For advanced high school and college-age students, plays standard symphonic repertoire. Studies major works such as Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, Mahler Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, Revueltas’ Sensemayà, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the Debussy Nocturnes, Respighi Pines of Rome, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Bernstein’s On the Waterfront, and many works by contemporary composers. Its members are drawn from a wide geographical area and enjoy the enrichment and challenge of performing with other serious and dedicated musicians under the leadership of Music Director Randal Swiggum.
Under the direction of David Anderson, Philharmonia is a high-intermediate level full orchestra for middle and high school players, performing challenging repertoire, while refining orchestral technique. Recent repertoire includes Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Hanson Symphony No 2 “Romantic,” Chabrier Espana, Bernstein Candide Overture, Copland Billy the Kid, and Capriccio Espagnol of Rimsky-Korsakov.
Under the direction of Jason Flaks, provides a unique chamber music experience for brass players who rehearse as a small ensemble within the EYSO. The Brass Choir performs in all three EYSO season concerts, as well as presenting its own spring concert.
Daniel Beder directs this full orchestra, giving these intermediate level middle and high school students their first experience of a full orchestra.
The Prelude Orchestra
With conductor Andy Masters, for string players grades 4 - 9, works to refine basic orchestral playing skills and string techniques.
With conductor Beth Mazur Wood for string players in grades 3-8, providing young players with their first orchestral experience, focusing on playing technique, sight-reading, scales, and auditioning skills. Primo members receive more individual attention and mentoring than is usually possible in a large orchestral setting.
Chamber Music Institute
Chamber Music Institute - open to both EYSO and non-EYSO members at Prelude Orchestra level and up. Offers opportunities to perform in trios, quartets, or quintets or other combinations, studying the wealth of music written for chamber ensembles. Players learn independence as soloists within the supportive environment of a small group, under the guidance of professional artist musicians who serve as coaches. Typically about one-third of EYSO students also participate in the CMI.
CMI Honors Chamber Groups
The EYSO Honors Chamber Groups offer an unparalleled opportunity for advanced players (high school and college age) to play chamber music at the highest level as members of the Youth Symphony (the most advanced orchestra of the EYSO):
The Sterling Brass Quintet is the premiere brass ensemble of the EYSO Chamber Music Institute, selected by competitive audition in June, and offered on full scholarship. Now in its sixth season, the Sterling Brass Quintet provides a chance to study and perform the most significant chamber music literature at the highest level and to work with some of the finest artist teachers and chamber music coaches in the world. The Quintet works with coaches Matt Lee (DePaul University, Millar Brass) and Kari Lee (Millar Brass), and guest coaches including former CSO trumpet Will Scarlett, Stephen Burns (Fulcrum Point), Barbara Butler (Northwestern), Floyd Cooley (DePaul), Rex Martin (Northwestern) and the Wisconsin Brass Quintet (UW-Madison).
The Maud Powell String Quartet is the premiere string quartet of the EYSO Chamber Music Institute, selected by competitive audition in June, and offered on full scholarship. Now in its sixth season, the Maud Powell String Quartet provides a chance to study and perform the most significant chamber music literature at the highest level and to work with some of the finest artist teachers and chamber music coaches in the world. The Quartet works with regular coach Brant Taylor (cellist/Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and guest coaches including Rachel Barton Pine, Isabella Lippi, Roland Vamos, Jaime Laredo, and members of the Pacifica Quartet.
The Hanson String Quartet, now in its third season, is selected by competitive audition in June, and offered on partial scholarship. The Hanson String Quartet, named after Robert Hanson, the founding Music Director of the EYSO, provides a chance to study and perform the most significant chamber music literature at the highest level and to work with some of the finest artist teachers and chamber music coaches in the Midwest.