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Alumni Stories

Learn about what our alumni are up to now and what they gained from learning music and being a member of SDYS!

Jonathan Piper

tuba

One of the strongest lessons I learned from SDYS was personal responsibility. Show up to rehearsal on time, fully practiced, and ready to focus for however long the group needs you.

Sophie Graf

harp

The point of an orchestra is to explore all of the rich textures available in classical music. You, as an individual instrumentalist, are just one texture in this vast array.

Flora Li

18 yrs old | violin

I love music because it is a way for me to express my feelings freely. I have been involved in musical activities for over half of my life, and it has become a part of me.

Alex Wong

viola

It’s always amazing to me that no matter where you’re from or what language you speak, music is universal.

Greg Hix

piano, french horn

Working personally with him (Yo-Yo Ma) was sort of a trip to be honest. His brain is always, ALWAYS thinking of how to tweak musical ideas- whether it was phrasing, dynamics, seating, dress etc. He seems to exist a few seconds in the future at all times.

Tanya Solomon

violin

My advice to younger musicians is to learn how to play (and get along) with a section. This skill helps you learn to work with others, which is helpful in whatever career you choose.

Janet Hwu

violin

My musical upbringing taught me diligence and patience. Also, it helped me put fear into perspective, as nothing is as scary as playing solo in front of a large group of people.

Jessica Reinis

flute

I adored playing Principal Flute in SDYS my senior year of high school. There was a lot of pressure with college applications and conservatory audition tapes, but leading the flute section was my fantasy all through high school and I had to pinch myself that whole year when it finally became a reality.

San Diego Youth Symphony