EYSO Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra
Elgin, Illinois 60121-6508

EYSO Awards

The Robert Hanson Award was established in 2001 as part of the EYSO's 25th Anniversary commemoration. Robert Hanson was the first conductor of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and a guiding force in its development throughout its first twenty-five years.


The Robert Durnbaugh Award was established in 2003 to honor the memory of Robert Durnbaugh, musician, arts administrator, and tireless supporter of music education in the Elgin area. Mr. Durnbaugh’s contributions as a passionate member of the EYSO Board of Directors helped enlarge the EYSO’s public visibility, financial base, and philosophical mission.


The Carol Ann Thomas Award was established in 2008 to honor the memory of Carol Ann Thomas. Carol Ann began as a hard-working volunteer for the EYSO, even though she didn't have a background in orchestras or classical music. She simply loved kids and truly believed in the EYSO mission. Her hours of dedication to the EYSO, beyond her job as bookkeeper, were countless.


All three awards are intended to provide financial assistance for major summer musical experiences for members of the EYSO. To honor the longstanding dedication to the EYSO of their namesakes, the awards will be presented to EYSO members who have demonstrated integrity, hard work, superior musical ability, commitment to music, and contributions to the EYSO's programs.


Application is open to any current member of the EYSO's five orchestras or Brass Choir who will be returning for the full 2014-15 season. Financial need may also be considered. Awards will be at least $200 and up to the full cost of a summer music program. Award winners will be announced at the May 4, 2014 concerts.


How to apply

Applicants will automatically be considered for all three awards. Applications for the current season are generally available in February and located in the EYSO member section. There will also be an announcement in the weekly newsletter.


Awards given to Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra:

  • 2008 Randall Swiggum - Conductor of the Year
  • 2007 Youth Orchestra of the Year
  • 2005 Programming of the Year Award
  • 2001 Outstanding Marketing Program of the Year
  • 2001 City of Elgin Image Award
  • 1999 - 2000 Youth Orchestra of the Year




  • Illinois Council of Orchestras Member
  • League of American Orchestras Member