CYSO Named “Youth Orchestra of the Year” by IL Council of Orchestras

We are proud to announce that CYSO was recently named 2022 Youth Orchestra of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO). Founded in 1974, the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ works to promote orchestras across the state. Award recipients are chosen by a panel of judges made up of ICO board of directors, independent conductors and and musicians.

Maestro Allen Tinkham receives the Conductor of the Year award from the ICO in 2019.

The award is presented for last season, which saw many changes, challenges, and triumphs for CYSO. We began fall 2020 with fully virtual rehearsals, and became experts at creating distributed performance videos. We upped our social media game to present a series of virtual masterclasses and workshops online, reaching thousands of viewers each month. In February our first-ever virtual Gala included performances recorded at iconic locations across the city. In the spring we resumed hybrid in-person and virtual rehearsals and celebrated the end of the season in-person with a weekend of open rehearsals at Navy Pier. For the second year in a row, our students appeared on CNN’s Forth of July special for millions of viewers worldwide.

This isn’t the first time that CYSO has been recognized by the ICO. Over the past 40 years, we’ve been honored with 16 awards, including Youth Orchestra of the Year in 2016, 2010, and 2004; Programming of the Year Ward for our 2015-2016 and 2010-2011 season; and Maestro Tinkham was named Conductor of the Year in 2019, among others.

It certainly was a season to remember, and we’re so honored to be recognized by our colleagues across the state of Illinois.

Read the full press release from ICO.

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