like to be a member of CYSO by signing up to play along with Debut Orchestra. Use the button below to register. Students will be emailed play-along music and instructions for when/where to arrive for a short orientation before the play-along session.


11:00 am-12:30 pm | 8th floor, Room 838 / 10th floor, Curtiss Hall
Level: 5th and 6th graders

PLAY: Preparatory Strings Sit-in

5th and 6th grade students can get a sense of what it’s like to be a member of CYSO by signing up to play along with Preparatory Strings. Use the button below to register. Students will be emailed play-along music and instructions for when/where to arrive for a short orientation before the play-along session.


12:15-12:45 pm | 8th floor, Room 802
All levels

PLAY: Steelpan 101

The steelpan (sometimes called the steel drum) is a fascinating percussion instrument that can be learned quickly by students with or without music experience. Learn about the history of the instrument, the basics of playing, and try your hand at a song!


12:30-3:00 pm | 8th floor, Room 833
Level: High school

OBSERVE: Concert Orchestra

Led by conductor Micheal Mascari, Concert Orchestra is a full orchestra made up of primarily high school students.


1:00-2:00 pm | 8th floor, Room 838 / Room 833
Level: High school (winds, brass, percussion only)

PLAY: Concert Orchestra Sit-In

High school-age wind, brass and percussion students can get a sense of what it’s like to be a member of CYSO by signing up to play along with Concert Orchestra. Use the button below to register. Students will be emailed play-along music and instructions for when/where to arrive for a short orientation before the play-along session.


1:00-3:00 pm | 8th Floor, Room 802
Level: Middle school

OBSERVE: Junior Steel

Junior Steel is an intermediate steelpan ensemble made up of primarily middle school musicians. It is led by Scott McConnell and assisted by Jaron Woodsley.


1:00-3:00 pm | 10th floor, Curtiss Hall
Level: High school

OBSERVE: Accelerando Strings

Led by Daniella Valdez, Accelerando Stings is made up of high school string players.


1:30-3:00 pm | 8th floor, Room 838 / 10th floor, Curtiss Hall
Level: High school (strings only)

PLAY: Accelerando Strings Sit-In

High school-age strings students can get a sense of what it’s like to be a member of CYSO by signing up to play along with Accelerando Strings. Use the button below to register. Students will be emailed play-along music and instructions for when/where to arrive for a short orientation before the play-along session.


2:30-3:00 pm | 5th floor, Room 560
All levels

LEARN: “What is CYSO” Session

Meet CYSO Community Engagement Manager Karen Mari and learn about the organization’s history and programs, the audition process, financial assistance options, and more.


3:15-5:15 pm | 8th floor, Room 802
Level: High school

OBSERVE: Kaiso Steel

Our most advanced steel orchestra, Kaiso is made up of primarily high school students. It is led by Scott McConnell and assisted by Jaron Woodsley.

Questions about Open House? Contact Karen Mari, Community Engagement Manager, via email or call 312-939-2207

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