Skip to content
SDYS Program Manager
San Diego CA

San Diego Youth Symphony

The SDYS Program Manager is responsible and accountable for the administration and management of the SDYS Youth Orchestra program and its related activities. With the Artistic Director, the President & CEO, and other artistic faculty, the SDYS Program Manager is responsible for maintaining high standards of pedagogy and operations in tandem with a commitment to ensuring a joyful, inclusive and positive experience for SDYS students and families. Responsibilities of the position include:

Program Strategy

  • Working with the Artistic Director, advise, coordinate and align pedagogical aspects of repertory, ensemble progression, and planning for all ensembles.
  • Working with artistic leadership, facilitate strategic design, multi-year planning, and evaluation of all Youth Orchestra programs and initiatives.
  • Evaluate and revise audition requirements and rubrics with the Artistic Director and conductors to accurately reflect program structure.
  • With the program team, build a sense of community in the Youth Orchestra program that engages parents and families to support student growth.
  • Work with lateral program managers to ensure alignment of curriculum, standards and evaluation across all programs.

Personnel Management & Collaboration

  • Collaborate with the Artistic Director for artistic insights and observations related to faculty and programs.
  • Supervise, lead, support, and assess direct reports both formally and informally to ensure efficient program operations and effective communications with all students and families. Lead conductors’ meetings.
  • Empower SDYS conductors as a team to have strong working relationships and achievement of shared program goals and student advancement.
  • Facilitate dialogue among conductors regarding supplemental programs such as sectionals, lessons and student mentorship.
  • Collaborate with the Artistic Director to implement and evaluate program offerings including concerto competitions, workshops, sectionals, recruiting, etc. Provide training for concerto competition judges as needed.

Program Management & Oversight

  • Lead and coordinate the annual registration, audition, and enrollment cycle including scheduling, software selection, review and implementation, communications, etc.
  • Ensure all program publications and communication with families are accurate and effective.
  • Revise and review audition requirements and the Musicians’ Handbooks annually for all SDYS ensembles. Execute policies consistently and identify new policies for improvement as needed.
  • Collaborate with artistic faculty and program staff on timely, clear communication with students and families.
  • Lead, design, coordinate, schedule, and manage communication for all program offerings, including large ensemble rehearsals, sectionals, small ensembles, workshops, and elective offerings. Coordinate special student schedules as needed.
  • Develop and manage program assessment tools, protocols, and reporting mechanisms. Manage collection and compilation of student and family feedback to produce reports and recommendations.

Internal Collaboration

  • Collaborate with program and administrative staff on timelines and logistics, including rehearsals, concerts, auditions, outreach, and donor events.
  • Collaborate with other managers to ensure efficient internal operations and cross-program collaboration.
  • Create pathways, support, and accessibility of SDYS Programs to all community partners and programs.
  • Ensure community program alignment/advancement in collaboration with the Community Program Manager.
  • Ensure adherence to consistent policies and procedures between all SDYS programs.
  • Manage the Youth Orchestra program budget, including staffing and other line items in coordination with the Business Office.
  • Oversee fulfillment of SDYS program and grant commitments to partners and funders.

Community Engagement

  • Evaluate and coordinate Youth Orchestra performance activities and outreach opportunities with the Artistic Director and community partners as requested.
  • Provide mentorship for student leaders and students performing in the community as requested. Co-lead the Youth Leadership Council program with the Community Opus Program Manager.
  • Engage with private and school music teachers, university music departments, and other educators in San Diego County to support recruiting and collaborative efforts.
  • Recruit students to the Youth Orchestra through teacher, school and partner relationships.

Other duties as assigned by the Artistic Director and/or President & CEO.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree, or at least three years of program and people management experience in a non-profit setting
  • Significant knowledge of and/or background in pedagogy of orchestral instruments
  • Significant knowledge of and experience with instrumental and classical music
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong sense of integrity and collaboration
  • Strong organization skills with attention to detail
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and adapt to change

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to work well with cultural sensitivity toward diverse and/or underserved families
  • Experience teaching diverse and/or underserved students
  • College degree with music emphasis
  • Second language in Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, or Vietnamese
  • Comfortable using Google and Microsoft suites (especially Microsoft Word and Excel) with ability to quickly learn other programs and applications
  • Database experience

Additional: All employees are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have an approved, reasonable accommodation in place. This position also requires sitting at a desk or workstation, walking, standing, climbing stairs, hearing, speaking, being able to lift up to 25 lb. and being able to drive to locations pertaining to organizational operations.  In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document forms upon hire.  This is a full-time position with work responsibilities on weekends and/or evenings according to the season calendar, with eligibility for employee benefits. We will begin reviewing applications immediately; position is open until filled.

About KeyNote and San Diego Youth Symphony: KeyNote and San Diego Youth Symphony’s mission is to instill excellence in the musical and personal development of students through rigorous and inspiring musical experiences.  For nearly 80 years, we have served as a catalyst for investing in the future of thousands of young San Diegans through the study and performance of music. Through SDYS’ flagship ensemble program in historic Balboa Park, its community engagement programs across San Diego County, and its early childhood music curriculum, KeyNote is San Diego’s most comprehensive provider of cradle-to-college music education programming, and a national leader in innovative community outreach, serving thousands of young musicians and their families every year.

At SDYS, we believe that music is a vehicle for giving young people the social, emotional, and academic skills that prepare them to enter a 21st-century workforce. We respect every young person who takes part in our programs and celebrate their accomplishments as musicians, as members of our community, and as future leaders in San Diego and across the nation. For more information, please visit

Does this sound like you? If so, please send a thoughtful cover letter that describes why you are a good fit for the role and a copy of your resume to


Salary: $70,000-$73,000
Important: N/A
Apply by E-mail:
Back To Top