Sayra Siverson Named New Youth Orchestra Director

After an extensive search, the San Juan Symphony has hired conductor Sayra Siverson to be the next Music Director of the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra. Ms. Siverson will remain in her current capacity as the Artistic Director of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program through 2020 while making the move to Durango.

“After 23 years in Albuquerque, my family and I are excited to become part of the Durango community,” Ms. Siverson said in a prepared statement. “We are looking forward to the change in pace and enjoying all of the beauty Colorado has to offer. I am looking forward to meeting the amazing young musicians of the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra and can’t wait for our first rehearsal.”

Ms. Siverson has been a conductor with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program since 1998 and also has 16 years of experience teaching public and private school music programs. She is nationally recognized as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician, having worked with many local and national music festivals and camps. Sayra and her husband, Marc Salter, own New Harmony Music, a company that makes custom accessories for orchestral string instruments, with diverse customers that include Yo-Yo Ma and Cirque du Soliel, among many others.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sayra and her family to the San Juan Symphony community,” adds SJS music director Thomas Heuser. “She has the vision, experience, and leadership skills to bring our program to the next level. We cannot wait to see how the relationship grows between Sayra and our fantastic students, I think great things are ahead.”

As part of the recent transition, the San Juan Symphony has designed a new format for its Youth Orchestra program. Whereas previously there were three tiers of ensembles, now the program will offer two tiers: the advanced Youth Orchestra (YO), which will be a full orchestra performing symphonic repertoire and awarding solo concerto opportunities to its members by audition; and the Junior String Orchestra (JSO), which will be designed as an intermediate ensemble focused on musicianship and preparatory training for the advanced level. Ms. Siverson will direct the YO, and the JSO will remain under the baton of Molly Jensen, San Juan Symphony violinist and director of orchestras at Durango High School and Miller Middle School.

As families around the region enjoy their summer break, the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra is gearing up for a busy off-season. Repertoire will be selected for both groups and complete details about the 2019-20 season will be announced in the coming weeks. Interested students and parents are encouraged to contact SJSYO Manager Cindy Bonitz-Ryan through cbonitzryan59@gmail.com or by visiting www.sanjuansymphony.org/education.