Give Us Feedback!


Kirsten Williams playing the violin

Kirsten Williams, CSO Concertmaster (Image: Martin Ollman)

The Canberra Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra (CSYCO) is a performance enrichment program for enthusiastic string players aged 12 to 19 who have reached an advanced level on their instruments.

CSYCO is a unique opportunity for young musicians to rehearse and perform alongside CSO Concertmaster Kirsten Williams. Unlike a larger youth orchestra, CSYCO is an unconducted ensemble for 15–20 musicians; all participants receive specialised training and mentorship in solo, chamber and orchestral playing, musicianship and building professional skills. CSYCO welcomes musicians aspiring to professional performance as well as advanced players pursuing other career paths.


  • Exciting performance opportunities including recitals and community outreach
  • Workshops and masterclasses with Jessica Cottis, CSO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, CSO musicians and high profile guest artists
  • Behind the scenes access and special pricing for CSO events



  • Ages 12–19 in 2023
  • Minimum instrument level of AMEB Grade 7 or equivalent



The CSYCO program runs weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the 2023 school term (participants are allocated to either the Tuesday or Wednesday ensemble). Rehearsals run from 5pm to 6.30pm, followed by a 30-minute performance class (6.30pm–7pm). CSYCO will present two concerts in 2023 in the final week of Terms 2 and 4.

Participants must regularly attend rehearsals and participate in at least three performance classes per term as a performer or audience member. All participants must perform in performance class at least once per term.

Term 1, 2023: 13 February – 28 March
Term 2, 2023: 2 May – 13 June
Term 3, 2023: 18 July – 5 September
Term 4, 2023: 10 October – 28 November

CSYCO is an extension program designed to build on existing learning – students already participating in school and community-based ensemble/orchestral programs are expected to continue in these programs. CSYCO participants are also expected to have a private instrumental teacher. There is no requirement to study with a specific teacher to be a member of CSYCO.

Download CSYCO 2023 handbook [PDF 2MB]


The participation fee for 2023 is $595.00 plus GST.

A limited number of scholarship places will be offered to students facing financial barriers to participation


CSYCO is part of the broader Kingsland Pathways Program for emerging artists, made possible by the CSO’s generous philanthropic community. The CSO gratefully acknowledges the significant contributions of:

Founding donors – The late Sir Richard & the late Lady Kingsland & family
Dr Stephen & Susan Dyer
Ross Kingsland AM & Sue Kingsland
Paul & Jan Kriedemann
The late Marjorie Lindenmayer
Deborah McMillan
Ingrid Mitchell
Bruce Neindorf
Margaret Oates
RA Philip Spedding AM & Karen Spedding
Arnis Stonis
Roger and Maxeme Tall
Anonymous (1)

To support the Kingsland Pathways Program or learn more about the impact of philanthropic giving, please contact Sally Walker, Philanthropy Manager, via or call the CSO on 02 6247 9191 during business hours.

Delivered in collaboration with the Australian National University as part of a shared, long-term commitment to artistic excellence in the nation’s capital.

Australian National University logo


For more information, email