by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Soul of Photography

Passionate Soul

Devon McCrea has a passion for life and music that he enjoys sharing with others. This 17-year-old junior at San Dieguito Academy (SDA) is an exceptional guitarist who has been playing for seven years. “When I was nine years old I wanted guitar lessons, and Greg Shirer, a wonderful teacher and family friend, said he would teach me to play. He came to my house and played the guitar piece “Fuoco” by Roland Dyens, and I remember a sensation tingling down my body. I felt the passion and heart that Greg put behind the guitar, and I wanted to do the same,” revealed Devon. Devon enjoys all types and styles of music, both classical and contemporary, with his favorite pieces revolving around love – the different types of love in the world and how they make people feel and behave.

As a musician, Devon is dedicated not only to perfecting his craft, but also sharing it with family, friends, and the community. “Sharing a part of myself, making myself vulnerable to the audience, sharing a part of my soul is like giving a gift to somebody,” related Devon. He plays at a local retirement home, teaches guitar to his friends, and has an active leadership role in the Encinitas Guitar Orchestra. “At the retirement center, I play during evening meal time. When I play, I sense that they become more animated and positive-minded. They laugh more, conversation flows, and I can feel their spirits lift,” stated Devon.

“Sharing a part of myself, making myself vulnerable to the audience, sharing a part of my soul is like giving a gift to somebody.”

As a student at SDA, Devon enjoys language arts classes and particularly loves reading novels and participating in lively literary discussions. Devon plays the euphonium in the Wind Ensemble at SDA and was honored with the Espirit de Corps Award by his fellow students and music teachers. This award recognized Devon’s enthusiasm for music. He was also chosen to participate in the district honor band for euphonium.


When looking to the future, Devon hopes to attend the Thornton School of Music at USC to study with renowned guitarists Scott Tennant and Pepe Romero. “I want to eventually pursue a career in music education and teach those who are at a disadvantage, whether it be financial or environmental. I’d also like to perform for those in need. Music helped me in my times of need and difficulty. I’d like to help others in the same way,” he shared.

Name: Devon McCrea (17)
School: San Dieguito Academy
Grade: Junior
Parent: Melissa McCrea
Sibling: Grace McCrea (15)
Favorite Places in 92024: SDA, a special hiking trail leading to a stream that we call Wonderland, Bull Taco, the rocks at Swami’s