Abbey Hambright

Director of Marketing

Abbey Hambright serves as CYSO’s Director of Marketing, overseeing all things communications, design, social media, ticketing, and PR. She came to CYSO in 2015 with a background working with creative small businesses, and before that, spent a decade in the non-profit sector working with young people.

In her time at CYSO, Abbey has refreshed the brand to convey the energy of our young musicians while continuing to spotlight CYSO’s legacy of artistic excellence. She prioritizes sharing students’ stories— and content created by them—through the creation of the Social Media Team in 2017. Abbey is committed to increasing access to CYSO programs by ensuring that equity, diversity, and inclusion is at the forefront of all communications. During her time with CYSO, Abbey has overseen two website redesigns, including the current site that prioritizes accessibility best practices, and grown advertising and merchandise revenue.

Early in the pandemic, in response to the isolation students were feeling as the stay-at-home order took effect, Abbey spearheaded an increase in CYSO’s online presence, producing more than 100 free streamable masterclasses, workshops, and events that were viewed by thousands of people around the world. In spring 20202, she also oversaw “CYSO Week,” a week-long livestreamed celebration featuring live student and staff hosts, video premieres, and a custom program to follow along at home. CYSO Week was viewed by more than 12,000 people.

Abbey is also a designer and artist in her own right. Her work has been featured in publications including the Chicago Tribune, Buzzfeed, and Travel + Leisure magazine. She graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in sociology. Abbey lives in Chicago with her partner, their 5th grader (who is also a CYSO steelpan player), and two noisy rescue dogs. In addition to her role at CYSO, Abbey does pro-bono design projects for grassroots social justice organizations in the city. More of her work can be found at

What is the first album/CD/cassette you ever bought?

My first album was Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation on cassette, a Christmas gift to go along with my brand new pink boombox.

What is your favorite musical memory from when you were young?

I was a huge musical theater nerd in high school and lived for the spring months when we put together the show every year. I never had a big part, but loved the camaraderie of being in the chorus. My favorite shows we put on were Sweeney Todd and Candide—the finale from Candide still makes me cry when I hear it!

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