Saturday, March 2, 2024
6:00 – 9:30 pm

Radisson Blu Aqua | 221 N Columbus Dr, Chicago | map

Thank you for your support of the 2024 CYSO Gala: Got That Swing! Celebrating the 125th birthday of Duke Ellington and his legacy as one of the most enduring creative voices of the 20th century, CYSO was proud to bring together board members, parents, alumni, and supporters for this special evening. The event brought together nearly 400 supporters to raise more $525,000 to support CYSO’s award-winning programs for the next generation of young musicians and leaders.

“For Ellington, music was not merely a mode of expression, a part of education, or a profession. It was, and always will be, ‘everything.'”

Read more about Duke Ellington’s life and legacy in a profile by 2022 Jazz and Symphony Orchestra alum Tom Gotsch.

Note of Excellence Honorees

Pharez Whitted headshot

Pharez Whitted

CYSO Director of Jazz, award-winning trumpet player and educator

Lawyers for the Creative Arts

Providing free legal services to financially eligible clients in the arts

Special Guest Performer

Jahari Stampley

Chicago Tribune’s 2023 Chicagoan of the Year for Jazz, winner of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Competition, and 2023 CYSO Alumni Award recipient


6:00 PM – Cocktail Reception
Have a drink and enjoy music from members of CYSO’s Preparatory Strings

7:00 PM – Dinner, Program, and Live Auction
Enjoy music from CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Orchestra, featuring special guest Jahari Stampley

 9:30 – A Sweet Finale Dessert Reception
Close out the night with decadent desserts and music from Kaiso Steel Orchestra, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of CYSO’s steelpan program

Cocktail attire, black tie optional.
Sponsorships and host committee opportunities available.
Special room rates available at Radisson Blu Aqua. Book your stay here.
Valet parking $33, overnight parking $75

Can’t attend but want to support the Gala? Pre-event donations are always welcome! Thank you for your support.

For more information about the Gala, please email Marc Bitler or call 312-939-2207 x200


Tyler Forbes & Christopher Taylor
Allen Tinkham & Rachel Lang


Lourdes Duarte, WGN-TV anchor and investigative reporter


Anonymous | Saurab & Anjani Bhargava | Willard Bransky | Ross Bricker & Nina Vinik | Rebecca & Josh Butler | Jon & Stacie Dennis | Jerome & Yifang Fifer | Sara & Scott Fisher | Mary & Lionel Go | Kelly & Dennis Howe | Laura Cordell & Michael Lobash | Richard Blessen & Laura Mandel| Jennifer Myerberg | Angela & Dana O’Banion | Stacy & Joseph Raviv | Stephen & Terry Schwartz | Cynthia Van Osdol & John Sandwick

Thank you to our 2024 Gala Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Advocate Sponsors

Ally Sponsors

AFO Technology Group LLC

Bank of America

Natalie Brown / Mesirow

Colliers International

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Event Technical Production Provider

Fundraising Video Sponsor

Photobooth Sponsor

wonky keyboard with irregular key shapes against a navy blue background

Thank you for joining us at last season’s 2023 Gala!

On Saturday, February 25, the 2023 CYSO Gala: Women in Music celebrated CYSO’s mission and the contributions of pioneering women in the music industry. We were so grateful to gather with our biggest Gala audience yet—almost 500 attendees!—as well as nearly 200 young musicians. The energy was palpable as the event raised more than $680,000 to support CYSO’s music training programs. We are so grateful.

Thank you to everyone who attended, donated, performed, spread the word, volunteered, and cheered on the this year’s event!

Pin It on Pinterest