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San Diego Youth Symphony’s Talented Young Musicians Pay Tribute to Music Educators with Concerts at Copley Symphony Hall

Crystal Pridmore, of Finney Elementary, and Serafin Paredes, of Memorial Preparatory Academy, receive 24th Annual Profile in Music Education Awards; Free Admission Offered to All Music Educators

Music Educators Request Free Concert Tickets Here

Coinciding with National Music in Our Schools month, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) presents their 24th annual Celebration of Music Education concerts on Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, April 19, paying tribute to hundreds of outstanding music educators throughout the county. As the region’s largest non-profit provider of ensemble-based music education programs, SDYS has advocated for performing arts curriculum and funding, with a special emphasis on in-school music learning opportunities, for almost 75 years.

Featuring performances by 12 large ensembles and orchestras, the concerts will also host winners of SDYS’ annual Concerto Competition as featured soloists, backed by their own orchestras.

The Celebration of Music Education concerts highlight the positive impact that performing arts programs, particularly in music, have on the lives of students, families, and communities.

Two outstanding music educators will be specifically honored with the youth symphony’s Profiles in Music Education Award at the opening of the concerts, and all San Diego county music educators are invited to attend the concerts free of charge by requesting tickets.

“So many of our more than 700 students are also involved in their school music programs, as well as private lessons – they are served not just by SDYS but by a community of dedicated teaching professionals who are making a positive difference in the lives of thousands of students across the county,” explains Jeff Edmons, Music Director at SDYS.  “This year’s two Profiles in Music Education award recipients represent some of the very best teaching talent in the region.”

Crystal Pridmore, PreK-6th Grade General Music Teacher at Finney Elementary in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, is the recipient of the 2019 CMEA Southern Border Section Elementary Music Specialist Fortissimo Award, and was a Grammy semi-finalist in 2020. She holds a BA in Music Education and an MA in teaching from Point Loma Nazarene University, and a California single subject teaching credential in music. She frequently performs throughout San Diego as a soloist and choir member and is the creator and co-host of the Chaotic Harmony podcast, chronicling the reestablishment of music programs in Chula Vista Elementary School District after a 30-year absence of arts education.

Serafin Paredes has been a music educator in the San Diego Unified School District since 1999.  He is currently developing the music program at Memorial Preparatory Academy for Scholars and Athletes, and serves as the Mariachi Director at the University of San Diego. He has been the director of the La Jolla Music Society’s Community Music Center, a free after school music program, for 18 years.  In 2002, he founded Mariachi Juvenil De San Diego, focusing on encouraging and supporting students to finish high school and continue in higher education; members have attended universities such as the University of San Francisco, Stanford University, University of San Diego and George Mason University.

Both Mrs. Pridmore and Mr. Paredes are passionately dedicated to bringing the joy and benefits of music education to students throughout the county.  “I sincerely believe that high-quality, early, and inclusive arts education has the power to change the course of children’s lives,” shares Mrs. Pridmore. “Every child, regardless of socio-economic background or ability level, deserves the chance to joyfully participate in making music as a regular part of their school day.”

Mr. Paredes also strives to encourage and support students so that they finish high school and continue into higher education. “Some of the most important benefits that music students receive include self-discipline, self-expression, and creativity,” explains Mr. Paredes. He believes his role in the classroom has real impact:  “Being a music teacher is one of the best ways to inspire students to live their dreams and to show them that they can do anything they set their minds to.”

Performing at the March 15, 6pm concert as a featured soloist, Lilian Franqui, a 7th grader at Pacific Beach Middle School, won the intermediate level SDYS Concerto Competition this past fall with her performance of the first movement of Haydn’s Concerto in G Major. She will perform the piece at Symphony Hall backed by SDYS’ Sinfonia advanced-intermediate orchestra.

Susan Lee, winner of the pre-professional level SDYS Concerto Competition, is a junior at Canyon Crest Academy.  She will perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op.63 in its entirety at the April 19, 4pm concert, backed by SDYS’ Chamber Orchestra.

Concert Details

San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s 24th Celebration of Music Education Concerts at Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall

Sunday, March 15, 2020, 1pm & 6pm
1pm: Inspiration Program Concert: featuring beginning ensembles
6pm: Showcase Program Concert: featuring intermediate ensembles and orchestras with student soloist Lilian Franqui and award presentation to Crystal Pridmore

Sunday, April 19, 2020, 4pm
Ovation Program Concert: featuring pre-professional orchestras with student soloist Susan Lee and award presentation to Serafin Paredes

San Diego Youth Symphony