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Youth Concert Performance Videos


Since 1964, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra has introduced thousands of children to the magic of a live orchestra performance. The annual CUSO Youth Concerts at Krannert Center bring this amazing musical experience to excited young audiences each spring. Presented in partnership with the University of Illinois School of Music, Krannert Center, and the CUSO Guild, the annual CUSO Youth Concerts introduce the concert hall experience of live orchestral music to more than 3,000 children in grades K–5 from public, private, and home schools throughout the area.
Teachers and schools value the concerts as a way to enhance their music education program and inspire an appreciation for classical music in young children from all walks of life.
Due to the pandemic, CUSO was not able to perform the Youth Concerts in 2020–2022. We hope to resume live performances of the Youth Concerts in April of 2023. In the meantime, CUSO invites teachers and music lovers of all ages to enjoy performance videos from the April 2018 Youth Concert. Our thanks to Darrell Hoemann for recording the concert.


Join CUSO Music Director and Conductor Stephen Alltop as he introduces our young audience to the instrument families of the orchestra in “Meet the Orchestra,” a rousing performance video excerpt from the CUSO Youth Concert, “The Composer’s Toolbox,” performed at Krannert Center on April 9, 2018. The video features performances of “Les Toreadors” from Carmen Suite No. 1  by Georges Bizet and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1  by Edvard Grieg.


View the full concert and enjoy the delightful performance as Conductor Stephen Alltop opens “The Composer’s Toolbox” and invites us learn how the musical tools of melody, color, harmony, rhythm, imagination, and silence are used by composers. Along with several movements from Bizet’s Carmen and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, the orchestra performs Stacy Garrop’s exciting Blurrr for Orchestra. The Education Guide for the concert is available here.