Jazz Orchestra

Announcing CYSO’s newest program: Jazz Orchestra

Building on Chicago’s rich history as a center of jazz music creation and innovation, CYSO’s new Jazz Orchestra will be dedicated to the study and performance of classic and contemporary big band jazz music. The orchestra will be comprised of 24 high school-aged student musicians under the direction of jazz musician and educator Pharez Whitted.  The Jazz Orchestra will perform everything from classic big band swing charts steeped in jazz tradition to new works that incorporate the current and emerging styles defining the genre today. 

Join CYSO's Jazz Orchestra!

Jazz Orchestra auditions for the 2017-2018 season will take place in summer 2017. 

Please fill out an Audition Interest Form to be notified when Jazz Orchestra auditions open up this for next season..

Jazz Orchestra weekly rehearsals will take place on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:30 pm at CYSO’s 833 rehearsal space at the Fine Arts Building. Tuition is $750 for the season (September-May). Financial assistance is available.

Sectionals will be lead by some of Chicago’s top professional musicians and are designed to provide additional assistance in preparing season repertoire. Sectionals will be held throughout the season on regular rehearsal days at the Fine Arts Building.

CYSO’s Jazz Orchestra will perform throughout the season at locations around the Chicago area, including principal fall and spring concerts at Jazz Showcase in Chicago. 

Please refer to the Jazz Orchestra calendar for all rehearsal and concert dates. Note that attendance at  all rehearsals, sectionals, and concerts is mandatory.

Pharez Whitted

Meet CYSO’s Jazz Orchestra Director, Pharez Whitted. 

A respected jazz musician and educator, Pharez Whitted has been performing for more than 30 years. He serves is on the faculty of Ravinia’s prestigious Jazz Scholar Program, served as Professor of Music at Chicago State University, and performs regularly around the region. Read full bio

Question about Jazz Orchestra? Contact CYSO Director of Operations, Brian Baxter, at 312-939-2207 x240 or bbaxter@cyso.org