San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra – David Davisson is pictured third from the right (Photo credit: Stefan Cohen)

Livermore musician, David Davisson, recipient of the Pedrozzi Foundation’s 2019 Charles Amirkhanian Music Scholarship is also a member of the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He and fellow SFSYO members recently returned from a European tour, performing at six different venues in four different countries. This diverse group of talented, young musicians, from throughout the greater Bay Area, was, in the words of a Berlin Tagesspiegel critic, “brilliant and absolutely electrifying.”

Davisson, a flutist, was a principal member of the Livermore High School Symphonic Band and performed with several local orchestras prior to joining the SFSYO in 2017. He attributes his grit, more than his talent, to his success as a musician. Grit, defined as, perseverance and passion for long-term goals, by renowned psychologist and neuroscientist Angel Duckworth, drove Davisson to practice three to four hours a day. It served him well as he prevailed during the highly competitive SFSYO audition process.

While performing for the first time at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, Davisson had a moment of clarity and inspiration, leading to his decision to pursue music as a career rather than a hobby. His Pedrozzi Foundation scholarship helps make that decision a reality as he pursues a degree in flute performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

The Pedrozzi Foundation awards scholarships to graduates of the Livermore schools, and Davisson is one of 115 students who were collectively awarded $443,500 this year. In May, he shared his musical talent with fellow Pedrozzi Scholars and their family and friends during the organization’s annual recognition event. Additionally, he, like his fellow Pedrozzi Scholars, expressed gratitude that a community foundation and generous donors are helping to fund his education.

A philanthropic Livermore couple endowed the Charles Amirkhanian Music Scholarship with a $100,000 donation in 2016. They named the scholarship in honor of Charles Amirkhanian, a native Californian, composer, percussionist, sound poet and radio producer who co-founded the “Other Minds Music Festival” in 1992. Amirkhanian is internationally recognized for his dedication to the encouragement and propagation of contemporary music in all its forms for audiences of diverse traditions, generations and cultural backgrounds. Inspired by Amirkhanian, this generous couple is thrilled to help turn Davisson’s hobby into a career. They look forward to following that career, “perhaps as a flutist with the San Francisco Symphony,” they muse.