The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra creates sonic ripples that resonate beyond the concert hall

On Sunday, March 13, join the student musicians of the award-winning Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra in their march concert “For Every Action…”, the second concert of the 2021-22 season, “Flipped”, which examines how a change in perspective can make all the difference.

“Discover how music creates sonic ripples as it resonates through history, across culture, and even between molecules in the concert hall,” said EYSO Artistic Director Matthew Sheppard.

Audiences can expect a wide range of repertoire: moving selections from ‘Les Miserables’ by contemporary French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, the magnificent ‘Adagio for Strings’ by 20th-century composer Samuel Barber, transcribed for Brass Choir, movements from Florence Price’s fiery Symphony No. 1 in E minor and Dmitri Shostakovich’s mighty Fifth Symphony.

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 the Russian communist system, where he had to balance his own artistic inclinations with the demands of the state.

Three hundred students from nearly 70 communities will perform in concerts at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. 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 students perform in the evening.


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

The concert program 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 for the annual EYSO concerto competition, will perform with their respective ensembles.

Ella Petersen, violist of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonic, will perform Johann Hummel’s Fantasy in G minor.
– Courtesy of EYSO

Philharmonia violist Ella Petersen will perform “Fantasie” in G minor by early 19th-century Austrian composer Johann Hummel, and Youth Symphony violist Harry Graham will perform “Der Schwanendreher” by early 20th-century German composer Paul Hindemith.

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

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra violist Harry Graham will perform Paul Hindemith's work

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra violist Harry Graham will perform Paul Hindemith’s ‘Der Schwanendreher’.
– Courtesy of EYSO

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

Live stream tickets are sold at In-person and live tickets are $32 including fees.

EYSO’s mission is to create a community of young musicians, enriching their lives and those of their families, schools, communities and beyond, through the study and performance of excellent music.

From its beginnings as a small string orchestra in 1976, EYSO has grown into 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 learning environment full of curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and collaboration. Students explore a thematic program each season, a program that helps students develop artistically and technically and prepares them for a future of complex ideas, creative risk-taking and leadership as global citizens. This approach has led hundreds of alumni to successful careers as professional musicians, educators, and strong leaders in all fields.

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

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