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Organization has launched a national executive search for Smith’s replacement

San Diego, CA – June 7, 2018 – San Diego Youth Symphony & Conservatory’s (SDYS)’ Board of Directors is saddened to announce that its president and CEO, Dalouge Smith, will be stepping down on July 29 to accept a new position as CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music. Amber Weber, SDYS’ current Deputy Director, will be appointed Acting President/CEO upon Dalouge’s departure while the Board of Directors conducts a national executive search for a new President and CEO.

“Dalouge leaves SDYS in robust financial and operational health as the organization executes on its ambitious mission and programs,” said Ernest Smith, SDYS’ Board Chair.  “Under Dalouge’s leadership over the past 13 years, SDYS has cemented its reputation as one of the nation’s most highly reputed music education institutions.”

Dalouge’s accomplishments include:

  • Establishing SDYS as one of the most innovative and forward-looking arts organizations in the United States
  • Restoring music and arts education to over 40,000 children through SDYS’ Opus, school, and community partnerships.
  • Serving over 2500 young musicians in SDYS’ Conservatory Program
  • Diversifying the musician representation in SDYS’ Conservatory while advancing the ensembles’ musicianship.
  • Initiating new music and cognition research that is expanding the understanding and impact music learning has on brain and language development

“We sincerely thank Dalouge for his strong leadership and we wish him the best of luck in his new role,” said Jeff Edmons, SDYS’ Music Director and a 22-year veteran of the organization. “He leaves SDYS in a position of strength as we continue to expand our mission and the impact we have on the lives of our students, their families and the community.”

“SDYS is a visionary organization with an inspiring mission. It’s been my privilege and honor supporting our amazing young musicians and helping expand music opportunities for thousands more,” said Dalouge Smith. “With its award-winning board of directors, talented and committed staff, and large family of donors and partners – I have every confidence that SDYS will continue to expand its programs and impact.”

SDYS has a 72-year history of setting the region’s highest standards for excellence in music education through its Conservatory Programs. The Community Programs are the focal point of SDYS’ commitment to building community support for student achievement through music.

About the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory

Established in 1946, The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) is the 6th oldest continuously operating youth symphony in the United States, serving over 600 beginning through advanced and pre-professional students annually in 12 orchestras and ensembles.  SDYS has been under the direction of Dalouge Smith, President and CEO for over 10 years, and Jeff Edmons, Music Director, for over 20 years. Performances at world-class venues including Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall and California Center for the Arts in Escondido provide opportunities for San Diegans to witness the talent and dedication found in our local young musicians as they hone their performance skills.

In addition to its conservatory programs based in Balboa Park, SDYS is a nationally recognized leader in music education advocacy.  Driven by a vision of accessible and affordable music education for all, SDYS has been instrumental in the return of major arts and music education funding and programs to public schools throughout San Diego County.   Through SDYS’ growing collaborations with parents, educators, researchers, and community partners, SDYS strives for an educational system in which every young person inspired by the art and rigor of making music embodies a future rich with hope, joy, and the rewards of personal achievement and community involvement.

For more information, contact:

Anji Taylor
Communications Coordinator
619-233-3232 ext. 190

San Diego Youth Symphony