The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra enters the extraordinary with 3 performances on May 8

Join student musicians from the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra for ‘Through the Looking Glass’, the final concert of the 2021-2022 season, ‘FLIPPED’, which examines how a change of perspective can make all the difference in music. Three concerts on May 8, 2022, at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., offer the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon of classical music presented by the award-winning EYSO.

The Illinois Council of Orchestras awarded EYSO the 2021 Youth Orchestra of the Year and 2022 Programming of the Year and Conductor of the Year, recognizing Artistic Director Matthew Sheppard.

“With a title inspired by Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, we move from the ordinary to the extraordinary, through music that explores new worlds and sonic possibilities,” said Sheppard.

Beginner-to-intermediate musicians present a whimsical repertoire during the 2 p.m. matinee: Richard Meyer’s “Curse of the Rosin Eating Zombies from Outer Space,” a tribute to monster movie soundtracks; “Second American Folk Rhapsody” by Clare Grundman, a work that blends familiar folk songs in a unique way; “Trio pour flutes” by Katherine Hoover, an offbeat and amusing palindrome; and “No Evil Star”, specially composed in 2017 for EYSO by former student and composer-in-residence Ethan T. Parcell.

The 4:30 p.m. concert features performances by intermediate to advanced level musicians. Viewers discover two sharp musical mashups, PDQ Bach’s “1712 Overture” and Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven”, and enchanting music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Stephen Barton for the film “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion , the Witch, and the Wardrobe”.

At 7 p.m., Youth Symphony, EYSO’s flagship orchestra, performs two magical and mystical works: “Sensemayá” by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, based on the poem of the same title by Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén and “The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan,” a hypnotically tone poem by American composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes and inspired by the famous poem “Kubla Khan”, which came to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in a dream.


Niku Myers, a senior from West Chicago Community High School who was selected as a concert soloist in EYSO’s annual concerto competition, continues the dreamy, evocative quality with a marimba performance of Alan Hovhaness’ “Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints.” . The concert ends with the Youth Symphony’s traditional rendition of the English “fare thee well” ballad, “The Turtle Dove”, in recognition of the graduating members of the orchestra.

All concerts are held at the Blizzard Theatre, Elgin Community College Arts Centre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. In-person tickets are available at or by calling the box office at (847) 622-0300. Live stream tickets are sold at In-person and live tickets are $32.00 (including fees). Customers are required to wear masks.

About EYSO

EYSO invites young musicians in the fourth year of college, who have been playing their instrument for 2 years or more, to audition for the 2022-23 season. Tuition assistance applications are available. Visit or call (847) 841-7700 to learn more.

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, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra ( has grown into a community of nine major ensembles and a thriving chamber music institute. EYSO serves students from 70 Chicagoland communities and has a national reputation for providing students with an engaging musical experience and a comprehensive learning environment that fosters curiosity, imagination, and critical thinking. 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.

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