Community Opus Project

The History

In 2008, in response to the reduced availability of music education in the schools, the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory adopted the vision of “making music education accessible and affordable for all.” Partnering with the Chula Vista Elementary School District in 2010, the Community Opus Project began. Sixty-five 3rd grade students received music instruction and instrument rentals from SDYS. The Community Opus Project based their program and teaching on the principles of el Sistema.

Previous to Opus, there had not been music instruction in any of the 46 elementary schools in Chula Vista for over 15 years. The 65 Opus students enjoyed the rehearsals and performances, and the schools noticed an increase in the students’ attendance, focus on academic tasks, and parental engagement at the schools. The district was thrilled with the results and asked SDYS to serve more students the following year. Within 3 years, the school district recognized the value of music education and began to provide high-quality, in-school music instruction for their students, taught by credentialed music teachers.

As music teachers are hired into the Chula Vista schools, SDYS continues to provide free after-school instrumental programs for their students. SDYS will continue to serve Chula Vista and help create a community where students from all of the city’s neighborhoods have access to high quality affordable music education.


Phase One Report 2010-2014

Summer Music Camp 2015Register here

2015-16 Community Opus Project: Register here

 Opus Today

The Community Opus Project is an after-school instrumental music program for students in Chula Vista. Based on the principles of el Sistema, musicians meet together twice per week for 2 hours for high quality music instruction taught by professional musical Teaching Artists. The purpose of the Community Opus Project is to provide accessible and affordable music education while advocating the importance of music in the schools. Opus is housed at three different elementary schools, but is open for students from any of the 46 Chula Vista Elementary School District schools to participate.

The students at each of the 3 Opus sites are broken into 1 of 2 groups: Esperanza and Alegria. Our Esperanza musicians are the students who are participating in Opus for the first time. Alegria musicians have at least one year of instrumental experience. Both Esperanza and Alegria musicians receive 1 hour of full ensemble instruction and 1 hour of sectional instruction at each rehearsal.

Opus musicians who are in junior high and who have been in Opus for at least 2 years participate in chamber ensembles that rehearse for an hour each week and perform at various venues and events throughout the South Bay and San Diego. These musicians also meet quarterly to perform as a full-ensemble.


Opus musicians at the San Diego Fair

Opus band at the Veteran's Day Parade

For more information about our Community Opus Project, contact Annette Fritzsche, Community Program Manager, at


SDYS' Community Opus Project Fall Music Camp brought students from across the Chula Vista Elementary School District...

Posted by San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory on Tuesday, 23 September 2014