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Youth Concerts


Educators and students are invited to join Music Director & Conductor Stephen Alltop and CUSO for an interactive, educational concert in the Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center. Each concert is approximately 50 minutes long.

“Playing with Style”

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 • 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 • 10:00 a.m.



Music comes in many styles from many places. The 2023 Youth Concerts of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra will explore the wide range of musical styles, from Renaissance to Ragtime and Romantic to Rock ‘n’ Roll. This fun and interactive program features Matthew Naughtin’s Birthday Variations, a clever piece that uses the familiar tune “Happy Birthday” in lots of different “costumes.”

Students will learn as they listen to a complete array of musical styles, including Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, Ragtime, Blues, Latin, and Rock—and participate in a “Musical Matching Game” by identifying each style they hear played by the orchestra.

SCOTT JOPLIN: Pineapple Rag
IGNACIO SANCHO arr. NICOLA SARACENI CANZANO: Duchess of Devonshire’s Reel (Rondo) (excerpt from Suite)
SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Allegro moderato (excerpt from Four Novelletten)
MATTHEW NAUGHTIN: Birthday Variations
Teachers who would like to register for the April 2023 Youth Concerts can get more details by downloading the poster.

The CUSO Youth Concerts provide elementary school students in Champaign County a live symphonic musical experience in the Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. More than 3,000 area students attend these concerts every year, and the popular concert series draws students from a 50-mile radius. Participating teachers also receive an Educator’s Guide and recordings for pre-concert study in the classroom to help enhance their students’ concert experience and musical education.

The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra first performed the Youth Concerts (known then as Young People’s Concerts and KinderKonzerts) in 1964. Early on, the concerts were in Foellinger Auditorium, but their popularity necessitated a move first to the Assembly Hall and then to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, where the performances have been held since 1975.

The CUSO recognizes the importance of engaging future generations with classical music. The Youth Concerts are a critical part of the CUSO’s mission and an opportunity we are proud to provide. The CUSO Youth Concerts are produced by the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Guild of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the University of Illinois School of Music Office of Public Engagement, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information about registering for the 2023 CUSO Youth Concerts, teachers and administrators can visit the University of Illinois School of Music website at: