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CYSO Youth Symphony Chicago
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About CYSO

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has provided music education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946.

CYSO serves more than 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, jazz orchestra, and supplemental programs including chamber music ensembles and composition. CYSO musicians receive superb orchestral and chamber music instruction from Chicago’s most respected professional musicians, perform in the world’s greatest concert halls, and gain the self-confidence and discipline necessary for a successful future.

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Upcoming Shows & Events
March 23, 2019
CYSO Chamber Showcase
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March 30, 2019
CYSO Chamber Showcase
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April 02, 2019
Jazz Orchestra Open House
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Discover Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Programs

CYSO serves nearly 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, jazz orchestra, and supplemental programs. Musicians receive superb instruction and gain the skills necessary for a successful future.

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Auditions

CYSO auditions are open to students who will be high school seniors or younger. Auditions for the upcoming season happen each spring. Tuition assistance is available for all programs for families with financial need.

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Events

The best way to experience CYSO is to attend an event! From our annual fundraising gala, free community concerts, performances at Symphony Center’s venerable Orchestra Hall, we offer something for everyone.

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Alumni

CYSO alumni play in the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles, as well many other respected professions. Regardless of whether they pursues further music studies, CYSO students leave with skills that will serve them for a lifetime.

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CYSO NEWS
Meet Our 2019 Concerto Competition Winners

We’re pleased to announce CYSO’s 2019 Concerto Competition winners for Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Concert Orchestra. Concerto Competition winners will perform at CYSO concerts during the 2019-2020 season, so stay tuned for details as concert programs are announced next year. Read on to learn more about this year’s winners! SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Nicholas Boettcher Honorable Mentions: Claire Metcalf (violin), Hila Dahari …
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CYSO Gala Celebrates Chicago Soul

CYSO celebrated the legacy of Chicago soul music at our 2019 gala on February 9th. The event raised more than $415,000 to support CYSO music training, education, and community engagement programs. The event was held at Chicago’s Four Seasons Hotel, where more than 300 guests ascended the grand staircase while being serenaded by members of Preparatory Strings. A lively cocktail …
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CMPI Names Adrienne Thompson as Program Director

As we shared back in the fall, the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) is a newly-established training program for talented student musicians from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. We’re thrilled to announce that Chicago native and music education veteran Adrienne Thompson will lead the initiative as Project Director. CMPI is a multi-organizational effort led by CYSO, Merit School of Music, Chicago High School …
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CYSO Welcomes Scott McConnell as Steel Orchestras Director

  CYSO is excited to share that Scott McConnell will be taking the lead in our Steel Orchestras program, moving into the role of Director effective this month. Scott has been with CYSO since 2014, serving as Steel Orchestras Assistant during that time.  “I’m thrilled to begin as director with CYSO’s steel program,” Scott said.  “I’ve watched it grow over the …
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