Chamber Music Institute
In addition to their large ensemble experience, each EYSO student in the Prelude level and higher can participate in EYSO’s Chamber Music Institute as a member of an intimate chamber group. This essential part of a young musician's development teaches skills that improve both solo and large ensemble playing: each player is both a soloist and team member at the same time. Playing chamber music sharpens vital listening skills and provides invaluable musicianship training.
Typically, one third or more of EYSO members are enrolled in the Chamber Music Institute. Each ensemble meets for one hour (Youth Symphony ensembles may meet for 75 to 90 minutes) every Sunday and has a regular coach. Coaches are some of the most skilled educators and performers in the Chicago area and have a great passion for teaching. In addition to two main concerts per season, CMI ensembles are invited to perform at community concerts throughout the area.
Students not currently enrolled in EYSO large ensembles but interested in a chamber music experience are encouraged to apply.
The Chamber Music Institute is directed by Stella Childs.
Honors Chamber Ensembles
The four Honors Chamber Ensembles (HCEs) offer an unparalleled opportunity for advanced high school and college aged musicians to play chamber music at the highest level while working with some of the finest artist-educators and chamber music coaches in the nation. As premier ensembles and ambassadors of CMI and EYSO, the four Honors Chamber Ensembles (Maud Powell String Quartet, Hanson String Quartet, Sterling Brass Quintet, and Earl Clemens Wind Quintet) maintain active and high-profile performing schedules.
The HCEs are auditioned ensembles drawn from Youth Symphony students who apply in the spring to take part the following season. After completing a rigorous application, audition, and interview process, the ensembles are formed to share the highest level of artistic achievement at EYSO with our students, families, and the wider community. The HCEs have longer coachings, are active August through May, rehearse every week on their own, and take on extra performance opportunities. Primary HCE coaches include Chicago Symphony violist Max Raimi, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra cellist Tim Archbold, Chicago Sinfonietta trumpet player Matt Lee, and Orion Ensemble clarinetist Kathy Pirtle. The HCEs also work frequently with prominent guest coaches, including principal players from orchestras around the region and professional chamber musicians. The HCEs are supported by the generosity of sponsors and are offered tuition-free.
To fill out an application for the HCE program, click here.
For information about the Honors Chamber Ensembles, please contact Stella Childs.
CMI rehearsals are Sundays, before or after large ensemble rehearsals. Rehearsals for the 2023-24 CMI Fall session begin Sunday, September 17, 2023. For the Spring session rehearsals resume on Sunday, January 14, 2024.
Chamber Music Institute concerts are November 12, 2023 and April 14, 2024.
For CMI concert information, please click here.
Summer Chamber Music Camp
Challenge yourself in a chamber music setting while discovering a deeper approach to learning music. Work directly with an internationally acclaimed string quartet. Meet new people and learn something about yourself. Learn more here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our standard* rehearsal times are:
Sinfonia groups: 1:40-2:30 OR 2:00-3:00
Philharmonia groups: 3:20-3:20 OR 2:00-3:00
Prelude groups: 3:25-4:20
Youth Symphony groups: 4:30-6:00
*The exact schedule changes from year to year based on the number of groups we’re able to build. To make the coaching schedule work, on rare occasions, we have scheduled Sinfonia or Philharmonia groups with a 5:30 start time; or Youth Symphony groups with a 4:00 start time.