NYO New Youth Orchestra, San Diego

Artistic Staff

San Diego Youth Orchestra

Mario Ramirez, NYO Program Executive Director
NYO Chamber Music Program Director - Estrella Music Program Director 
Growing up as an exceptional young musician, Mario Ramirez received his advanced training with late world renown cellist and teacher Eleonore Schoenfeld for 10 years, who was a professor at U.S.C. Thorton School of Music. For college, he entered The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston MA. where he was accepted to study under Laurence Lesser and Colin Carr with full scholarship.  Through the years, Mr. Ramirez also had the opportunity to learn and perform with the worlds finest cellists, examples include Gabor Rejto, Paul Tortelier, Anner Bylsma, Jeffery Solow and ensemble training with Alice Schoenfeld and Bertram Turetzky.  He has received awards from prominent institutions including the Arnold Schoenberg Institute  and the Culburn Foundation and has participated in the Idyllwild Art Summer Program, Edinburgh International Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival and Piatigorsky Seminar.  Mr. Ramirez has performed as a cello soloist with La Jolla Symphony, Savannah Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Guanajuato Symphony (Mex), Queretaro Philharmonic (Mex) and has performed chamber, solo, and orchestral concerts in venues throughout the U.S.A., Europe and Israel.

For 20 years, Mario has previously lived, performed and taught in the Boston area as a professional cellist. He has been traveling to San Diego acting as NYO Chamber Ensembles Director since the NYO's conception.


John Ramirez, NYO Program Artistic Director
Conductor NYO Elite Symphony, NYO San Diego Premier Symphony,
NYO Concert Band & NYO San Diego Select Wind Ensemble

New Youth Orchestra, San Diego, Youth Symphony John Ramirez NYO Artistic Director & Conductor
John Ramirez is a proud alumni of the Julliard School of Music where he attended under a full scholarship. This was where he received advanced violin instruction under the legendary Dorothy Delay and collaborated with the world’s greatest musicians, conductors and teachers.

In San Diego, for the past 30 years, John’s musical career has allowed him to create, transform and influence many important musical programs. Also, through his successful private teaching studio he has mentored numerous high level performers. His past musical contributions include: being a key proponent for restarting  the music program in the San Dieguito school system, creating orchestras at the Coronado School of Arts and in the San Dieguito Union High School District.

Following in the footsteps of his father, violinist Margarito Ramirez, who created and conducted what is now the Sinfonia Orchestra at the San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program, John Ramirez developed the Concert Strings, Concert Orchestra and Debut Strings (now Overture Strings) for the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. Since John's departure from San Diego Youth Symphony, the training orchestra's that the Ramirez family created exist in name only at SDYS. At this time, John and his fathers unique and proprietary multi-tiered orchestra training program now resides and is thriving at The New Youth Orchestra organization.

His additional experience includes: conductor of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory Concert Orchestra for 12 years and the Debut Strings Orchestra for 10 years, conductor of Torrey Pines High School’s intermediate and advanced orchestra and teacher of the chamber ensembles for 8 years, orchestra conductor and string ensembles teacher at the Carmel Valley Middle School for 8 years, orchestra conductor and teacher of the chamber ensemble at the Coronado School of the Arts (COSA) and teacher of the chamber ensembles at Canyon Crest Academy for 3 years. John is currently the artistic director and founding conductor of San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program in Sorrento Valley.


