Endowed Merit Scholarships

At San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory we ensure that every student with the desire to participate in our programs is given the opportunity. This season, the Board of Directors has awarded nearly $125,000 in scholarships for students in financial need and for exceptional merit. These scholarships are underwritten by generous donors with a passion for guaranteeing every student can take the path of personal success that comes with the study of music.

We extend our appreciation to these individuals and groups of donors for their generous commitment to student success and invite you to add your support to this essential scholarship effort by contacting SDYS Development Coordinator Terry Williams, at twilliams@sdys.org or call 619-233-3232 x160.

Jeffrey Dan Sollender | Concertmaster Chair

Dotti and Joel Sollender met in New York City in 1957 and built their life together providing their sons, Jeffrey and Jonathan, with culture, adventure and love. Jeffrey’s tragic passing in December 2002 at the age of 42 left a hole in the world around him. For Dotti and Joel, their mourning became a commitment to carrying on Jeffrey’s legacy of building the future. We are honored that they found in the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory the perfect home for honoring their son.

When they decided to endow the Concertmaster Chair in Jeffrey’s name, Dotti and Joel saw Jeffrey’s legacy alive before them. They recognized the combination of excellence and independence that Jeffrey exemplified throughout his life in this important orchestral position. They also saw in the Youth Symphony the promise for a future that Jeffrey worked to create for the benefit of everyone.

Recipients of the Jeffrey Dan Sollender Concert Master Chair Scholarship:

Erica Hwang & Daniel Rim – 2016Corrie Bunnell – 2009
Sofia Hashemi-Asasi – 2015Andy Leu – 2008
Flora Li – 2014Michael Shen – 2007
Jasmine Wang – 2013Miren Edelstein – 2006
Jarvis Chang – 2012Michael Viscardi – 2005
Carolyn Lee – 2011Lisa Kim – 2004
Corrie Bunnell – 2010Sophia Arriga – 2003

Maurice Kawashima | Associate Concertmaster Chair

Maurice Kawashima established this endowed scholarship to invest in his dual passions of classical music and aspiring talent. Maurice is a native of Japan who came to the United States as a student. He had a prolific career in the New York and Tokyo fashion industry before retiring to San Diego. This annual scholarship is awarded to a leading violin student in the San Diego Youth Symphony Orchestra for their participation in the orchestra and advanced chamber music. We extend our thanks to Maurice for his wonderful generosity.

Recipients of the Maurice Kawashima Associate Concert Master Chair Scholarship:

Ilana Hirschfeld – 2016Carolyn Lee – 2010
Allan Huang – 2015Janet Jeong – 2009
Sofia Hashemi-Asasi – 2014Corrie Bunnell and John Michael Brooks, co-recipients – 2008
Flora Li – 2013
Jasmine Y. Wang – 2012
Jarvis Chang – 2011

John-Michael Brooks | First Assistant Principal Chair

John-Michael Brooks, 27, passed away unexpectedly in February 2018. John-Michael was an active member of the Youth Symphony for nine years (2000 – 2009). He was a 2008 recipient of the Maurice Kawashima Associate Concertmaster Chair scholarship. At the age of 5, John-Michael began his violin studies in both fiddle style and classical music. He attended the San Diego School of Performing and Creative Arts, where for four consecutive years his peers voted him the Ludwig Van Beethoven Award for Musician of the Year. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2013 and was invited back to the Youth Symphony for its 70th-anniversary celebration trip to China.

John-Michael leaves behind his loving father, Michael R. Brooks and stepdad, Dan M. Gilbreath. In honor of the many contributions that the Youth Symphony has made to John-Michael’s love and accomplished performance of music and to honor their son, taken from us far too soon, Michael and Dan have endowed this scholarship fund which underwrites tuition for the First Assistant Principal of the SDYS Symphony Orchestra, a position that was held by John-Michael.

Marvin Levine | Principal Viola Chair

Marvin Levine made SDYS and our aspiring musicians his primary community cause immediately upon hearing the Symphony Orchestra perform in 2002. With Reinette, his wife of 58 years by his side, Marvin made every SDYS concert a celebration of talent, hope and future. We are honored by a generous bequest that supports the principal viola chair of our Symphony Orchestra in Marvin’s memory.

Recipients of the Marvin Levine Principal Viola Chair Scholarship:

Emily Pilkington – 2017Nathan Rim – 2016

Inge Manes | Principal Bassoon Chair

nge Manes was a wonderful champion of the arts and music education; she has left a lasting impression on the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory with her enthusiasm for our students and her belief in the transformative power of classical music in young musicians’ lives. In the spring of 2010 Inge passed away and we are enormously honored that her husband Peter is memorializing her passion for student music by endowing this scholarship chair in her name. This annual scholarship will be awarded to a leading bassoon student in the San Diego Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Recipients of the Inge Manes Principal Bassoonist Chair Scholarship:

Max Jiang – 2016
Max Jiang – 2015
Michael Lamar – 2014
Michael Lamar – 2013
Alexander Wells – 2012
Alexander Wells – 2011
Amber Crowe – 2010

Carson Kemp Memorial Scholarship

image01-1-238x300In the spring of 2007, the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory family lost violinist Carson Kemp. She was a vibrant and social sixteen year-old who excelled in music, academics, and sports. She shared her beautiful smile with everyone and displayed her musical talents as a member of San Diego Youth Symphony and the Philharmonia. Carson also served as the concertmaster for the University City High School orchestra.

In Carson’s memory, her mother Andrea Schwartz, established the Carson Kemp Memorial Fund to provide an annual scholarship support to a student in the Youth Symphony who mirrors Carson’s range of interests and outgoing personality. Carson’s mother and San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory wish to thank everyone who helped establish this scholarship.

Recipients of the Carson Kemp Memorial Scholarship:

Amanda Martin – 2018Rachel Hsieh – 2013
Isabel Garcia – 2017Jennifer Chang – 2011
Christian Gonzales – 2016Julia Schorn – 2010
Jiayue Li – 2015Diane Jeon – 2009
Oscar Tapia – 2014Lauren Swann – 2008
Janet Jeong – 2007

Chelsea King French Horn Chair

image00-3-237x300In 2010, the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory family was saddened by the sudden tragic loss of French horn player Chelsea King. To ensure that Chelsea’s love of music and amazing personality will be remembered forever, the SDYS Board of Trustees has established the Chelsea King Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide an annual scholarship to the second chair French horn player who demonstrates the joy for life that Chelsea shared with us all during her time as an SDYS student. Chelsea was a source of positivity and light to everyone that knew her. She was an outstanding musician and individual. Through this scholarship, we hope that her impact will continue to be felt by many for years to come.

Recipients of Chelsea King French Horn Chair Scholarship:

Jamie Pfauth – 2015Patrick Chesnut – 2012
Jamie Pfauth – 2014Andie Waterman – 2011
Patrick Chesnut – 2013David Ryan – 2010

San Diego Youth Symphony