Classical Music for the New Generation – Shaping the Future of Music

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Rob Hill

Hi all! My name is Rob Hill and I use to play in the SFYS back in 87 to 88 I want to say. I was in 9th grade at the time and played in the percussion section. Mrs.Hahn was the conductor at the time and her daughter Hillary played violin while I was there. We went to Southwood Jr high. Does anyone have any audio or videos of those performances? That was a wonderful time in my life and I was so proud that and many of my relatives came all the way to NY to see us perform. It was truly an experience that I and my family will never forget. I just remember how everyone was dedicated to making us the best we could be. The parents that drove us there, the staff, the section leader and all the musicians in the group were great and we practiced about 3 hours every Sunday plus playing in our jr high or high school music programs. We sure had some solid talent in the group! Enjoy music, support it, support children who want to play the drums,,,LOL! Music is transcendent!

Percussion 1987, 1988

Betsy Wharton Crittenden

I ultimately attended Miami Dade College on a music scholarship, but unfortunately did not complete my studies or go on to a career in music. I live in North Carolina, and have been a paralegal for the last 35 years.

Clarinet 1968, 1969

Giovanni Garcia

The opportunity to perform music in various venues and in front of different audiences was an incredible training for my future endeavors- audition for UM, playing with Frank Sinatra Jr., FGO, Miami Symphony, etc. Thank you for the memories.

French Horn 2000, 1999, 1998

Robert Schrager

I have too many great memories to even list! I played violin and later viola under Peter Fuchs and Marjorie Hahn, I soloed, conducted and was twice awarded a scholarship to attend summer camp at Sewanee. I also have great people-memories – Melanie Moseley, Marla Englander, Alan Mingo, Sharon Markey, Mike Robinson… the list goes on and on. If anyone from those days ever drops in, I’d love to catch up!

Violin 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983

Karen Martin

I started with the youth symphony when I was in 10th grade. It was nice because there were quite a few people from where I went to school way down in Homestead (South Dade Sr. High; Anthony, Evan, Sara, Faye, Andrew, and my sisters Lori and Debbie), boy that was a long drive every Sunday to Miami Shores, lol. Anyway, I started out on violin my first year or so with the symphony, then Mrs. Hahn approached me to start playing the viola. So I did. 🙂 The people that I want to send a shout out to are: my South Dade clan, also Mrs. Hahn, Mr. Walters, Alex Miglio, Gio Garcia, Alina Matusow, and Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste (I miss you girl!! BEATLES #1!!). Thanks for the good times and awesome memories!!🙂

Viola, Violin 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

Anna Lampidis

I have a very rewarding career as a Professional Oboist where I currently live in North Carolina, performing with several Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. I am currently a member of the music faculty at Wake Forest University and Salem College. I am blessed with a large private oboe studio and serve as a woodwind coach to students in the Youth Orchestras in our region.

Oboe 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990

Hillary Hahn

In addition to being a wonderful outlet to play with others and develop the love and craft of my instrument… From my unique position as the daughter of the Executive Director, I learned a lot about what it actually takes to run an organization…it helped me become a very successful orchestra teacher for a time and succeed in my current role in the Orchestra business. Thanks SFYS….and mom ;o)

Violin 1983, 1992

Joe Lovinsky

I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude, and I would not be where I am today, without the wonderful encouragement and training received from the SFYS.

Principal French horn, “Pershing's Own” U.S. Army Band for 25 years. Currently French horn instructor, Shenandoah, Conservatory

Alina Matusow-Hirschkowitz

I had never performed with strings. I learned a lot about bowing and the importance of the first chair violin player. I learned that as cool as real classical music is, it can be very boring for wind players. Many, many measures of rests and getting lost counting them almost always happens. I have made friends that I still talk to more than 10 years after I left. I am a music teacher and I learned a lot about music with the Youth Symphony.

Richard A. Zogaib

Exposure to great conductors and literature while I was in the SFYS was pivotal in my young music career. It served me well in “The President’s Own” U. S. Marine Band and all of the other professional organizations that I was blessed to join.

Daniel Andai

SFYS played an important role for me as a young musician. I remember feeling a part of the team when I played in the orchestra. Preparing music for seating auditions, performances, and sectionals helped me develop a process for discipline that I’ve sharpened and maintained in my professional life.

Kathy Do

Being part of the South Florida Youth Symphony has given me opportunities that I would not have otherwise. The ensemble experiences provided me with valuable skills, both musical and personal, such as responsibility, dedication and a work ethic.

Edward J. Ercilla, M.M.E

Discipline, passion, artistry, connecting with people of different backgrounds; are all qualities that I have learned from my time at SFYS. These are qualities that I carry throughout my career as a professional musician and educator

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The SFYS empowers student musicians (ages 3-22 without regard to race, orientation, gender, disability or religion) by providing dynamic music education experiences, fostering collaboration, developing confidence-building skills, instilling a lifelong passion for instrumental music and displaying their artistic excellence through public performances


With the opening of the new season, the South Florida Youth Symphony enters another stellar year of providing talented young musicians an environment for classical training and development, as well as enhancing the cultural climate of Dade and Broward counties.


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