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Performing Ensembles

The CYO experience

All students accepted into CYO participate in both the full orchestra and a chamber ensemble. Students receive insightful, expert coaching from CYO’s faculty, enabling them to reach for a truly professional level of performance and rock their potential.

The CYO experience integrates large and chamber ensemble performance opportunities. By providing this comprehensive approach, CYO helps every student improve their individual skills and musicality while gaining an understanding of performing as part of ensembles of different sizes.


CYO follows the school calendar, and rehearses Saturdays from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm on our home stage at Cuyahoga Community College, Metro Campus. A typical Saturday rehearsal schedule is split between chamber and full orchestra practice and looks like this:

  • 8:30 – 10:30 – Chamber Music (or sectionals when appropriate)
  • 10:30 – 12:30 – Full Orchestra
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Full Orchestra

The full orchestra consists of 110 students ages 13-18 and is dedicated to performing professional-level works by contemporary composers. Recent performances have included the works of Joan Tower, Christopher Rouse, Michael Daugherty and Mason Bates, as well as several groundbreaking commissioned works.

CYO’s signature Rock the Orchestra concert pairs a legendary rock artist with the orchestra to perform well-known popular music on the symphony stage. Collaborations have included Jason Mraz, Melissa Etheridge, Ben Folds, Kenny Loggins and Tommy Shaw.

Chamber Ensembles

In addition to participating in our full orchestra, every student selected for CYO will be placed in a chamber ensemble. Chamber ensembles include 2 string quartets (composed of principals from the orchestra), a string ensemble, a wind ensemble and a percussion ensemble. The chamber music experience provides all students with a deeper, more involved understanding of music and their instruments.

Each year CYO hosts world renowned chamber musicians and sought-after performers, composers and clinicians. Past featured guests have included members of the Cleveland Orchestra, yMusic, Jason Treuting, representatives from D’Addario, and award-winning chamber musicians arx duo.


Regular sectionals are a key component to a successful performance. Hours of detailed instruction are provided by world class musicians. Our faculty have performed with the orchestras of Indianapolis, Cleveland, Utah, Cincinnati, Virginia, Fort Wayne and Buffalo.

Sectionals occur 2-3 times per concert cycle during the Saturday rehearsal block.

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