CYSO Students Fundraising for Instrument Purchases

Here at CYSO, we are committed to eliminating the cultural and financial barriers in classical music through contributing to both the personal and musical growth of our students, including more equitable tuition fees and financial aid programs, teaching a wide range of composers to our students and representing minority composers in our concert programs, and building deep relationships with Black and Latinx music programs, such as the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, The Peoples Music School, and many CYSO@CPS community residencies. This month, 5 CYSO students who are also a fellows of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative are fundraising for their instruments.

If you’re looking for a way to make an impact in the lives of our students, would you consider contributing to 5 CYSO students’ instrument fundraisers?

Natalia Noriega, Symphony Orchestra, trumpet
Help Natalia buy a C trumpet for College

Natalia Noriega is a senior and a member of the Symphony Orchestra at CYSO. They also currently student music at the Merit School of Music in their top orchestra and competitive brass quintet, and has participated in multiple ensembles and opportunities like the 2022 National Pathways Orchestra, and Colburn School’s 2022 Fortissima cohort. They currently am renting my instrument, but it is essential for my college studies and for a career in music to have both a Bb and C trumpet in order to remain competitive. Support Natalia’s fundraiser here.


Mahalia Hernandez, Concert Orchestra, violin
Help Mahalia Purchase a Professional Violin
Mahalia Hernandez is a 17-year-old violinist. She is also a member of Lincoln Park High School’s Chamber Orchestra. Currently, She is preparing for college auditions. It is paramount to acquire a quality violin to support her efforts in getting accepted at a reputable school of music. Support Mahalia’s fundraiser and learn more here.


Eythan Poku, Concert Orchestra, harp
Help Support Eythan Acquire a Full-Size Pro Harp
Eythan Poku is a 9th grade student in CYSO’s Concert Orchestra, as well as a 5th year fellow at CMPI. Last year, he progressed to a level requiring a Full-Size Professional Harp. Support Eythan’s fundraiser and learn more here.


Eric Nickerson, Concert Orchestra, cello
Support A Young Cellist Purchase An Instrument
Eric Nickerson is entering his second year as a cellist in the Chicago Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra and his third year in Homewood Flossmoor High School’s Viking Orchestra. At the end of last season, Eric entered into the South Suburban College Young Musicians Competition of which he won first place. He will be performing his solo with the South Suburban College orchestra at the beginning of the 2023-2024 season. Support Eric’s fundraiser and learn more here.

Fabrizio Milcent, Symphony Orchestra, Bassoon
Help Fabrizio Purchase His Own Bassoon
Fabrizio Milcent is a graduating senior at Chicago High School for the Arts, and he will be pursuing his dream to be a professional classical musician at Eastman School of Music this fall. Fabrizio has won the 2023 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award which provides financial aid towards an instrument purchase and he hopes to raise the rest of the cost for his bassoon. Support Fabrizio’s fundraiser and learn more here.

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