Elgin, IL (May 3, 2021) – The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) brings its 45th season to a close and celebrates the “hero” in all of us at three live-streamed concerts Sunday, May 9th at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Part of EYSO’s Myths & Legends season, this final concert day Heroes reflects the incredible accomplishments of students and their families as they have overcome challenges to make music together in 2020-21. Members of EYSO include students in fourth grade through college who come from throughout the Fox Valley and northern Illinois region. Concert details are at

“This year has shown us the importance not only of heroes, but of heroism,” said EYSO Artistic Director Matthew Sheppard. “In many ways large and small our EYSO members, families, and supporters took extraordinary steps to perform, teach, learn, and grow as we came together as an orchestra and a community. It is this spirit of courage and resilience we are celebrating through our Heroes concerts.”

Heroes ─ the third and final public concert in EYSO’s Myths & Legends ─ will be performed live at the Blizzard Theatre of the Elgin Community College Arts Center, with members safely masked and socially distanced. Though COVID restrictions prevent an in-person audience, all three concerts will be live streamed and can be viewed at no cost to the public. Visit on May 9th to see and hear the concerts and to access information such as program notes, donor acknowledgements and student rosters.

“The benefits of music education both in and outside the classroom go well beyond technical and artistic development,” explains K. Eric Larson, EYSO’s executive director. “Participation in EYSO and other music and arts programs improves student academic performance, increases school attendance and graduation rates, and reduces stress, anxiety and depression. And we hope this music reaches healthcare providers and other frontline workers who have been true heroes during the COVID pandemic.”

Concert highlights include:






A PDF of the full program is at

More than 60% of the cost to educate an EYSO student is underwritten with generous gifts from public and private foundations, corporate sponsors, business and in-kind donations, and individual donors.


2021-22 Auditions

All students from fourth grade to college with two or more years of instruction are welcome to audition for the 2021-22 EYSO season May 27-30, 2021 at the Blizzard Theatre of the Elgin Community College Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL Auditions will be held in-person and students can complete an online application at


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 or call (847) 841-7700

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