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John-Michael Brooks | First Assistant Principal Chair

Endowed Merit Scholarship

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.



Recipients of the John-Michael Brooks First Assistant Principal Chair Scholarship:

Dasha Zerboni - 2021Esther Jung (Sept-Dec); Mia Redelings (Jan-June) - 2019
Janice Hu - 2020Elizabeth Guanuna – 2018
San Diego Youth Symphony