The Center for Gifted Young Musicians (CGYM) provides a challenging package of musical training at the highest level and performance opportunities for gifted young instrumentalists during the fall and spring semesters of the University’s academic calendar. All string ensembles meet on Saturday afternoons.

Our distinguished CGYM faculty/artists are notated on the Music Prep faculty page.

Come and Be Heard 

Established in 1986, the CGYM program is focused on providing string students with a professional yet nurturing atmosphere to develop both their technical skills and their love of music. While not every student may be working towards a career in performance, they are all serious about their commitment to music. This program helps shape their understanding of all that is needed to surpass the challenges of such an advanced art form and enjoy a fulfilling musical life. 

Working on notable chamber music repertoire with some of Philadelphia’s finest professional musicians, our young musicians are guided and motivated to achieve the highest level of performance. Participating in the CGYM chamber orchestras develops the skills required for orchestral playing in a group small enough to be individually heard. The feeling of community generated by an intimate group of like-minded students is invaluable. 

Ensembles and Opportunities

Group shot of students with string instruments standing on risers
CGYM Students in Reykjavík, Iceland

Icelandic Cultural Exchange 

The Youth Chamber Orchestra participates in a cultural exchange with the Tónskóli Sigursveins D. Kristinssonar in Reykjavík, Iceland and has traveled there in 2015, 2017, and most recently in June of 2019.  Preliminary plans for a return to Iceland are in discussion.  The Icelandic students have visited Philadelphia in 2014, 2016, and 2019. 


The Jasper String Quartet, recipient of Chamber Music America’s prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, is our professional quartet-in-residence and provides the CGYM students with valuable insights into career building and performance.

Audition Information 

Virtual Audition Deadline: August 30, 2021. In-Person auditions may be scheduled for September 11, 2021.

Spots in the CGYM 2021-2022 Season are still available! Submit Your Application Before September 10th. 

​Students who participated in previous seasons of CGYM but NOT in the 2020-2021 season must audition as a new student. 

Students who participated in the 2020-2021 Virtual Chamber Music Intensive are not required to re-audition and should email for the 2021-2022 questionnaire. 

Important Dates 

Placement Auditions and In-Person New Student Auditions: September 11

Rehearsals and Master Classes are on Saturday afternoons from October 2 through May 7.
Rehearsals will not take place on November 27, December 25, January 1, 8, 15, and April 16.  

Concerts and Dress Rehearsals

Dress Rehearsals immediately precedes each performance.

CPO Chamber Music Ensembles
December 12 at 2:00pm, Rock Hall Auditorium 

YCO Small Ensembles
December 12 at 4:00pm, Rock Hall Auditorium 

All Chamber Orchestras
December 18 at 4:00pm, Temple Performing Arts Center

CPO Small Ensembles
April 29 at 7:30pm, Rock Hall Auditorium 

YCO Small Ensembles
May 6 at 7:30pm, Rock Hall Auditorium 

Singular Strings - All Non-YCO Orchestras
May 7 at 2:00pm, Temple Performing Arts Center

YCO Gala Concert
May 7 at 7:30pm, Temple Performing Arts Center