Dalouge Smith, President and CEO
Dalouge Smith is in his 10th season leading San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. He has overseen development of SDYS’ vision to “make music education accessible and affordable for all students.” In pursuit of this vision, Dalouge has transformed SDYS into a community instigator for restoring and strengthening music education in schools. SDYS has expanded its work beyond music programs to include measurement, partnerships, community awareness, and community action.
Along with using its flagship orchestras and ensembles in pursuit of its vision, in 2010 SDYS launched its first community music program inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema. In early 2013, SDYS’ school district partner, Chula Vista Elementary School District, announced its commitment to return music education to all 45 of its campuses and all 29,000 of its students. At the beginning of 2014, the District was one of only two districts nationwide to become a new VH1 Save the Music Foundation grantee.
San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory received the 2012 national Grand Prize Prudential Leadership Award for Exceptional Nonprofit Boards from Board Source for its organizational transformation and impact on the community.
Dalouge has served as a national leader in the U.S. El Sistema movement since co-founding the National El Sistema Network in December 2010 and convening the first summit of El Sistema inspired programs in 2011. He has been a featured speaker at the LA Phil’s past three El Sistema conferences, writes annually for The Ensemble, the U.S. El Sistema newsletter, and serves on the Advisory Board of Sistema Global. SDYS’ Community Opus Project is the first El Sistema project to be featured in Grantmakers for the Arts “Reader.”
Additionally, Dalouge is highly regarded as an arts advocacy leader. Dalouge serves on the board of California Arts Advocates and was founding President of Californians for the Arts. He was Chairman of the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition for eight years until the end of 2010. Dalouge speaks regularly on the community impact of the arts and importance of arts education at local events as well as state and national conferences. His guest editorials and radio appearances highlight the importance of the arts, as does his arts advocacy blog “Dog Days” at the national website artsjournal.com.
Dalouge received the 1st Annual Herbert G. Klein Visionary Award for Exemplary Leadership from LEADSan Diego and was also named one of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s 2006 “40 Under 40” young leaders.
Dalouge previously served as Associate Director of Mainly Mozart in San Diego and Production Stage Manager at Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado. Dalouge earned a Bachelor of Arts in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA and worked as a child actor in professional regional theatre productions through high school. Dalouge and his wife Sue Ann are the proud parents of their son Wright, a sophomore at Harvard University.