by AMY LEHRER | photo by Soul of Photography

Choral Music Mentor

In Missouri, Sally Dean grew up singing, whistling, taking piano lessons, and attending musical theater productions and concerts. She attended UC San Diego as a music major in the ’70s when the university was a world composer hub. Following college, she continued singing in the La Jolla Symphony chorus and taught private piano lessons. She revealed, “My love is choral music. The combination of language, melody, and community is rich and rewarding for me.”

After settling in Leucadia and having children, Sally joined forces with local music teacher Jill Metzner to start a children’s chorus. She and Jill continued Capri Chorus for 10 years, leading fourth through sixth graders. Two memorable performances included singing in a Holiday Parade, for which they won best large float, and singing for Hugh Martin, composer of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” at Moonlight Beach.


When Proposition 13 caused music cuts, Sally began a youth chorus, which became San Diego North Coast Singers (NCS). Over the years, NCS has grown to five ensembles serving 110 singers each year and is known for its exceptional quality and joyous singing of multicultural songs. NCS has performed at numerous festivals and conferences throughout the US and abroad. Additionally, dedicated to collaboration and wanting to educate young performers, NCS often includes local professionals in its concerts.

Sally is proud of supporting music education and producing “Mice and Beans: the Opera” with local opera singer Ann Chase. Sally shared, “It’s rewarding to support a vibrant youth performing arts scene in San Diego.” In 2013 she also created Sorelle, a women’s chamber ensemble. The beginning choirs are open to all, but the advanced choirs are by audition. Her current volunteer activities include serving on the Choral Consortium board and co-chairing Sing San Diego: Festival 2015.

Sally is married and has four children and five grandchildren. She enjoys family time, reading, fast walking, yoga, and writing. She’s a musical people person but craves quiet retreats to Redwoods, rivers, and gardens too.

Upcoming Performances

March 2015: NCS boys chorus directed by David Chase of La Jolla Symphony and Chorus.
March 21: NCS performs in in Sing San Diego: Festival 2015 in Balboa Park.
April 19: NCS guest artists, San Marcos Lutheran Concert Series.
May 8-9: NCS 22nd annual spring concert, San Dieguito United Methodist Church.
May 30: NCS Regional High School Choral Festival.
June 6-7: West Coast premiere of “There Was a Child” by Jonathon Dove with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus.

Name: Sally Husch Dean
Profession: Founding Artistic Director, San Diego North Coast Singers
Community: Leucadia since 1977
Hobbies: Performing arts, reading, story arts
Favorite Local Spots in Encinitas: San Diego Botanic Garden, the beach, The 3rd Corner restaurant with my husband and friends, Leucadia Pizza with family