Miguel Ramirez
Conductor NYO Junior Elite Symphony & NYO Orchestra 1

New Youth Orchestra, San Diego, Youth Symphony Miguel Ramirez NYO Orchestra Conductor
Miguel Ramirez completed his advanced violin performance training with master teachers Philipp Naegele, David Chan, Oleh Krysa and Mikhail Kopelman. Since then, he has developed a solid reputation in the San Diego and Boston area as a fine conductor, ensemble coach and private teacher. His past musical working experiences and accomplishments include: orchestral conductor and instrument specialist at the San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program for 9 years, orchestral conductor and string ensembles coach at the Torrey Pines High School for 5 years, orchestral conductor and string ensemble coach at the Carmel Valley Middle School for 5 years and the head coach of piano-string ensembles at the Boston Piano Academy for 4 years. In addition, for the past 10 years, he has provided high quality private instrumental instruction to students who play a wide range of instruments including the violin, cello, viola, bass & piano. Miguel is now one of the founding conductors of San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program - in Sorrento Valley.


The New Youth Orchestra (San Diego) youth symphony orchestra was founded by the Ramirez Family. Brothers Miguel Ramirez, John Ramirez and Mario Ramirez find great pleasure sharing their 90 year family music tradition with the San Diego community. Our NYO family members live in coastal North County San Diego; La Jolla, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, including inland North County; Vista, San Marcos, Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, 4SRanch.


Jesus Jimenez
Advance Chamber Music Program Coach, Estrella Music Program Coordinator

The future is certainly bright for Jesus Jimenez, San Diego’s most promising upcoming musician. Considered to be a virtuoso violinist, master conductor and inspiring teacher. From an early age, many accomplished musicians and teachers who surrounded him acknowledged his great talents and recognized him as a musical prodigy.

Though he was raised from very humble beginnings, his talent brought about great opportunities. Through joining groups such as Mariachi Juvenil Mi Mexico and Southwestern High School mariachi, he was allowed to naturally develop as a musician, drawing upon traditional Mexican music which allowed him to flourish technically and musically in his unique way.

At age 14, Jesus changed course, pursuing classical music after having been accepted to study with John Ramirez, a prominent violin teacher in San Diego.  Soon after, many opportunities came about, including a full scholarship to San Diego’s premier private high school, Francis Parker School, where he received advance string training as the top performer and received the highest awards the school offered, including “Outstanding Musicianship Award,” “Francis Parker Recognition Award,” and “Music Award.”

He has also garnered top prizes and orchestra placements at the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, as well as solo performances with the Southwestern College Symphony, and Mexico’s FESTA Symphony in Guadalajara, performing at the Teatro Degollado. He has been a regular honored resident student member of the Rocky Ridge Music Center festival in Estes Park, Colorado. 

As he has developed into a mature performer, his great talents have been recognized. Jesus was awarded a full scholarship to Point Loma Nazarene University where he is completing his Instrumental Performance Degree while studying under violin professor, Dr. Philip Tyler.

His dream to become a professional musician is being realized as he is now vice president of the Escuela de Musica, a successful enrichment music program in San Diego. In addition, he was recently appointed NYO artistic staff member as an advanced chamber coach, conductor for the 2016-2017 season, and was recently appointed the coordinator for the new Estrella Music Program,”  a community enrichment program sponsored by the New Youth Orchestra and the Escuela de Musica. This program will provide advanced music training to talented under-privileged young musicians in San Diego county.

San Diego Union Tribune and the NBC Nightly News recently featured Jesus for his musical contributions in the San Diego community as a teacher and violinist.

Jesus is a founding member of the NYO New Youth Orchestra program starting as a student member since 2012. Now he holds a artistic staff position as a Advanced Chamber Music Program Coach and will be integrated as a conductor for the 2016-2017 season.


David Rumley, NYO Percussion Specialist
The New Youth Orchestra Percussion Specialist David Rumley
David Rumley received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from SDSU and has been working as a professional drummer and percussionist in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas for 16 years. Prior to his work at the New Youth Orchestra, David was instrumental in founding outreach programs and overseeing the percussion sections at the San Diego Youth Symphony SDYS in Balboa Park.

