Voice & Viewpoint
During the month of July, the San Diego Symphony debuted Your Song, Your Story, through four events held throughout the city, which signified the completion of a two year project spearheaded by the organization to bring music to the community. With a generous grant from the James Irvine Foundation, the San Diego Symphony was able to highlight the cultural diversity and vibrancy in San Diego through music and visuals. In an effort to truly make this a community inclusive project, the Symphony received over 300 submissions from local artists who were eager to contribute to telling San Diego’s story.
On Thursday, July 17th, enthusiastic families and symphony supporters gathered at Lincoln High School for the free concert, the culmination of the four. The courtyard of the high school functioned as a type of block party area where free snacks and drinks were distributed, and supplied by City Pizzeria, SoleLuna Café, Sixth Ave. Bistro and Declan Suites. Children were able to play freely, and could be seen getting their faces painted, and even testing out their skills on some instruments.
Doors opened and the theatre was filled to capacity. Symphony Composer, Bill Conti, who is a five time Emmy Award-winner greeted the audience and immediately conducted the musicians in an opening number. . The evening’s performance brought together 18 local performers and the symphony on the same stage, performing Conti’s composition. Fluidly, the symphony transitioned from their introductory piece into story telling as performers from all over San Diego began to take to the stage via video and in person. Performers included Kumeyaay Youth Bird Singers, Soaring Eagles, Mexi’cayotl, Imahen Taotao Tano, Samahan Philippine Dance Company, Te Rahiti Nui, Mariachi Garibaldi, DanzArts, Malashock Dance Company, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Choir, Bobby Simmons (who played the Congas), Naruwan Taiko, and Catalina Blabuena from Tijuana Mexico.
Children and parents alike were attentive and all eyes and ears, and the melodic tunes and stunning visuals filled the theater’s space. Through a Facebook post, in response to the event, one attendee said “Awesome performance this evening at Lincoln High School. Please bring more events like these to the community.” Another family shared “Thank you so much for such a great experience! We loved every minute.” In a printed message, San Diego Symphony CEO, Edward Gill shared “The San Diego Symphony was very pleased and honored to receive a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, allowing us to implement the Your Song, Your Story project. This project is extremely important to our mission as one of San Diego County’s leading arts organizations. Through Your Song, Your Story, the symphony examined and redefined its relationship with the whole community by creating new avenues of communication and engagement between the San Diego Symphony’s current supporters and new audiences. We thank you for your participation in this unique project.” To learn more about the symphony, visit www.sandiegosymphony.org .