EYSO Seeks Student Musicians from Throughout the Region for 46th Season




Elgin, IL (April 28, 2021) – After a tumultuous year when many music students have seen their creative programs restricted, moved online, or in some cases suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) invites music students from 4th grade through college to join one of its highly regarded ensembles. All youth with two or more years of instrumental experience (including non-consecutive instruction) are welcome. Auditions will be held in person May 27-30, 2021, at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL. Applications can be completed online at eyso.org/join-eyso. While applications are accepted until auditions begin, students are encouraged to register as soon as possible to reserve their spot.

EYSO draws members from communities throughout the Fox Valley and northern Illinois. Rehearsals are held on Sundays and begin Sept. 12, 2021, with the annual Fall Camp held the weekend of August 27. Each season features three concerts that explore a season theme guiding the students and conductors throughout the year. The 2020/21 season theme is Myths & Legends, and the theme for next season will be publicly announced at EYSO’s final season concert on May 9.

EYSO recognizes the challenges many face this year and is prepared to support students in achieving their goals.

“We know some students might feel “out of practice” with in-person auditions or performances compared to a normal year,” said Artistic Director Matthew Sheppard, “and that there are plenty of other challenges facing families this year, too. Our advice is to reach out to us so we can have a conversation and help address whatever concerns you might have.”

“The distancing and isolation of this year have reinforced exactly how meaningful and essential in-person rehearsals and performances—safely socially-distanced of course—are to our members not only for their artistic and technical development, but also for their socialization and well-being,” said Sheppard. EYSO members were able to continue to learn and make music together this season as the organization implemented strategies and protocols to allow for that to happen.

To find the best ensemble or orchestra fit, current and new members will prepare short selections from their instrument’s solo repertoire, scales, and specific excerpts found on the EYSO website, and they will also be asked to sight-read. Auditions are open to all orchestral instruments include strings (violin, viola, cello, bass); woodwinds and brass (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba); percussion; piano; and harp. Visit eyso.org/join-eyso/auditions to fill out the online form, sign-up for a time, and download music. Tuition assistance is available to students/families who qualify.


Myths & Legends Season Finale

EYSO members will conclude the 2020-21 Myths & Legends season with Heroes on Sunday, May 9 at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Blizzard Theatre of the Elgin Community College Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Heroes continues the musical exploration of what it means to be a hero through diverse and wide-ranging repertoire. EYSO will make the concerts accessible at no cost via live-streaming video. Details are at eyso.org/concert.

“Our students are resilient. Some experienced tremendous losses during this season, and many missed out on music-making completely,” Sheppard adds. “We want every young person to have access to quality music education, and we are committed to finding a place for each student to learn and grow with us.”

Adolescent-centered studies consistently demonstrate the far-reaching impact youth music programs have on all aspects of learning and leadership development. This year ─ as many students return to classrooms for the first time ─ EYSO seeks to help close key gaps in music education during its 2021-22 season.

Students and parents with questions can contact EYSO via email at office@eyso.org or by phone at (847) 841-7700. This year EYSO was awarded Youth Orchestra of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO). The ICO annually recognizes excellence in the field of music performance and support of music organizations.


About EYSO

The mission of EYSO is to create a community of young musicians, enriching their lives and the lives of their families, schools, communities and beyond, through the study and performance of excellent music.

EYSO serves students from 70 Chicagoland communities and has a national reputation for providing students with an engaging musical experience and a comprehensive learning environment of curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and collaboration. Students explore a thematic curriculum each season—one that helps students develop artistically and technically, and prepares them for a future of complex ideas, creative risk-taking, and leadership as global citizen. This approach has led hundreds of alumni to successful careers as professional musicians, educators, and strong leaders in every field. The theme of EYSO’s 45th season is Myths & Legends, which explores how we make sense of the world around us through stories, fairy tales, myths, and legends through music as we build connections between ourselves and the wider world. To learn more about EYSO, visit www.eyso.org or call (847) 841-7700.

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