The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra has students from 55 communities in its ensembles. (Courtesy photo)
comp:0000517042ff:0000000167:6e82 /__uuid/ee39c5ed-dd63-4a21-88f9-e4a1bee9e010/El-Mo-gin+Youth+Symphony+Orchestra-copy.jpg

The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual open house for prospective youth musicians in fourth grade through college at the Elgin Community College Arts Center, coinciding with a series of free Spring Chamber Music Institute concerts.

Four performances are scheduled at 1, 2:15, 3:30 and 4:45 p.m. Sunday, April 21, in the Spartan Auditorium at ECC. The EYSO open house from 1 to 8 p.m. is set in the Elgin Community College Arts Center (Building H) on the campus at 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.

  Visitors to the open house will be able to explore the many opportunities available through EYSO participation:

•     meet current students and parents to learn about their experiences
•     parents, students, alumni, staff and conductors will be present to answer questions
•     enjoy a free Chamber Music Institute concert
•     visit a rehearsal (visitors may respectfully come and go during rehearsal time)
•     learn about 2013-14 audition dates and requirements
•     receive two free tickets to an upcoming concert

To learn more about the EYSO and the many opportunities for student musicians throughout the region, visit or call the EYSO office at 847-841-7700.

The EYSO describes its program:

•     Focused comprehensive learning environment with concert programs created around a central season theme 
•     Performances at unique venues and locations (Ravinia, Park West, Scotland, Atlanta)
•     World-class conductors/teachers committed to the entire musical/educational experience
•     Alumni have studied at internationally recognized institutions and have successful music careers
•     Opportunities to work and perform with world-renowned musicians
•     Form friendships with musicians from communities throughout the Chicago area
•     EYSO Honors Chamber Ensembles: Maud Powell String Quartet, Sterling Brass Quintet, and the Hanson String Quartet
•     Brass Choir, a unique large ensemble for brass players
•     Chamber Music Institute: individualized coaching and featured concerts
•     Masterclasses with Midori, Yo-Yo Ma and other internationally recognized artists

Season auditions

Auditions will be held from May 30 to June 2. Students who will begin fourth grade through college in the fall may audition for a seat in one of the six ensembles. Applications, audition requirements and scheduling may be found at or by calling 847-841-7700.

 The EYSO is committed to making participation accessible to any qualified student regardless of financial need. Students have opportunities each year to earn part or all of their EYSO tuition. Since the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra is an In-Residence Ensemble at the Elgin Community College Arts Center, students who are 16 years of age at the beginning of a semester are eligible to earn college credit while playing in the EYSO.

The EYSO states it is more than great concerts – it’s a life-changing opportunity. It is home to five orchestras and a brass choir with 350 students from 55 communities. Founded in 1976, the mission of the EYSO is to create a community of young musicians, enriching their lives and the lives of their families, schools, communities and beyond, through the study and performance of excellent music.

The EYSO is under the leadership of Artistic Director Randal Swiggum, celebrating his 15th year with the organization this season.