David can be heard performing with many of San Diego’s top repertory theatre companies including Lamb’s Players Theatre, Cygnet, North Coast Repertory, and Moonlight Stage Productions. He has been involved with many world premieres and is currently performing in San Diego’s longest running, home-grown theatrical hit, MiXtape, for which he created the original drum track. Having performed in many venues throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, he maintains a large private studio here in San Diego, and performs on a nightly basis in and around the San Diego area. David is a  founding member of San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program.


Peter Dayeh, NYO Woodwind Specialist

The New Youth Orchestra Woodwind Specialist Peter Dayeh
Peter Dayeh is a classical clarinetist performing orchestral, chamber, and solo literature who is also committed to his private studio of beginning through advanced students. Dayeh is a native of San Diego, California and holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from San Diego State University, and the Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute of the Arts. His former teachers include Sheryl Renk (San Diego Symphony), Dr. Robert Spring (Arizona State University), and Dr. Marian Liebowitz (San Diego State University).

Dayeh is active as an orchestral and chamber musician, as well as recitalist, throughout San Diego, Imperial, and Santa Cruz counties. He was recently appointed as 2nd Clarinet of the Santa Cruz Symphony. Former positions include Principal Clarinet with the San Diego City Ballet orchestra. Dayeh is also an accomplished chamber musician and recitalist, performing frequently throughout Southern California. Chamber music collaborations include the DiMarea (now Aiana) String Quartet and the “Those Guys Wind Quintet” in Phoenix, AZ.

He was recently a participant in the 2012 Hot Springs Music Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he received a full-tuition scholarship to attend. In the summer of 2011, he was a participant at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians as a scholarship recipient from the Quimby Family Foundation. Other festivals include the 2009 University of San Diego Chamber Music Festival and the 2008 Buffet-Crampon Summer Clarinet Academy. Dayeh has won first prize in the woodwind/brass division at the 2009 Grossmont Community Concert Association scholarship competition, as well as winning the 2009 San Diego State University Soloist Competition.

In addition to his busy performance schedule, he is devoted to teaching the clarinet and enjoys volunteering his time at local schools, giving clarinet masterclasses and clinics. Peter has been involved with San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program since its early beginnings, and is now part of the teaching staff as a wind specialist where he performs and coaches NYO members in the various level ensembles.


Molly Rubin, NYO Woodwind Specialist

The New Youth Orchestra Woodwind Specialist Molly Rubin
Molly Rubin is a native of Napa, California, where her passion for the bassoon began and has since become a real passion in her life. At high school age, she received the highest training under the tutelage under Paul Hanson and Steve Paulson. Some of her early accomplishments include; performing the Weber Bassoon Concerto with the Pacific Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco, as well as with the Napa Valley Youth Symphony at the Lincoln Theater, awarded first place in the Napa Concerto Competition, second place in the Oakland Concerto Competition, and was the recipient of the Music in the Vineyards scholarship in spring 2009.

During the fall of 2009 she began her studies at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with Professor Bill Ludwig, pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Bassoon Performance as well as a Bachelors of Science in Business. During her four years at Indiana University, Molly has performed with almost every orchestra there, as well as the New Music Ensemble and the Wind Ensemble. She was also the founding member of an active woodwind quintet. Outside of school, she worked as a freelance musician with orchestras all over Indiana, as well as teaching beginning students. She completed her degrees in May 2013 and has relocated to San Diego.

Most recently, Molly has accepted a “Mentor” position with San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program and has been actively performing and coaching during the 2013-2014 season, she is one of NYO’s newest teaching staff addition.


Francisco Bandin, NYO Brass Wind Specialist

  New Youth Orchestra, San Diego, Youth Symphony Francisco Bandin NYO Orchestra  and wind ensemble brass coach
Francisco Bandin is a full-time musician and teacher, who performs regularly in San Diego County. Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Francisco began his musical education as a singer and guitarist at an early age. Then he transitioned to the French horn while still in middle school. After high school he was accepted into the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 18 for the Musician Enlistment Option Program, which offers exceptional young men and women the opportunity to serve their nation while continuing to pursue their passion for music. As part of this program, he attended and completed the musical training at the Military School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. After his training, he was stationed in San Diego in 2006, where he toured and performed with the Marine Band in numerous military ceremonies and civilian concerts, both locally and throughout the United States.

