by LINDA FRABL | photo by Soul of Photography

Supporting Youth Symphony

It has been proven that musical education improves language skills, reasoning abilities, spatial intelligence and overall creativity. For those of us lucky enough to have had music lessons, we are forever reaping the rewards. However, not everyone is able to gain exposure to music classes. Thankfully New Encinitas resident Robert Gaan, Chair of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS), is increasing the likelihood that many more children can indeed benefit from musical instruction.

Robert elaborated, “SDYS is leading a movement to restore and expand the availability of music education to all children of San Diego County. The organization is creating opportunities for, and changing the lives of young people in this county. We do so much more than just teach music; we create transformational experiences for San Diego’s youth.” He is especially proud that SDYS, along with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, has enabled the Chula Vista elementary school district to hire full-time music teachers for the first time in over fifteen years.

As an investment manager/advisor, Robert was recruited to the SDYS Board nine years ago. He recalled, “The Youth Symphony began bringing on new Board members who weren’t parents of musicians, and I was among the first group of new directors to develop a new, long-term vision for the organization. In addition to expanding access to music education, we continue to give the region’s most talented young musicians opportunities to perform at the highest levels and in professional venues.”

On May 3, SDYS will hold its annual fundraiser, called “Encore,” at Balboa Park’s Casa Del Prado building. The proceeds provide enrollment scholarships to children who otherwise couldn’t afford the tuition. Another way to support SDYS is by simply attending their concerts. Robert proclaimed, “Our musicians perform throughout the county and some of the performances are free. Rehearsals are open to the public every Saturday in Balboa Park. Come see it for yourself; I promise you will be impressed!”

Relocating to Encinitas from the Bay Area fifteen years ago, Robert, who is married with two sons, is grateful for “the people, the great neighborhoods and schools and the relaxed, down-to-earth lifestyle.” He is also grateful that his employer, Christopher Weil & Company, encourages him to volunteer for SDYS, as the company “actively seeks out and supports local nonprofits that are well run and making a difference,” Robert revealed.


Name: Robert Gaan
Community: New Encinitas
Volunteer Affiliation: Board Chair, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
Profession: Investor, Manager, Advisor with Christopher Weil & Company in Carmel Valley
Family: Married with two sons
Hobbies: Youth basketball

Group: San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
Mission: To make music education available and affordable to all
Phone Number: 619-233-3232