Donor Spotlight: Julie and Steve Tierney

“There are two things that make San Diego spectacular,” says Steve Tierney. “One is the Pacific Ocean, and the other is the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.” Steve, pictured above with his wife Julie, was born in San Mateo, California and has lived all around the world from Dearborn, Michigan; to London, England; and New Delhi, India. “I have heard a few world class orchestras in my time, and I would say the San Diego Symphony is very competitive!”

Steve has had a lifelong connection to classical music. He credits his parents and especially his teacher, Ms. Elizabeth Hagberg for opening his eyes (and ears) to the wonder of music. He began playing the sousaphone in the 4th grade and moved on to the double bass which he played through high school. “Looking back, playing an instrument in an orchestra has been one of the great gifts in my life,” said Steve. His love of music rubbed off on his four children and grandkids as well, all of whom have been involved in music and the arts. “Hearing an orchestra, I realize how nurturing it is and connects everything in me, mind, body, and spirit 

Steve became a San Diego Symphony donor soon after moving here in 2002. “I feel that the San Diego Symphony is the jewel in the crown,” said Steve. “Over the years I’ve tried, if I could, to contribute to its success.” During the rise of COVID-19, Steve felt compelled to step up and help make sure his beloved orchestra would endure. “Because I really wanted the San Diego Symphony to make it through the pandemic, I decided to increase my contribution level.” Steve and Julie are now members of the Partner with a Player Program, a committed group of donors which provides sustaining financial support for the orchestra. The Symphony’s community engagement activities are one area Steve values most and hopes will continue to flourish. “Even during the pandemic,” says Steve, “the orchestra was trying to be agile and find ways to get out into the community. I think it is just a wonderful gift to everybody.”

Community is at the heart of everything we do at The San Diego Symphony. We are grateful for the support we get from our donors which allows us to continue to spread the gift of music through education programs, and free concerts. “The Symphony is lucky to be here in San Diego because there is a great donor base.” says Steve. “I think that foundation has made the orchestra what it is today, and it is a privilege for me to be able to help in some small way to support the San Diego Symphony.”


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