CYSO students come from schools and communities all across the Chicagoland area, united in their love of music and their passion for exploring the limits of what is possible. Whether they are seasoned performers or just beginning to explore their instrument, CYSO students are dedicated to growth and to supporting one another in a team environment. CYSO is committed to investing in young musicians so they can reach their full potential musically, personally, and academically.

“CYSO gave me confidence and a learning environment where every year I was challenged to grow in ways I never thought would be possible. I look back on my CYSO experience and am so grateful for the skills I gained and the community that supported me.”

Oliver Talukder, CYSO Class of 2020

Meet the Musicians

CYSO students come from more than 146 different zip codes across 104 towns and cities and 4 states.

Grade Level




of CYSO students graduate high school, going on to college, attending some of the top conservatories, colleges, universities in the world


number of languages spoken in the homes of CYSO students


of CYSO students volunteer regularly, giving approximately 1,000 hours in service each month

Student Spotlights

2023 Student & Teacher Award Winners

Each year, CYSO presents awards to two stand-out students who have demonstrated exemplary dedication to CYSO and a drive for personal excellence. We also recognize a music educator who has…

NYO Accepts Two CYSO Students

Every Summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) brings together talented pre-college music students to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. These students, selected after…

Student Feature: Dean Barrow

Our past Student Features have introduced readers to CYSO musicians who are active in the performing arts including theatre, dance, and even composition. This month’s Student Feature showcases something a…

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