Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

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    Ellington himself, considered the highest musical praise to be “beyond category,” surpassing traditional boundaries of genre, just as his works blurs the lines between jazz, classical, and pop music to create a truly American genre.

    In the same way, CYSO strives to go beyond category to foster students’ growth not just musically, but as human beings. Presently in our 77th year of music-making, CYSO continues to shape generations of young leaders and musicians. Our mission is to inspire and cultivate personal excellence through music, and CYSO stands in solidarity with all our students, families, and community members to dismantle the systemic inequities in music.

    By bringing together young people from across the region, CYSO students build bonds with those who come from diverse backgrounds and share a passion for music. Whether or not a student continues music studies after their time in CYSO, they leave with increased self-confidence, a strong sense of leadership, and a deep appreciation for music and the arts. At CYSO, we believe that every student has the right to high-quality music education. Creating a pathway for talented and committed young musicians to reach the highest artistic level is integral to our mission.

    As our largest fundraising event of the year, the Gala supports world-class music education for dedicated young players from across the Chicago region.

    The funds we raise from our annual Gala directly benefit our students as well as the success of our programs. When you make a gift toward the Gala, you are helping to ensure that cost is never a barrier to joining our programs.

    For more information about CYSO and our Gala, visit cyso.org/gala

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