Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra creating sonic ripples that echo beyond the concert hall

300 students from 70 communities perform in EYSO's second concert of the season

On Sunday, March 13, join the student musicians of award-winning Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra in their March concert "For every action ...," the second concert in the 2021-22 season, "Flipped," that examines how a shift in perspective can make a world of difference.

"Experience how music creates sonic ripples as it echoes throughout history, across culture, and even between molecules in the concert hall," said EYSO Artistic Director Matthew Sheppard.

Concertgoers can look forward to a range of repertoire: stirring selections from contemporary French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg's "Les Misérables," the achingly beautiful "Adagio for Strings" by 20th-century composer Samuel Barber as transcribed for Brass Choir, movements from Florence Price's spirited Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, and the mighty Fifth Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich.

Price was the first Black woman to have her music played by a major American orchestra: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her Symphony No. 1 in 1933.

Shostakovich was a Soviet-era Russian composer whose entire musical career was spent within Russia's Communist system where he had to strike a balance between his own artistic inclinations and the demands of the state.

Three hundred students from nearly 70 communities will perform in concerts at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m., with early to intermediate level students performing earlier in the day and Youth Symphony, EYSO's flagship orchestra for very advanced high school and college-age students, performing in the evening.

Primo, EYSO's youngest ensemble, will take the stage alongside Youth Symphony for a side-by-side performance at the 7 p.m. concert. They will perform "Hungarian Dances" by the late 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. The event is highly anticipated by both groups and the musical collaboration always delights both the performers and the audience.

The schedule of concerts will be: Prelude, Sinfonia, Flute Choir, and Sinfonia Percussion Ensemble at 2 p.m., Brass Choir, Philharmonia, and Philharmonia Percussion Ensemble at 4:30 p.m., and the Primo, Youth Symphony, and Youth Symphony Percussion Ensemble at 7 p.m.

Two soloists, selected last fall at EYSO's annual Concerto Competition, will perform with their respective ensembles.

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonia violist Ella Petersen will perform Johann Hummel's Fantasie in G Minor. Courtesy of EYSO

Philharmonia violist Ella Petersen will perform early 19th-century Austrian composer Johann Hummel's "Fantasie" in G Minor, and Youth Symphony violist Harry Graham will perform early 20th-century German composer Paul Hindemith's "Der Schwanendreher."

Ella is a sophomore at St. Charles North High School and Harry is a senior at St. Charles East High School.

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra Youth Symphony violist Harry Graham will perform Paul Hindemith's "Der Schwanendreher." Courtesy of EYSO

All concerts are in the Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. In-person ticketing is available to the public at or by calling the box office at (847) 622-0300.

Livestream tickets are sold at In-person and livestream tickets are $32, including fees.

EYSO's mission 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.

Since its beginnings as a small string orchestra in 1976, EYSO has grown to a community of eight large ensembles and nearly 30 chamber music ensembles. EYSO, in its 46th season, 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 which 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.

To learn more about EYSO, visit or call (847) 841-7700.

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