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October 27, 2022

Get to Know DCYOP: Sydney Ebersohl

DCYOP has a proud tradition of welcoming alums back to the fold over the year: Principal Conductor, Kenneth Whitley, violin and viola teaching artist, Ken Giles, Program Director, Rashida Coleman, and Board President, Robert Blaine, are just a few of the former students and parents who have rejoined our organization in new roles.

This season is no different. One such alum who has returned to DCYOP is Sydney Ebersohl, who now works with many of our students as a violin teaching artist and played violin in YO from 2016-2017.

“Three years before I joined, I had not been a part of an orchestra program outside of school,” Sydney shares. “Being in an orchestra with a group of young musicians who are all passionate about music was something I had missed. During my time in the Youth Orchestra, we went on tour to Chile during the New Year, played under the baton of renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel, collaborated with amazing singers, and played in the Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center.”

Sydney didn’t just play at the Kennedy Center – she won the 2017 concerto competition and performed a movement of the Mendelssohn violin concerto with YO. “I was so humbled to be able to play a solo on such a historic stage, but all of the experiences and memories I had would not be the same were they not with the incredible friends I made in the program.”

Being part of an international tour is always a transformative experience for students, whether it’s creating new friendships and strengthening existing ones or directly shaping decisions they make about the trajectory of their young lives. “During the tour in Chile, I was receiving results from pre-screening auditions at various conservatories,” Sydney recalls. “I was deciding between attending one of these conservatories or a college. Being involved in a youth orchestra before deciding to go to CCM was pivotal in my final decision to pursue a conservatory instead of a ‘regular’ college.”

Sydney went on to study violin performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with Timothy Lees, former concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. After graduating last April, she moved back to the D.C. area and shortly thereafter secured her position teaching with DCYOP. It’s a career step that carries deep meaning and purpose for Sydney.

“It is important to me to give back to the community what it gave me as a child. I was fortunate enough to have been given so many opportunities in my youth to grow my musical education. I decided to come back to DCYOP as a teacher so that I can help the next generation of musicians find their own passions and guide them towards their own musical and personal success. I want to be a part of an organization that gives every child who wants to learn a memorable experience with music, and DCYOP does just that.”

Tomorrow, we stay on in Lisbon for a little sightseeing as well as our first tour performance that will take place outdoors at the Ruinos do Carmo as part of the Lisbon Music Fest. Stay tuned for more updates!