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CYSO's mission is threefold:
- ...to ADVANCE and inspire the musical and personal development of young musicians by providing intensive training and unparalleled opportunities;
- ...to ADVOCATE for involvement in classical music to underserved youth through student-to-student engagement programs; and
- ...to AMAZE, entertain and educate audiences with thoughtful, innovative programming.
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) has provided music education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946. CYSO not only offers exceptional ensemble training to student musicians, it provides inspiring performances for audiences worldwide and engages the Chicago community through music.
Each year, the organization serves 475 talented Chicago-area musicians ages 7-18 through three full orchestras, two string orchestras, multiple steel orchestras and supplemental programs that include chamber music ensembles, music theory and composition. CYSO musicians experience superb orchestral and chamber music instruction from Chicago's most respected professional musicians, perform in the world's greatest concert halls and gain the skills necessary for a successful future.
CYSO also reaches the diverse population of Chicago Public School students, educators and community members each year through its Music Pathways program. Music Pathways includes an In-School Residency Program with several partner Chicago Public elementary schools, Clinics for partner Chicago Public high schools, free Community Concerts, a Private Lesson Program for current CYSO students and Neighborhood Ensembles. Through these Music Pathways components, CYSO provides access to high-quality instrumental music training and encourages a life-long love of music among thousands of Chicago youth. 100% of CYSO musicians pursue college studies at the most prestigious universities and conservatories in the nation. They then go on to become professional musicians in the world's finest orchestras and music ensembles. They can also be found as teachers, community leaders, doctors, lawyers, business professionals and entrepreneurs. Most importantly, whether or not CYSO students continue their music studies after graduating high school, they leave with a strong sense of discipline, accomplishment, confidence, self-esteem, and a deep appreciation for music and the arts.
CYSO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is investing in the future of music and the next generation of leaders.
- Joshua Simonds
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