Two musical legacies.



The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association announced that they have signed a Merger Plan outlining a framework for the transformative fusion of the two New Mexico non-profit groups. This collaboration marks a pivotal moment, as two esteemed organizations unite to pool their talents and resources, further building on decades-long foundations to create a powerhouse organization dedicated to enriching the cultural landscape of our vibrant Santa Fe community. This merger will amplify the musical experience for our community and enhance the organizations’ ability to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages. Together, The Symphony and its new education arm will enrich the lives of our community by fostering a more robust environment for music education and performance, ensuring a brighter future for the next generation of musicians, giving opportunity by offering professional growth for Santa Fe music educators, and so much more.

The Symphony and SFYSA approach this collaboration from positions of strength and stability. Executives at both organizations are confident that this is the right time and place for the two groups to come together. In its 40th Anniversary Season, The Symphony has experienced record-setting ticket sales, sold-out performances, and strong support from community members. SFYSA, now in its 30th year, has grown steadily and serves 300 students weekly through a wide range of music education programs and services.

Combined, these two esteemed organizations can become a greater community resource and achieve more, collaboratively, than either group could accomplish independently.

SFYSA will relocate offices to join The Symphony and maintain its commitment to education access for aspiring young musicians, community engagement, and performance excellence through its award-winning Jazz, Mariachi, Chamber Music, and Orchestra projects.

Learn more about the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association and who they are … here.

The fusion of The Symphony and SFYSA will enable both organizations to engage in valuable educational and programming exchanges, deepen community engagement efforts, and maximize the impact of each administrative area. It will strengthen The Symphony’s core mission to provide world-class programming to Santa Fe and unite the incredible talents of both organizations for a grand celebration of musical excellence.

Together, the new, joint organization is poised to elevate music and create an enduring legacy for generations to come.

“Magical moments tend to happen in our City Different and this merger of two of Northern New Mexico’s most well respected and fiscally sound performing arts organizations is certainly one of those moments. On behalf of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus’ entire Board of Directors, we feel certain that the combined resources of both of the underlying organizations—artistic, staffing, leadership, and financial—will position your Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus for both near- and long-term growth in the future…”
Perry C. Andrews, III, President of The Symphony’s Board of Directors

“The Symphony and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony are a perfect fit. We’ve collaborated for a number of years on joint performances and programs, and our two organizations work well together. We know that the skills and experiences of each of our staff members enhance one another. And many of our orchestral and choral musicians are also educators, and needless to say thrilled about this merger. The Symphony and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony are strong separately, but we’ll be even stronger together.”               

 Emma Scherer, Executive Director of The Symphony

“I am thrilled about the upcoming merge with The Symphony. This collaboration represents a union of two powerful entities, each bringing its own strengths and resources to the table. Together, we’ll be able to serve a larger community, enriching the artistic landscape of Santa Fe and beyond. This integration marks a significant step forward in our collective mission to foster a love and appreciation for music in the hearts of people of all ages. The possibilities are endless, and I am confident that, united, we will  reach even greater heights.”         

Callie O’Buckley, Executive Director of SFYSA.

“This merger between The Symphony and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association a is so exciting from a music and cultural perspective. It’s wonderful to watch two great organizations join hands in the Land of Enchantment and continue to provide a variety of music to our community.

The Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association has steadily continued to develop over 30 years and this is such a pinnacle of artistic enrichment and mentorship for our youth orchestra, chamber music, jazz, and mariachi students.”
Lissa Garcia Lucht, Board Chair of SFYSA

We expect that this merger will allow for significant sharing of resources, and will have a positive effect on our staff, musicians, teachers, and audiences. We also believe that the combined organization will increase opportunities to secure funding from a wider range of supporters and entities. We invite all Santa Feans and all music-lovers to learn more about The Symphony, our community and education programs, and this exciting merger.


  • What does this merger mean for SFYSA?

SFYSA will become a part of the larger Santa Fe Symphony organization and retain its programs, staff, budget, and support. We will continue to provide outstanding music education for all, and we plan to expand our offerings in the coming years.

  • What does this merger mean for The Symphony?

The Symphony will continue its world-class performances at the Lensic and across Santa Fe. We will continue to provide all of our existing music education opportunities, including Cathedral Community Concerts, Discovery Concerts, Mentorship, Pueblo Chamber Concerts, and more.

  • What is the name of the merged organization?

The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus will continue on with our existing name, programs, staff, and musicians. The Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association will come under the umbrella of The Symphony and create a new department within The Symphony focused on Education and Community Engagement.

  • Where will the new organization be located?

The SFYSA staff and teachers will move in with The Symphony Team! We will share offices at The Symphony’s current location: 301 Griffin Street, entrance on Catron. This is the Enterprise Bank & Trust Building. We will be moving in together Summer 2024, exact date TBD.

  • Why should I continue supporting SFYSA if it’s part of a different organization?

In order for SFYSA, The Symphony, and music education programs to succeed, we are counting on you to continue giving generously to support music education! We cannot educate 300+ students and provide free programming for 5,000+ Santa Feans each year without your gifts. Starting July 1, when we merge, you will be able to continue directly supporting SFYSA staff, teachers, and programs by giving to The Symphony and designating your gift for music education (or even a specific program).

  • My child currently attends classes with SFYSA. What will change for them/me?

The teachers, staff, and supporters of SFYSA will remain the same through the merger. Your child will continue to take classes or lessons through the end of this semester as planned. Starting with our enrollment for 2024-2025, you may see slight changes in our registration process or the look and feel of our website, etc., but the same people will be taking your calls and teaching your children. We’ll just be at a new location!

  • What will happen to the SFYSA and Symphony Boards?

The SFYSA and SFS Board members voted unanimously in favor of this merger. They view it as an exciting opportunity and step forward for both nonprofits. The Youth Symphony Board will join the Community & Education Committee of The Symphony, dedicated to overseeing educational programing and budgeting. The SFYSA Board will also appoint two members to the larger Santa Fe Symphony Board of Directors, to represent the former SFYSA.

  • I want to learn more about the merger as it unfolds. How can I?

You can attend a Town Hall meeting, the first of which is scheduled for Sunday, May 17, 2:30 PM at the Lensic. You can also ask questions or email to be added to our mailing list. We will provide monthly updates until at least September 2024 to let you know how things are going.