SDYS 70th Anniversary China Tour

The San Diego Youth Symphony (SDYS) recently returned from their 70th Anniversary China Tour. The trip allowed advanced musicians from SDYS’s Ovation Program as well as SDYS alumni, staff, and board members to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in concerts in three Chinese cities between the end of June and beginning of July. The jam-packed itinerary took the musicians to Beijing, Yantai, and Shanghai, and though some of their time was split between rehearsing and preparing for their performances, they were also able to see famous sights and connect with the locals. They toured locations such as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Yu Garden and Bazaar, and of course the Great Wall.

Many of the SDYS students enjoyed the cultural exchange aspect of the trip as well. Canyon Crest Academy student Bryan Kaleta shared, “Overall, my favorite concert hall was the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. The flower design made the sound so warm. Being able to play and influence all the Chinese people was such a blessing. Although this experience may never happen again, the true beauty is that it will remain forever in our hearts.” Torrey Pines High School student Amanda Chen commented, “The Chinese people were so warm and welcoming to us during our stay! The hospitality of the Chinese people was truly touching.” The musicians performed at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Poly Grand Theater, and the Oriental Arts Center. SDYS last visited China in 1981 when they had the honor of touring and performing in Canton, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. For more information visit