Educational Programs

San Diego Winds is an organization founded and led by music educators and that means a commitment to robust and innovative music education programs. 

In just four years two programs in particular have achieved enormous success having reached over 1000 students! In 2013 San Diego Winds will continue to build on the success of these programs and will expand their programs as the caretaker of the recently disbanded Orchestra Nova educational outreach programs. 

San Diego Summer Music Institute (SDSMI)

Founded in 2010 in partnership with San Diego State University, School of Music and Dance this comprehensive summer music camp has become one of the elite camps of its kind in the Western United States. Students receive week long music instruction with masterclasses, sectionals, full ensembles, music theory, composition, conducting, and chamber music along with special presentations and performances. Starting in 2011 students were given the option of residency in SDSU dormitories. In 2012 SDSMI had grown to over 80 students and in 2013 is on pace to hit the 200 student milestone. 

The success of SDSMI is simple because the special collaboration between San Diego Winds and SDSU School of Music and Dance allows us to bring the joint talent and resources together to create an amazing music camp for an unbelievably low cost for students. It starts with hiring only the very best music teachers available including the musicians of the San Diego Winds, faculty of SDSU, San Diego Symphony musicians and others. Then you put those instructors to work in a curriculum designed by the master music educators of San Diego Winds and SDSU School of Music and Dance who collectively bring over a century of music education experience. You add to that the beautiful campus of SDSU, energetic counselors who design social activities for students, an army of volunteers donating hundreds of hours to keep costs down and what you get is a world class music camp for an almost unheard of price. While similar camps cost $1500 a week or more, SDSMI is able to offer resident tuition for only $700 and commuter tuition for $500 because we keep our overhead low. 

San Diego Winds Composer Festival

Also founded in 2010 the San Diego Winds Composer Festival has reached over 800 students in three short years and is projected to include an additional 500 students in 2013. 

The San Diego Winds is dedicated to promoting the performance of high quality Wind Band literature and creating amazing musical experiences for young people. As such the San Diego Winds wanted to create a festival where students were able to not only perform high quality music but do work on that music with the composers themselves and world class conductors. It is from this foundation the composer festival was born.

From there it was decided that in order to celebrate a diverse body of literature the composer festival would alternate annually between living and deceased composers. During the years featuring a living composer's music, the composer themselves would be brought into San Diego to work with the students. In the years featuring the music of deceased composers an expert conductor who specializes in their music would be brought in to work with the students. This format has resulted in major opportunities for the music students of San Diego who have now had the opportunity to work with several amazing composers and conductors. 

The 1st Annual Composer festival in 2010 featured David Maslanka, the 2nd Annual Composer festival featured the music of Percy Grainger and Vincent Persichetti with Conductor In Residence Larry Curtis and the 3rd annual Composer Festival featured Composer Samuel Hazo. The 4th Annual Composer festival will take place in March of 2013 with featured composer Leonard Bernstein and Conductor in Residence Maestro Anthony Maielo from Geroge Washington University. 

Music Memory  

This nationally recognized program that has become a phenomenon across the country made its debut in San Diego County with the orchestra in September 2008. Acclaimed in dozens of cities around the country, Music Memory gives children in the 3rd through 6th grades the opportunity to learn 16 pieces of classical music each year. This means that when a student completes four years of this program, they will be able to identify and appreciate 64 pieces of classical music! They will also all have the chance to come to a live concert given by the orchestra, where they will be tested on their knowledge and receive awards for their hard work.

Take 5 for Music

Complementing the Hunter Family Music Memory Program is the newest of our extensive music education outreach programs Take 5 for Music, designed to introduce young people to great works of classical music. Using a series of CDs and a script that is read by the teacher, principal or fellow student over the school audio system, pieces of music are played at the same time each day, five days a week, throughout the school year.

The program was tested in the San Diego Unified School District and is now in the process of being implemented in elementary and middle schools where there is no music specialist.