Sidney is the Associate Director of Conservatory Programs with the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. Sidney’s programming has been extremely influential in music and arts education across San Diego. With commitment and perseverance, he continues to create a positive impact through his passion for music.
- How did you first get involved with the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory?
I finished grad school at Baltimore in May of 2012, and was looking to move to San Diego. I had applied for a position here with the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS), but didn’t get the job. A year later, a month before I was about to more here, I emailed them asking if they had any knowledge of open jobs in the area, and it just so happened to be that they did! So I interviewed, got the job, moved to San Diego, and have been here since.
- What do you like most about working in programming?
With programming, the sky’s the limit. If you come up with an idea and you want to make it happen, nothing can truly stop you. With perseverance and resource support, programming has the ability to create change. For example, one of our larger programs, the Community Opus Program in Chula Vista, was created after we realized that there was a need for programs in different parts of San Diego for children who were underprivileged. Many of the students in this program do not have access to transportation, instruments, or music classes. The impact the Opus Program has had in Chula Vista has been so successful, that the school district decided to bring back arts and music classes at Chula Vista schools. This means that more than 30,000 students now have arts and music available to them from the effect of our program.
- What aspect of working in music education appeals to you most?
Music and arts in general allow people to connect through a common passion. They remove a bias because no matter who you are, where you are from, you are share a commonality through the artform. Music education, especially here at SDYS, teaches children to look at things without a colored lens.
- Any advice for encountering a new situation or challenge at work?
I think it’s important not to take things personally at work. People have a tendency to bring difficult situations home with them and this starts to affect both your home life. I think it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, your challenges or obstacles at work end there, and it’s time for yourself, your friends, and your family.
- What do you like to do outside of working here in the Park?
I am the Board President of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, and am very passionate and involved with everything we do there. I started as a singer in 2016 and really loved how involved we are in the community and the feeling of unity it provides, which led me to get more involved. I have a huge passion for the chorus and the 50+ outreach performances we do a year.
- Favorite song or TV Show?
There is so many, but currently, my favorite song is Michael Buble’s rendition of Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind”. I would even say it’s better than the original! As for my favorite TV Show, I have currently been really into TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers”, they’re hilarious!
- What is your favorite summertime activity in San Diego?
It has to be a tie between the beach and the pool. My go-to beach is Pacific Beach, but for scenery, I like either Coronado or Del Mar.
- If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
I would probably want to be a bird because you have the ability to see anything you want without the surrounding noise of going there.
- What is your favorite spot in Balboa Park?
Bea Evenson fountain at twilight, because to one side you can see the pinks and purples of the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and to the other, the sunset and the lights of the California Tower.