Community Opus Project

The History

San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) believes every student deserves music education for the lifetime of joy it provides and the habits, skills and traits students acquire that will improve their academic, personal and professional lives. Unfortunately, public school budget cuts have made it inaccessible for many students. Determined to use its resources to reverse that trend, in 2010 SDYS adopted a long-term vision of “making music education accessible and affordable for all.” To achieve this goal, it launched the Community Opus Project to demonstrate the positive effects of learning music by providing free afterschool music instruction, engaging the parents, educating the community, and persuading school districts to reinstate district-wide music instruction.

For the pilot program, SDYS partnered with the Chula Vista Elementary School District, which had not provided school-day music instruction for more than 15 years. SDYS began by providing free afterschool instrumental instruction to 65 3rd graders. The positive effects on the students were apparent so quickly that in 2013 CVESD committed to reinstating in-school music instruction so that all of its nearly 30,000 students would be able to learn music.

SDYS, CVESD and other local partners continue to collaborate to make high-quality music instruction available for all students. Students, families and other residents from all parts of Chula Vista will come together around the shared joy of learning, performing and experiencing beautiful music.


Phase One Report 2010-2014

Phase Two Opus Report 2015-17

2016-17 Community Opus Project Season Calendar

Opus strings musican at Music Camp

 Opus Today

The Community Opus Project includes afterschool instrumental orchestra and band programs for students in Chula Vista. Musicians meet together twice each week for two hours of music instruction taught by a team of Teaching Artists who are professional musicians and educators. Classes meet at three elementary schools, and are open to students from any Chula Vista Elementary School District school.

Students at each of the three Opus sites are divided two groups: Esperanza and Alegria. Our Esperanza musicians are the students participating in Opus for the first time. Alegria musicians have at least one year of instrumental experience. Each class for both Esperanza and Alegria musicians includes one hour of full ensemble instruction and one hour of sectional instruction. There are multiple opportunities throughout the year for the musicians to perform at concerts and other events.

Opus musicians who are in middle school and who have been learning music for at least two years are welcome to participate in chamber ensembles that rehearse for an hour each week and perform at various venues and events throughout the region. These musicians also meet quarterly to perform as a full-ensemble.


Opus winds musicians at Music Camp

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

Community Opus Project Reports

Recent News and Press


This program is made possible in part by a grant through the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Performing and Visual Arts Grant.