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Dear SDYS Families,

This week, longtime Music Director Jeff Edmons announced his plans to retire from SDYS effective August 15, 2021. Mr. Edmons is stepping down for health reasons and he has asked me, and the rest of the SDYS family, to please understand and honor that decision and he wants you all to know how very difficult it was for him to make that decision. He told us “I am so proud of this organization and everything it does for young people across San Diego and beyond. Sadly, I am just not able to undertake the physical demands of the position any longer.” Knowing Mr. Edmons, it is not hard to imagine that, after twenty-five years dedicating his life to a generation of young musicians and to San Diego’s music education community, how considered a choice this must have been.

I know you’ll want to join me in thanking Mr. Edmons for his dedication, service, and extraordinary work as Music Director for the last 25 years. Mr. Edmons’ contribution to this organization leaves a significant legacy for us to build upon and it is the SDYS team’s honor and privilege to carry it forward. Since joining SDYS in 1996, Jeff has focused his career on helping young people excel and experience joy through music. Highlights include expanding our Conservatory Program to 13 ensembles, ranging from beginners to pre-professionals; contributing to the creation of the Community Opus Project, a partnership with the Chula Vista Elementary School District, expanding access to music education to students who previously did not have the opportunity to study music; leading multiple international tours with SDYS students, including the China tour for SDYS’ 70th anniversary, and much more.

We are planning some special opportunities to thank him, share feelings and memories, and celebrate his many milestones and accomplishments. I will keep you posted on that as plans develop.

While Mr. Edmons’ departure leaves us without a Music Director, the rest of the SDYS Conducting Team is ready to ensure that you have an outstanding music education experience this coming season. We don’t anticipate any major changes to the Prelude, Inspirational, or Showcase programs as plans for those have been in place for many months. If you are a new Ovation family this year, we are planning an exciting series of guest conductors and look forward to sharing more information with you about that in the coming weeks.

As always, if you have questions, please reach out to me or any member of the SDYS team. We’re here to ensure that your children’s music education experience remains best-in-class. You’ll receive placements this evening and we look forward to an exciting season of in-person music-making.

Dr. Michael Remson
President and CEO

San Diego Youth Symphony