Steven Payne Named Executive Director of East Bay Performing Arts

photo of Steven Payne, executive director of YOSA

Our own Steven Payne, the executive director of YOSA, has accepted a position with the East Bay Performing Arts in Oakland, Calif., and will be leaving San Antonio at the end of June.

In his new position, Steven will be executive director of the East Bay Performing Arts, which is a unique organization in that it is comprised of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Oakland Symphony Chorus and Oakland Youth Orchestra who signed a merger agreement in 2010.  The full release from East Bay Performing Arts can be found here (hyperlink).

Steven has been with YOSA since 2007 and has been instrumental in developing and implementing our strategic plan. He led the organization’s growth from an annual budget of $600,000 to more than $1.2 million. During his time with YOSA, we’ve increased the number of students we serve from 450 to more than 1,500. He was responsible for launching YOSA MÁS and expanded the duties of the music director position.  He managed three overseas performing tours: Helsinki, Tallinn and St. Petersburg in 2007; China in 2010; the United Kingdom in 2012.

We can’t believe he’s leaving us, but we’ve never been in better shape as an organization and we are poised to continue the growth he helped us to visualize.

“I am proud of the tremendous progress we have made and the growth that has occurred. It has truly been an honor and a pleasure to work alongside many community leaders, donors, music educators, and loyal staff members as we looked to fulfill a dream of creating a youth orchestra program which made a deep and meaningful impact on many children’s lives in San Antonio,” said Steven Payne. “The growth and changes over the last six years have been dramatic. But as I reflect on the accomplishments, the challenges, and the transitions, I feel that I can depart knowing that the organization will remain in good hands. There is a strong vision in place, clear strategic direction, and a strong staff that can carry the work forward as a new leader is identified.”

“We are really sorry to see Steven leave YOSA,” said Paul Oroian, board president. “His leadership and strategic direction have been integral to the organization’s recent success and has created a vision for the future direction of YOSA. We wish him the best – San Antonio’s loss is surely Oakland’s gain.”

“Steve has been a tremendous inspiration to me and to YOSA’s student musicians,” said Troy Peters, music director. “He has made YOSA a great organization San Antonio can be especially proud of.”

Suffice it to say, we will miss him terribly, but we are grateful for all the work he has done on our behalf.

Brandon Henson, YOSA’s operations director will serve as interim executive director while the board begins the search process for a permanent replacement.  Exciting new developments on the horizon for the organization in the coming year are its move into the new Tobin Center for Performing Arts and an international tour to Quebec, both in 2014.


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