Announcing the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative

CYSO recently joined Merit School of Music, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DePaul University School of Music, and The Ravinia Festival to announce a $3.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the creation of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI).

Check out ABC-7’s coverage of the CMPI announcement, including an interview with Philharmonic Orchestra’s Daniel Dardon

CMPI aims to build a robust music training pathway for talented Chicago-area student musicians from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. CMPI brings together a network of more than 20 Chicago non-profit music and youth-focused organizations who will work to identify talented, motivated students early in their training, and together, help them achieve their full musical potential. Ultimately, the goal of CMPI is to increase diversity in America’s professional music landscape, particularly its orchestras.
In spring 2019, CMPI will begin to identify students in grades 6 to 11 from communities traditionally underrepresented in classical music who show promise and dedication as orchestral musicians. For the purposes of this project, underrepresented communities include African American, Latinx, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Arab, and/or South Asian/Pacific Islanders. Students selected for the CMPI cohort will receive significant financial support throughout their high school years along with the assistance of a professional navigator who will help mentor and advise students as they navigate their musical journey. Stay tuned for more information on application details coming next spring.
CYSO is proud to join with so many prestigious Chicago music institutions to address this important issue affecting the future of classical music. For more information on the CMPI project, we invite you to check out the new website at
Read the entire CMPI press release.


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