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Medium: Music , Performing Arts , Performing Arts Organizations

Contact Information

(864) 232-3963

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Carolina Youth Symphony, is a regional youth orchestra that has been in existence since 1954, making it one of the oldest youth orchestras in the country. Our members come from over 60 different schools; 30 cities and 2 states, making us an organization of geographically diverse and musically gifted young musicians. In recognition of our outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina, our organization was awarded the 2011 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the highest honor the state presents in the arts. In addition, the Carolina Youth Symphony Orchestra, our advanced orchestra, will return to Carnegie Hall for their fifth performance in March of 2013, an almost unprecedented honor. Dr. Les Hicken, Director of Bands at Furman University, and former director of the Youngstown Youth Orchestra, is the Conductor and Musical Director of the Carolina Youth Symphony. Dr. Robert Chesebro, Daniel Professor of Music at Furman University, after 25 years as Conductor of CYS, is the Conductor Emeritus. CYS is made up of three orchestras to meet the varying needs of our musically talented students in. The highest level is the CYS Symphony Orchestra, whose members have attained an advanced level of musicianship, sight-reading, transposition skills, and other aspects of orchestral training. Our CYS Concert Orchestra is comprised of musicians that are slightly less advanced than our highest level orchestra. The conductor for this orchestra is Mr. James Kilgus. The Repertory Orchestra, conducted by Mrs. Ginger Greer, is a full orchestra made up of somewhat less experienced players. Our Pops Orchestra is made up of all three orchestras combined when we are guest artists for Furman University on their Lakeside Concert series. Throughout the year we provide professional strings, percussion, and brass coaches to enhance the experience for all musicians… CYS is an independent, non-profit youth orchestra, registered in the State of South Carolina, which exists to provide an opportunity for individual growth of musically talented youth through training and performance of the highest quality of orchestra literature.
The goal of our organization is:
• To encourage pride and self-esteem in young people from
 all cultural backgrounds through their individual musical achievement.
• To create an atmosphere of discipline and appreciation of fine music our
members will carry with them all their lives.
• To promote and enhance the cultural life of the Upstate through orchestral
performances, community outreach programs, open rehearsals and recitals, and
open music competitions.