Saturday, February 25, 2023  | 6:00 pm

The Geraghty | 2520 S. Hoyne Ave, Chicago | map

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!

6:00 pm | Cocktail Hour

Grab a drink, mingle, and enjoy music from CYSO’s Preparatory Strings students

7:00 pm | Dinner & Program

Gourmet dinner, live auction, and music from CYSO’s top high school ensembles

Cocktail attire, black tie optional | Masks encouraged
Complimentary valet parking provided at The Geraghty. Rideshares also encouraged.
SFor more information, email Marc Bitler or call 312-939-2207 x200


Artist, composer, director, and 1965 CYSO alum

A native of Glen Ellyn, Laurie Anderson’s five-decade career spans the worlds of art, theater, experimental music, and technology, with live shows ranging from simple spoken word to elaborate multi-media stage performances. Her recording career was launched by the hit ‘O Superman’ in 1981 and she was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA. Earlier this year, Anderson opened her largest solo exhibition at The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum titled The Weather.

CEO of Mesirow

Natalie A. Brown is Chief Executive Officer of Mesirow, just the 6th CEO in the company’s 85-year history and the first woman to serve in the role. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Executives’ Club of Chicago and sits on the boards of multiple youth education nonprofit organizations.

CYSO Director of String Ensembles

Daniella Valdez has led CYSO’s string orchestra programs for the past 17 years. She oversees three on-site ensembles, engaging with hundreds of string players each season. Valdez is an active clinician working with fellow music educators, including playing an important role as mentor to members of CYSO’s artistic staff.


Laura Mandel & Richard Blessen 

Pamella Der & Wei Shih


Lourdes Duarte, WGN-TV Anchor


Saurab & Anjani Bhargava
Willard Bransky
Rebecca & Josh Butler
Louanne Carabini & Shawn O’Leary
Michael Lobash & Laura Cordell
Jon & Stacie Dennis
Sara & Scott Fisher
Mary & Lionel Go

Dr. Jana L. French & Peter M. Gotsch
Rachel Lang & Allen Tinkham
Madalyne Maxwell
Angela & Dana O’Banion
Cynthia Van Osdol & John Sandwick
Stephen & Terry Schwartz
Ross Bricker & Nina Vinik
Brittany Viola & Justin Bernbrock









What is the size of the venue and how many guests and performers will be in attendance? 

It is a 25,000 square foot space. We anticipate a guest count of over 400 people with almost 200 student musicians performing throughout the night.  

What will the seating be like at the event? 

The room will have about 40 round tables, with each table will accommodating 10 guests.  

How do I get there? 

Located in the southwest corner of the Pilsen neighborhood, The Geraghty is about 5 miles from The Loop. From the north and east, you can take the exit to merge onto I-55 South toward I-90, I-94; then take the Damen Ave. Exit 290. Go north on Damen and turn left on Blue Island Ave. Hoyne Ave. will be on your left.

Although there is plenty of parking, ride share services such as Uber or Lyft are encouraged—feel free to even carpool with some of your guests!

Via public transit: The Geraghty is easily accesible from the #60 Blue Island bus. It can also be accessed from the #50 Damen and #49 Western buses, plus a .5 mile walk. The closest El station is the Pink line at Damen or Western, located just under a mile north.

If I drive, where do I park? 

We are offering FREE valet service on the evening of our Gala. There is a large parking lot directly in front of the venue that you will be able to pull your car into and let the valet service take it from there.  

Accessibility Information

The event space is entirely one level, including the restrooms. There are both stairs and a ramp that leads into the building.  

If you or someone in your party need accommodations or has accessibility concerns, please contact Marc Bitler at 312-9390-2207 x200 or email

I’m unable to attend the gala, can I still donate?  

Yes! There are various sponsorship levels available with plenty of benefits; you may also purchase a $400 “support an artist” ticket that supports a CYSO staff or alum to attend the event in your place. You are also welcome to donate directly to the Gala at

Thank you for joining us at last season’s 2022 CYSO Gala!

We are so grateful for the support of the entire CYSO community in making our 2022 Gala: Listen to the Future a smashing success! Because of your generosity, we raised more than $680,000—a record!—to support CYSO’s music education programming. Your generosity will have a lasting impact on the lives of our young musicians. Thank you!

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