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About The Artistic Director

Shannon Houston grew up in Bay Area suburb of Antioch where he began playing violin at the age of 8. With the encouragement of his teachers through high school, he decided to pursue a degree in music. He attended Sacramento State where he earned his Bachelor degree in music, as well as his teaching credential. Shannon like to combine his performance and teaching abilities into his everyday life to create a lively atmosphere around him where he is able to spread his joy of music.

Upon moving back to the Bay Area, Shannon found in addition to teaching music in the schools that he wanted to lead a youth symphony. What he found lacking were opportunities for underprivileged students and students of color. With much support of parents and teachers in the community, and eagerness from students at the idea of creating a group for them, he formed the New Apollo Youth Symphony Orchestra.


Shannon now lives in the heart of Berkeley, where you can often find him exploring the city’s many offerings of food. He is a teacher with Berkeley Unified School District where he teaches beginning strings, and directs the Longfellow Middle School Orchestra. He occasionally performs with local ensembles, and early music ensembles based in Sacramento. He continues to find ways to build music into lives of children and the community, and hopes to expand the New Apollo into a large organization to help young musicians throughout the entire Bay Area.

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