About Us

The EYSO Difference

The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra attracts a national reputation for providing not only an engaging musical experience for its students, but also a comprehensive learning environment which promotes curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and collaboration. With eight large ensembles and nearly 30 chamber ensembles, EYSO auditions record numbers of students each year in addition to the many hundreds of musicians who enjoy its rigorous methods of inquiry and “expert noticing.”

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Randal Swiggum, an internationally renowned leader in music education, the 390 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. Rehearsals center not only around growing as players and collaborators, but also as thoughtful communicators and leaders in their sections, ensembles, schools, and communities.

It is with this thoughtful and attentive approach that participating in EYSO has led hundreds of students to successful careers as musicians and educators. Regardless of our alumni’s pursuits, however, their experience as a valued member of a fair and encouraging creative environment has continue to serve them well. It’s what we call “educating the whole musician”: preparing our students for a lifelong journey of creativity and growth.

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