Steel Orchestras

CYSO’s Steel Orchestras are comprised of four youth steel ensembles made up of elementary, middle, and high school students. This is a full year program that introduces students to music through the steelpan (or steel drum), a unique percussion instrument which has its roots in the Caribbean islands and culture of Trinidad and Tobago. Rehearsals focus on basic music theory, technique, musicianship, building a diverse repertoire and learning about calypso—the traditional music of Trinidad and Tobago—as well as other musical styles from classical to jazz.

No experience is necessary to join CYSO’s Steel Orchestras– ensembles range from beginner to experienced young musicians. To join, students participate in a tryout and are placed in an appropriate ensemble based on their age and musical experience. Tryouts happen each spring and the steel orchestra season follows the school year with concerts in December and May.

Steel Orchestras Ensembles

The Jumbies | Elementary School Students
Rehearsals: Saturdays, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Groove Steel Ensemble | Elementary/Middle School Students
Rehearsals: Saturdays, 10:30 AM – 12:00 AM

Junior Steel Orchestra | Intermediate Elementary/Middle School Students
Rehearsals: Saturdays, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Kaiso Steel Orchestra | High School Students
Rehearsals:  Saturdays, 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Kaiso audition requirements

Tuition & Financial Assistance

CYSO program tuition is available online here. We make our programs accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background. Need-based financial assistance is available for all CYSO programs.

Questions? Please contact Malika Green via email or by calling 312-939-2207 x290.


The CYSO Steel Orchestra program is supported in part by a generous donation from The Alvin & Louise Myerberg Family Foundation.