Since completing his service in the Marine Band and honorably discharged, Francisco continues to advance his training in music education at Southwestern College, where he has been a member of Mariachi Garibaldi, a world-renown performing ensemble under the direction of professor Dr. Jeff Nevin. This ensemble has given performances throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Asia, including The Carnival Festival in Nice, France, and "World's Fair" in Shanghai and Beijing, China. Additionally, Francisco is currently a member of "Colour de George Villa Senor," a local band from San Diego under the musical direction of Adolfo Hernandez, where he is the lead singer and guitar player. 

Francisco Bandin is one of NYO New Youth Orchestra’s newest wind coach, who joined our staff in late Fall of the 2013 - 2014 season. NYO founders John, Miguel and Mario Ramirez consider Francisco to be an outstanding performer and teacher. They recognize and appreciate how he has greatly benefited the NYO organization through his dedication, knowledge and experience. San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program is looking forward to expanding his participation in our organization.



Rosalind Richards, NYO Woodwind Specialist

NYO New Youth Orchestra - Woodwind Specialist Rosalind Richards
Flutist Rosalind Richards received her B.A. from UCSD with Honors in Flute Performance and her M.A. from SDSU in Music History and Flute Performance. While at UCSD Ms. Richards was Principle Flute in the La Jolla Civic Orchestra where today she continues to be substitute. She performs regularly in the Del Mar Trio and Villa Musica Summer Orchestra as Principal Flutist.

Rosalind was an Adjunct Professor at Miramar College for 10 years helping to create their Music Department adding and teaching courses such as Chamber Music, Band and World Music to their curriculum. She also taught chamber music classes
at Miracosta College and Graduate level classes at Cal State San Marcos.

Acknowledging her expertise in Music History and Flute Performance, she was asked to present the Words on Music pre-concert series at the San Diego Symphony and introduce the program of visiting Flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal.

While at UCSD, Rosalind received scholarships to study with L.A.’s Principal Flutists Roger Stevens and Ann Giles.

Ms. Richards has nurtured many outstanding, young flutists entering them
into MTAC and Flute Guild competitions where she is an flute adjudicator.
Many of her students have gone on to become professional flutist winning Competitions and playing Principal Flutists for the New Youth Orchestra and San Diego Youth Orchestras.

Rosalind presently teaches at Rhoades Gifted School where she has taught for 10 years and taught at Villa Musica for 8 years.

In addition, she conducts a Flute Ensemble previously a class at Mesa College. Her ensemble has performed at several libraries in San Diego such as
Encinitas Public Library, Dove Library and the Athenium.

Rosalind is also a composer and has had over 100 of her original works promoted around the world to every market from film to foreign cultural centers.


Juan R. Ramírez-Hernández, NYO Head Board of Advisory

Juan R. Ram�rez-Hern�ndez, NYO New Youth Orchestra Head Board of Advisory
Juan R. Ramírez-Hernández

The distinguished composer-conductor Gunther Schuller says of Ramírez: “I have unqualified faith in Mr. Ramírez as a violinist and a musical leader of great artistic integrity ...Whatever he undertakes is touched by quality.”

