Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

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Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) is an orchestral Music Education organization in Chicago, Illinois that was founded in 1946 to provide music education and instrumental training of the highest quality to Chicago area youth.


Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) is located in the Chicago Fine Arts Building on S. Michigan Avenue. CYSO comprises six core orchestras, an advanced chamber orchestra, a steel orchestra program, a chamber music program, and music theory and composition classes. Nearly 500 students ages 6 to 18 participate in these various programs. CYSO also provides Music Pathways, a music education and engagement initiative with Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

CYSO's mission is to Inspire and Cultivate Personal Excellence through Music.

Core Ensembles[edit]

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Concert Orchestra
  • Debut Orchestra
  • Preparatory Strings
  • Accelerando Strings
  • Overture Strings

Supplemental Programs[edit]

  • Chamber Music
  • Steel Orchestras
  • Music Pathways
  • Music Theory & Composition


CYSO's various ensembles perform at places including Symphony Center-Orchestra Hall, the Chicago Cultural Center, the South Shore Cultural Center, University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall, Chicago’s Grant Park, and the Ravinia Festival. CYSO has a rich history of international tours, the most recent of which include the contintents of Europe & South America. These tours have included stops in Smetana Hall in Prague, the Frederick Chopin Conservatory of Music in Warsaw, and the Filharmonia in Wrocław, Poland. As part of their 2007 European tour, the CYSO Symphony Orchestra was selected as the only youth orchestra in the world to be presented by Leipzig, Germany’s Gewandhaus during its musical season.[citation needed] During the 2009 South American Tour to Argentina and Uruguay, the CYSO Symphony Orchestra performed at Teatro Coliseo Podesta in La Plata, La Facultad de Derecho in Buenos Aires, Teatro El Circulo in Rosario, and Teatro Solis in Montevideo.

External links[edit]