Founded in 1990 to provide young musicians in the Annapolis-Baltimore-Washington region with an opportunity to perform symphonic works from the standard repertoire, in addition to a symphony orchestra the CYSO has grown to comprise two levels of string orchestra, an intermediate level full orchestra, two levels of flute ensemble a wind ensemble, and a jazz ensemble. Some 200+ students are enrolled, ranging in age from 8 to 21.
A professional conductor leads each of the ensembles, under the overall direction of Music Director and Symphony conductor Julien Benichou. Ensembles rehearse weekly throughout the school year and have many opportunities to perform, both in public venues and for smaller communities. Occasional all-day retreats allow for more intensive rehearsal, as well as fellowship. Tours abroad are planned about every three years for older students.
Students in the two full orchestras play familiar symphonic work and receive experience with choral and operatic repertoire, as well as concertos with piano and other instrumental soloists. Both of these orchestras have premiered original commissioned works.
In addition to CYSO's own professional staff, CYSO members have over the years had the opportunity to work and perform with other talented professionals, including Ray Still, former principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony, French horn virtuoso Barry Tuckwell, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Jonathan Carney (concertmaster), Christian Colberg (viola), and Rene Hernandez (trumpet). During the fall of 2007, Symphony members participated in a master class with the National Symphony Orchestra's Music Director, Leonard Slatkin.
For concert and ticket information, call the CYSO office at 443-758-3157.