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 percussion students of all ages. To join, students will participate in a tryout to be placed in an appropriate ensemble.

Each steel ensemble’s season follows the school year. The Fall semester includes rehearsals from September through May, and concerts in December and May.

Interested in joining Steel Orchestras?


Students interested in participating in the audition-based Kaiso Steel Orchestra (KaiSO) must complete the Steel Orchestra Interest Form and follow the additional audition requirements.

Steel Orchestra Ensembles and Rehearsal Times

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

Financial Assistance

Tuition assistance is available to students after they have enrolled in the program and filled out the CYSO financial assistance application. Contact us for more information.

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.