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
June 01, 2019
Philharmonic Orchestra Spring Concert
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June 04, 2019
CYSO Beer Benefit
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June 16, 2019
CYSO Midsommar Celebration
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Discover Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras


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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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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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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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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Symphony Orchestra Triumphs at Spring Concert at Orchestra Hall

Symphony Orchestra brought the house down at their spring concert at Orchestra Hall on Sunday, May 19th! Rousing and emotional performances from CYSO’s top ensemble, led by Music Director Allen Tinkham, had the crowd on their feet at multiple points throughout the evening. The evening began with an energetic performance of Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture by Philharmonic Orchestra, under the …
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McGill Brothers’ Album with CYSO Out Now

One of the highlights of CYSO’s 2017-18 season was the collaboration between members of our Symphony Orchestra and orchestral superstars (and CYSO alums!) Anthony and Demarre McGill. The album we recorded with them, Winged Creatures, is out now from Cedille Records! Anthony, principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, and Demarre, principal flute at Seattle Symphony, came to Chicago over …
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CYSO Symphony Orchestra presents Spring Concert at Orchestra Hall on May 19

Symphony Orchestra will present their spring concert at Orchestra Hall on Sunday, May 19 at 6:30 pm. Under the baton of Music Director Allen Tinkham, the concert features works by Stravinsky, Sibelius, Thomas and Copland, along with a performance from CYSO’s Philharmonic Orchestra. The centerpiece of the program is Igor Stravinsky’s 1919 The Firebird Suite. The piece, which made the …
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Rabia Brooke to Perform Sibelius at May 19 Orchestra Hall Concert

At our May 19 concert at Orchestra Hall, 18 year old Rabia Brooke will perform Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor. Rabia was one of the winners of our 2018 Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and is currently co-concertmaster in the ensemble. Equally at home as a solo, chamber, and orchestral player, Rabia Brooke is an award-winning violinist whose performance experiences span a …
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