Juan R. Ramírez-Hernández, is the Board of Advisory at The New Youth Orchestra (San Diego) - youth symphony orchestra (NYO). A violinist/ composer/ conductor and founder of the Atlanta Virtuosi Foundation, Inc. began his studies in Mexico with Ivo Valenti and Vladimir Vulfman. His studies with Henryk Szeryng began at the age of fourteen, and continued as he became his principal mentor in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe. While in Boston attending the New England Conservatory of Music, Mr. Ramírez was privileged to study with Joseph Silverstein. In the symphony orchestra, he has played under Leonard Bernstein, Eric Leinsdorf, Colin Davis, William Steinberg, Leon Barzin, Bruno Maderna, Gunther Schuller, Seiji Ozawa, and many others. Service in the Boston and Pittsburgh Symphonies preceded his 1974 acceptance of apermanent position with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to his residence in the United States, Mr. Ramírez toured Israel, Europe and Asia with the Ballet Folklórico of Mexico, and was a member of the Xalapa Symphony, National University Symphony, the Opera Orchestra and the National Symphony of Mexico.

While under the tutelage of the eminent pedagogue and conductor, Leon Barzin, Mr. Ramírez was the recipient of both the Serge Koussevitsky and Leonard Bernstein Awards, and a prize-winning violinist at the Berkshire Music Festival. The distinguished composer-conductor Gunther Schuller says of Ramírez: “I have unqualified faith in Mr. Ramírez as a violinist and a musical leader of great artistic integrity ...Whatever he undertakes is touched by quality...”

Mr. Ramírez plays a number of instruments, including the guitar, mandolin and marimba, and as a composer is noted for his compositions and arrangements commissioned by the Hispanic Festival of the Arts. Influenced by his native land, Ramírez’ “Suite Huasteca” for violin, strings, and guitar, received critical acclaim in both the U.S. and in Mexico, and in 2008 received its European premiere in Spain. He has also written numerous articles in the field of ethno- musicology. His compositions include “Anahuac” for tenor, soprano, winds, strings, guitar, harpsichord and pre-Colombian percussion, commissioned in 1993 by the ACOG – Cultural Olympiad as part of ¡MEXICO! A Cultural Tapestry, “Suite Criolla” for chorus, narrator and orchestra, with tenor and soprano solo, premiered in 1995 at the Hispanic Festival of the Arts, and “Navidad Hispana” for solo guitar and orchestra, premiered by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Juan Ramírez, guitar soloist. Ramírez’ string quartet “Suite Latina” was commissioned and world premiered by the Amelia Chamber Music Festival in 2001 and has been performed throughout the United States and in Europe.

Mr. Ramírez has been a member of the faculties of Georgia State University and Spelman College, and has participated in music panels for DeKalb Council for the Arts, the Fulton County Arts Council, Bureau of Cultural Affairs, City of Atlanta, Georgia Council for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts International – The Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions, and the U.S. Information Agency - Arts America Program. He was a member of the Cultural Olympiad Advisory Council, and served on the advisory boards of both the New World Symphony and the Chicago Civic Symphony Orchestra. He is the founder of the Hispanic Festival of the Arts, and Casa de la Cultura de Atlanta. Mr. Ramírez serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of CURE Childhood Cancer, the Sphinx Organization Advisory Board, and the Music Steering Committee of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. A frequent panelist and clinician, he has served on the Classical Nominations Review Committee for the Grammy Awards of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, California. He is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Class of 1999.

Mr. Ramírez founded the Buckhead Youth Orchestra in 2000, and serves as Artistic Director and Conductor. Since 1999, he has also served as Music Director and Conductor of the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra. From 2005 to 2008 he was Artist Affiliate Instructor of Strings at Reinhardt College and Founder and Director of the Reinhardt Symphony Orchestra. Since 2003, Mr. Ramírez has served as Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As a music advocator and educator, Mr. Ramírez founded a new music program for young children. Under the auspices of the Atlanta Virtuosi Foundation, Inc., Music for Success! is an educational program in partnership with metro Atlanta educational institutions to encourage and support artistic creativity for young elementary and middle school children of many backgrounds, and offers instrumental and orchestral string training by professional musicians. Juan is now the Head Artistic Advisory Board Member of San Diego Youth Orchestra - NYO New Youth Orchestra Program in Sorrento Valley.

NYO staff Bio's written or edited by 
Mario Ramirez

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