The Symphony Orchestra (SO) has existed 53 years with Dr. Robert Chesebro as Conductor and Musical Director for 25 years. Upon retirement, Dr. Chesebro assumed the role of Artistic Director for the Symphony until Dr. Leslie Hicken, of Furman University, took over as Conductor and Artistic Director and Dr. Chesebro was named Conductor Emeritus.
CYS exists to provide experience and instruction to advanced young musicians who perform the standard orchestral repertory, usually in original editions. Wind players are often required to transpose at sight, and additional clef reading is a requirement for most members. Advanced members of the Symphony Orchestra are chosen by the Director to participate in a Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, which performs in conjunction with the SO in formal concerts throughout the year.