Youth Symphony to honor military service members and veterans with tribute

The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, the region’s largest youth music education organization and the nation’s 6th oldest youth symphony, will perform its first ever Tribute to Veterans concerts over Veterans Day weekend on California Center for the Arts’ main stage in Escondido. The organization will be honoring both veterans and active service members with free tickets to the performances.

“Our annual fall concerts this season will take place on Veterans Day weekend. We are so pleased to have this special and unique opportunity to honor our veterans and active service members and to say thank you to everyone in our military community by providing complimentary concert tickets for these special season-opening concerts,” said Jeff Edmons, music director of SDYS. “In addition to traditional concert favorites and exciting orchestral masterworks presented by 12 orchestras and large ensembles, our concerts will also feature iconic and inspirational patriotic selections in honor of all of our veterans and active military members and their families.”

Held on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11, the concerts will showcase a wide range of ensemble levels and repertoire.

Luke Sargent, principal trumpet in SDYS’ advanced Symphony Orchestra and also a member of the Wind and Chamber Orchestras will be honoring his father, Twig Sargent, a Navy chaplain, with his performance.

“I’m looking forward to performing in the Tribute to Veterans concert because I have the opportunity to bring two major parts of my life — music and being a military child — together to recognize my father and those like him who serve our country,” Sargent said.

On Sunday, Nov.11 at 1 p.m. SDYS’ intermediate Showcase level orchestras and wind ensembles will perform a variety of selections including “American Salute” by Morton Gould, “God Bless America” arranged by Keith Christopher and “American Pageant” by Thomas Knox.

On Sunday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. SDYS’ most advanced Ovation level orchestras and wind orchestra will perform important historic masterworks including selections from “Symphony No. 5 in d minor, Op. 47” by Dmitri Shostakovich, “Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Suite No. 1 for Military Band in E-flat Major” by Gustav Holst and a special closing full-orchestra march by John Philip Sousa, best known for his wonderful military and patriotic marches.

SDYS’ foundational Inspiration level ensembles will perform at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 at College Avenue Baptist Church. The concert will feature “Bonaparte’s Retreat,” arranged by Mark O’Connor, “Anchors Aweigh” arranged by Jerry Brubaker and “The Star-Spangled Banner” by John Stafford Smith, arranged by Sandra Dackow.

Isabela Flores, a new student in the Inspiration level Symphonic Strings ensemble, will have the opportunity to recognize someone special with her very first SDYS concert.

“I would like all active duty service members and veterans to know they are appreciated and respected by young musicians,” Flores said. “I would also like my dad, U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Frank Flores, to be proud of me!”

Tickets are available at the Youth Symphony’s website. Military veterans and active duty personnel can claim two free tickets to any Veterans weekend performance at



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