• Stories

  • Noor Alramadan

    Noor Alramadan

    11 yrs old | cello, clarinet

    I wasn’t really a musician. I thought I would do sports, but after a while it felt good and I felt happy that I was learning to play music.

    Sofia Hashemi-Asasi

    17 yrs old | violin

    Her experience illustrates the symphony’s mission of enabling young musicians to perform classical pieces at an advanced level.

    Bruno Bello

    13 yrs old | cello

    As unlikely as it seems music can change your life a lot. It gives you confidence and it also gives you hope to know that if you really want something you can make it happen.

    Jonathan Piper


    One of the strongest lessons I learned from SDYS was personal responsibility. Show up to rehearsal on time, fully practiced, and ready to focus for however long the group needs you.

    Kirusha Lanski

    14 yrs old | percussion

    Meeting and playing with people who are more experienced musicians than I am inspires me to work even harder in achieving my music and academic goals

    Susan Lee

    12 yrs old | violin

    Studying music has helped me with school because it teaches you to concentrate really well. I’m not really sure about my future, but I do know that math and music will definitely be a part of it.

    Sophie Graf


    The point of an orchestra is to explore all of the rich textures available in classical music. You, as an individual instrumentalist, are just one texture in this vast array.

    Flora Li

    18 yrs old | violin

    I love music because it is a way for me to express my feelings freely. I have been involved in musical activities for over half of my life, and it has become a part of me.

    Alex Wong


    It’s always amazing to me that no matter where you’re from or what language you speak, music is universal.

    Greg Hix

    piano, french horn

    Working personally with him (Yo-Yo Ma) was sort of a trip to be honest. His brain is always, ALWAYS thinking of how to tweak musical ideas- whether it was phrasing, dynamics, seating, dress etc. He seems to exist a few seconds in the future at all times.

    Tanya Solomon


    My advice to younger musicians is to learn how to play (and get along) with a section. This skill helps you learn to work with others, which is helpful in whatever career you choose.

    Janet Hwu


    My musical upbringing taught me diligence and patience. Also, it helped me put fear into perspective, as nothing is as scary as playing solo in front of a large group of people.

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    San Diego Youth Symphony