SDSU Partners With San Diego Symphony for “SDSU Live Downtown”

More than 250 musicians, singers and dancers will perform onstage on April 8 for “SDSU Live Downtown.”

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (April 5, 2018) – In an encore performance, San Diego State University is once again partnering with the San Diego Symphony to take the stage for “SDSU Live Downtown.”

In its debut performance in April 2016, the SDSU School of Music and Dance produced the largest off-campus, non-athletic event in university history. Hundreds of music students played to a sold-out audience, raising $40,000 for music education scholarships.

This year’s production will feature SDSU’s top orchestral and premier wind groups, a 120-voice concert choir, the Marching Aztecs, SDSU Musical Theatre, the acclaimed Great Wall Quartet, and for the first time a dance ensemble. More than 250 musicians, singers and dancers are set to perform in the spectacular mega-concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 8 at San Diego’s historic Copley Symphony Hall inside the Jacobs Music Center, home of the San Diego Symphony.

Leaving nothing to chance

Program highlights will include Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome;” David Maslanka’s “In Memoriam;” Jim Bonney’s “Threnody” featuring original choreography by SDSU Dance; The Great Wall Quartet performing Louis Spohr’s “Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra;” “Make our Garden Grow” from Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” integrating SDSU’s renowned MFA Musical Theatre program; and Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.” The production features the Bernstein selections as part of San Diego’s only concert performance during the Leonard Bernstein Centenary Celebration.

“SDSU Live Downtown” will provide student performers with the experience of performing at a premier professional venue backed by the San Diego Symphony’s professional house and stage crews. With only one full ensemble rehearsal on stage before the big performance, planning, timing, and precision are critical to its success.

“When I visited Copley Symphony Hall for the first time as a college freshman, I never imagined that I would be able to perform on that stage,” said Janie Hsiao, violinist and third-year music performance major. “SDSU gave me the opportunity to do just that in 2016, and now, two years later, I’m beyond excited to be able to perform on that stage again.”

Teaching music in San Diego

Almost 65 percent of all music teachers in San Diego County are SDSU music education alumni. Collectively, they impact more than 10,000 K-12 students each year. Proceeds from “SDSU Live Downtown” will support the San Diego Symphony/SDSU Fund for students studying music education at SDSU.

With the rise of arts curricula at regional schools, music educators are in high demand, added Joyce Gattas, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

“At SDSU, we are in a race to prepare future music teachers to meet the growing demand,” she said. “Providing scholarship support for music education majors will help to meet the workforce needs of San Diego schools.”

But beyond the classroom, SDSU contributes much more to the culture of San Diego. School of Music and Dance Director Charles Friedrichs said the collaboration between SDSU and the San Diego Symphony is a great illustration of what the university brings to the community.

“This is a slice of San Diego culture and this is our (local) university and our community and that’s what we want it to be all about,” he said. “Our students are going to live here and this is what we are doing for our city.”

Tickets are available online starting at $23 and $10 for students.

You can make a donation to the SDSU School of Music and Dance Downtown Concert Fund at For more information, visit the SDSU School of Music and Dance website or call 619-594-1017.

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its more than 36,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 95 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, internships and mentoring, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit
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