The Chicago Youth in Music Festival is an annual celebration of young classical musicians, presented in collaboration with Greater Chicago’s top community music schools and youth orchestras, and Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago Public Schools High School Orchestras Convening and Civic Orchestra Side by Side

Friday, February 8, 2019, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Terrance Malone Gray, conductor

Private event

String orchestras from partner Chicago Public High Schools (CPS) will come together at Symphony Center to perform on stage in Orchestra Hall, receive coaching and feedback, and join forces for a combined orchestra with one another and members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under the direction of Edwin Outwater. CPS high school orchestra directors will also have the opportunity to share with one another, and a related Professional Development session is being planned for another date in partnership with the CPS Department of Arts.

Participating ensembles are Amundsen High School Advanced Orchestra, Kenwood Academy High School Orchestra, Lane Tech Honors Sinfonietta, Mather High School Orchestra, and Senn High School Orchestra.


CSO Percussion Scholarship Group Performance for CPS

Monday, February 11, 2019, 11 a.m.

Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center

Open to CPS students grades 4-8: To reserve your seats, download this form or call 312-294-3076.

Since 1995, the Percussion Scholarship Program (PSP) has offered intensive, weekly percussion instruction on a full scholarship basis to Chicago youth in grades 3–12. Students are selected for the program through a competitive application process that includes a provisional period followed by an invitation to participate through eighth grade. Select students are invited to continue through high school.

PSP boasts a roster of alumni who have gone on to some of the nation’s finest colleges, universities and conservatories, later assuming notable careers within and outside of music. For more information about the program, including photos, videos and upcoming performance dates, visit


Community Youth Orchestras Convening and Civic Orchestra Side by Side

Saturday, February 16, 2019, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center

Private event

Young musicians from The People’s Music School, Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra and Sistema Ravinia will gather at Symphony Center to participate in sectionals and a side-by-side rehearsal with members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under the direction of Allen Tinkham.


Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition Finals

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 2 p.m.

Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center
Civic Orchestra of Chicago
Andrew Grams, conductor

Since 1919, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions have featured the most talented young soloists from across Illinois. Now known as the Crain-Maling CSO Young Artists Competition, this newly reimagined concerto competition will identify one outstanding young performer to be featured in a CSO School Concert during the 2019/20 season. A preliminary round for woodwind, brass, percussion and harp applicants will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2019, and Sunday, February 3, 2019. Four finalists will compete onstage in Orchestra Hall, accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and conducted by Andrew Grams. This competition is generously funded by the Crain-Maling Foundation. For more information and a link to the application form, click here.


Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus Master Classes for Advanced Instrumentalists and Vocalists

Throughout March 2019, several advanced high school musicians studying at local music organizations will have the opportunity to participate in 13 instrumental and 4 vocal master classes led by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. These events will take place in spaces throughout Symphony Center, and are open for other young musicians and their families to attend and observe.

Partner organizations include Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music, Midwest Young Artists, and Music Institute of Chicago.  



This program is sponsored in part by Allstate Insurance Company, the Youth Education Program Sponsor.