Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestras



The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestras has a national reputation for providing not only an engaging musical experience for its students, but also a comprehensive learning environment that promotes curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and collaboration. With six large ensembles, three small ensembles, and a thriving Chamber Music Institute, EYSO auditions record numbers of students each year in addition to the hundreds of musicians who already enjoy its rigorous methods of inquiry and “expert noticing.”

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Matthew Sheppard, a leader in music education, the students of EYSO explore a comprehensive curriculum each season—one which aims not only to help these students develop artistically and technically, but also to prepare them for a future of complex ideas, creative risk-taking, and leadership as global citizens. The dynamic and engaging rehearsals foster musical and personal growth as students develop into well-rounded and thoughtful communicators, and leaders in their sections, ensembles, schools, and communities.

This thoughtful and attentive approach which is the hallmark of EYSO has led hundreds of alumni to successful careers as professional musicians, educators, and leaders in every field. It’s what we call “educating the whole musician”: preparing our students for a lifelong journey of inquiry, creativity, and growth. Regardless of our alumni’s pursuits, their EYSO experience as a valued members of a thought-provoking, fair, and encouraging creative environment continues to serve them well.

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