The Sacramento Youth Symphony provided a lot of firsts for me. I was lucky to join at age 12 and spend 3 seasons there, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities it gave me. It was my first experience playing in a full symphony orchestra, my first time playing Principal Second Violin, my first solo with orchestra (Shostakovich violin concerto), my first European tour (Vienna), my first full year playing Concertmaster… it was a truly special and formative time. To this day, when I play pieces like Russlan and Ludmilla or Dvorak 8,
I’m instantly transported back to Hiram Johnson cafeteria.
Greetings from Cleveland, OH
Dear SYS, Happy 60th season! In middle and high school I played violin with SYS in the Academic (2000-2001) and Premier (2001-2004) orchestras. SYS rehearsals were my favorite time of the week, for the music and the communal experience of making it together. I still remember Michael Neumann's sage advice about being a good orchestra member, which turned out to be sage advice for being a good citizen and member of any team. While I no longer regularly play music, I do take every chance I get to watch the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra play in my current home city in Ohio. Their beautiful venue, Severance Hall, is just down the street from where I'm working on a PhD in Biomedical Engineering developing MRI technology. I love to bring friends to the orchestra, especially those who are experiencing classical music for the very first time. Learning to listen, to play, and to appreciate music was and continues to be a gift to my life and the SYS played a huge role in that. I'm eager to share with others whenever I can! -Anagha Deshmane
I spent all four years of high school (2010-2014) in SYS. I'm currently an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley and feel that my time in Symphony was enriching and rounded me out as a person, though I am not pursuing music at a level beyond recreational. Music is still a source of fun in my life today!
I played viola in the youth symphony during my middle and high school years from 2005-2010 or so. I am now a year out from graduating from Sonoma State with a Music Education degree, and have recently begun my first job as a church choir director. I am majoring in voice but I have recently come back to viola since Sonoma formed their new symphony orchestra and I was given a scholarship for lessons. SYS was my first experience with a large scale ensemble and was one of my major inspirations to become a teacher, after seeing what amazing things young musicians could do. I am incredibly grateful for the time I spent as a part of this organization, and for the versatility I now have as an adult with a strong background in both vocal and instrumental music. Keep doing great things for young students!
SYS Alumni 98'-02'
I played Violin for one year in the Academic Orchestra and three years in Premier. Even though I didn't continue a profession as a violinist I did continue as a performing artist. My experience in SYS gave me a huge advantage when it came to the real world and real work in the Entertainment Industry. SYS expected a level of professionalism that I wouldn't have been exposed to and influenced by at such a young age on any other platform. Not only that but the fond memories of the close friendships I made with my fellow musicians and experiences we went through will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm so grateful to have had the experience of being in the Sacramento Youth Symphony and I hope it continues to strive and give generations to come such an amazing platform for not only success as a Classical Musician but also in life in general. Last but not least, thank you Michael Newman for being a great teacher and mentor. Much Love.
My SYS Memories
Message I am a pastor now, living near Fort Wayne, IN. Although I don't play the bassoon anymore, I still do a lot of musical things. I sang in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for 3 seasons, and now sing with the Fort Wayne Bach Collegium. I also manage to find time to play the organ somewhat regularly. My years in the SYS were some of my most memorable. I still have close friends from the group even though it's been 30 years! Our trip to Vienna in 1984 was certainly the highlight. But above all, playing in a group like that provides the basis for a lifelong appreciation for music and performance.