CYO empowers students to soar in music and in life via the study and performance of new and contemporary music and introduction to careers in the creative arts industries. Confidence, integrity, independence, clarity of thought and generosity of spirit are essential values our talented community strives to embody.

With a continually growing offering of experiences that excite the imagination, CYO currently consists of a 110-piece full orchestra dedicated to performing professional-level works by contemporary composers, a chamber music and masterclass series designed to provide young musicians with a deeper, more involved understanding of music and their instruments, a Drumline Intensive summer day camp for players to transform their technical chops and a College Audition Preparatory Program.

Founded in 1995, CYO has provided life-changing music education to nearly 2,000 young musicians through core programming and touched the lives of more than 8,000 students via community outreach programs. Started as an orchestra with 35 students, CYO has grown and diversified its offerings to serve more than 175 students annually, ages 12-18, representing 64 Northeast Ohio schools.

Since the founding, primary CYO ensembles have remained committed to the exclusive study and performance of contemporary and new music. At both the orchestra and chamber music levels, CYO has commissioned new works and performed world premieres. Since 2004, presenting the signature Rock the Orchestra concert, featuring legendary rock musicians including Melissa Etheridge, Jason Mraz, Ben Folds and Pat Benatar. CYO has received the Northern Ohio Live Award of Achievement in the classical music/opera category, the Sunshine Award from Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio for excellence in arts education, and the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) award for adventurous programming.

CYO changes young lives through music

CYO inspires young people to discover their full potential through creativity and performance. We provide artistic opportunities for all students and work to improve the quality of cultural life in Cleveland.

CYO values and embraces the full spectrum of human differences (life experiences, work experiences, perspectives, cultures, ethnicity, gender, age and other aspects of life) and understands that creating and maintaining an inclusive environment is integral to our success. Our culture is defined by practices and policies that recognize and embrace each person’s unique abilities, strengths and differences. We promote diversity and inclusion within our organization, the students and families we serve, and all others with whom we interact.