University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Hyde Park Youth Symphony Records 1978-2006

© 2008 University of Chicago Library


Preservation of this collection was supported with a generous gift from the University of Chicago Service League.

Descriptive Summary


Hyde Park Youth Symphony. Records




3 linear feet (5 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


This is a collection of the administrative records of the Hyde Park Youth Symphony. The records of the Symphony include administrative, budget, and fund raising material arranged by year, dating back to 1983. Also included are recordings of concerts, newspaper clippings and a scrapbook of photographs and programs.

Information on Use


Donor permission required for access.

Audio and video recordings in Series I are restricted due to the need for re-formatting and playback equipment.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Hyde Park Youth Symphony. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The Hyde Park Youth Symphony has its antecedents in the 1950s when the living room of Claire Depres Oppenheim became too small to contain the chamber ensemble of her string students. Oppenheim, a Hyde Park resident for most of her life, began teaching string and piano lessons in the neighborhood during the 1940s. In October of 1955, Oppenheim and a group of interested Hyde Park parents started the Children's Symphony Orchestra of Chicago, directed by Charles R. Buckley. Oppenheim later went on to found two additional groups, which merged to become what is known today as the Hyde Park Youth Symphony. First, the Hyde Park Youth Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1971 and formally incorporated in 1978. Later, Oppenheim launched a third group, the Youth String Sinfonia, in 1982. These two groups merged in 1984 to form the Hyde Park Youth Sinfonia. 'Sinfonia' was changed to 'Symphony' in 1995, a year after Claire's death at the age of 84.

According to an announcement on a website about youth arts opportunities in Hyde Park: “The Hyde Park Youth Symphony is a community of youth orchestra for string, woodwind, and brass players from private, public and parochial elementary and high schools on the South Side. The Symphony provides opportunities for young musicians to play in an ensemble under the instruction of a skilled conductor and professional coaches. The Symphony’s two junior ensembles accommodate advanced beginner players; intermediate and advanced players find appropriate challenges in the repertoire of the senior symphony.”

Scope Note

This collection consists of two series. Series I, Audio Visual, Artifacts, and History is arranged alphabetically. This series contains recordings of Hyde Park Youth Symphony concerts from 2001-2006 on compact disks, audio cassette tapes, and video cassette tapes. Also included are newspaper clippings and historical materials concerning the Symphony and its founder Claire Depres Oppenheim. A scrapbook containing programs and photographs from concerts in 1984 through 1991 is also located in this series.

Series II, Chronological Files, is arranged chronologically, beginning with 1983 and continuing through 2006. This series contains the administrative records of the Hyde Park Youth Symphony. Materials found in these files include meeting minutes and agendas, event invitations, programs, membership lists, budgets, fundraising information, and correspondence.

Related Resources

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Subject Headings


Series I: Audio-Visual Material, Artifacts and Historical Writings

Box 1   Folder 1

Articles of Incorporation, 1978-1993

Box 1   Folder 2

Concert recordings, compact disks, 2001-2003

Box 1   Folder 3

Concert recordings, audio cassette tape, 2003

Box 1   Folder 4

Concert recordings, video cassette tape, 2006

Box 1   Folder 5

History of Hyde Park Youth Symphony and founder Claire Depres Oppenheim, 1983-2003

Box 1   Folder 6

Publicity, newspaper clippings, 1984-1994

Box 2   Folder 1

Scrapbook, concert programs and photographs, 1984-1991

Series II: Chronological File

Box 3   Folder 1


Box 3   Folder 2


Box 3   Folder 3


Box 3   Folder 4


Box 3   Folder 5


Box 3   Folder 6


Box 4   Folder 1


Box 4   Folder 2


Box 4   Folder 3


Box 4   Folder 4


Box 4   Folder 5


Box 4   Folder 6


Box 4   Folder 7


Box 4   Folder 8


Box 4   Folder 9


Box 5   Folder 1


Box 5   Folder 2


Box 5   Folder 3


Box 5   Folder 4


Box 5   Folder 5


Box 5   Folder 6


Box 5   Folder 7


Box 5   Folder 8