First CMPI Cohort Includes 19 CYSO Students

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) recently announced their first cohort of 50 musician fellows, a group of talented young players who will receive mentoring, coaching, and financial support over the coming year to support their musical training. As members of the CMPI Steering Team, we are thrilled to announce that 19 of the 50 fellows are CYSO members! 

The mission of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative is to identify and develop gifted and motivated orchestral students from underrepresented backgrounds for acceptance into collegiate classical music programs in preparation for careers as professional musicians. Members of the inaugural 50-student cohort represent 36 zip codes from across the greater Chicago area and were chosen from a pool of more than 130 applicants after completing an intensive multi-month audition process. They range from 6th to 12th graders and reflect the diversity of the diversity of the city of Chicago with 44% African American, 40% Latinx, 10% Southeast Asian, 6% South Asian students.

2019-2020 CMPI Fellows


“CMPI will be surrounding our inaugural fellows with high quality guidance and instruction, nurturing from musician mentors and the profound sense of community that comes from being with others that have the same goals and desires,” said Adrienne Thompson, Director of Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative.

“The overwhelming support from my mentors, teachers, and family allow me to grow and flourish as an artist, beyond what I thought was possible,” said Oliver Talukder, CMPI member and Symphony Orchestra co-principal oboe.

The slate of performances for CMPI fellows are highlighted by five shared solo recitals hosted by partner organizations across the Chicago area. Admission is free and no tickets are required.

  • Friday, October 25, 2019, 7:30pm in Buntrock Hall at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL)
  • Thursday, December 12, 2019, 7:30pm in CYSO’s Curtiss Hall at the Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL)
  • Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 7:30pm at the Music Institute of Chicago (1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL)
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7:00pm at Beverly Arts Center (2407 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL)
  • Sunday, May 17, 2020, 6:00pm at Midwest Young Artists Conservatory (878 Lyster Rd., Highwood, IL)


CMPI is the result of a $3.5 million grant over three-and-one-half years from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to a consortium of Chicago-area organizations dedicated to music and education. Participating organizations include Merit School of Music, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Sinfonietta, Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DePaul University School of Music and Ravinia Festival.

Applications are now open for the 2020-2021 CMPI cohort and will be accepted through February 1. More info is at

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