After graduating in the top five percent of her Seneca Valley High School class, Mrs. Lee went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and her certification in instrumental music education from the Catholic University of America, studying piano with Walter Pate and violin and viola with Jody Gatwood. Presently, Mrs. Lee is a string and band director at Beverly Farms ES, Luxmanor ES, and Candlewood ES. She has also been the string director for Cedar Grove, Clarksburg, Damascus, Rockwell, and Little Bennett Elementary Schools and string and band director at Clearspring ES, Olney ES, and Rock Creek Valley ES. In addition to teaching elementary school, she has served as the John T. Baker Middle School orchestra director for many years. During her years at Baker, Sylvia helped triple the size of Baker’s orchestra program and led her orchestras to superior ratings at district-level orchestra festivals nearly every year, superior to excellent ratings at state-level orchestra festivals, and first-place trophies both times Baker participated in the Music in the Parks festivals. Mrs. Lee co-directs the summer orchestra sight-reading camp at Landon School in Bethesda, where the string camp enrollment has quadrupled over the past twenty summers. In addition, nearly every year since she started teaching in MCPS, she has co-conducted the South County 6th Grade String Orchestra. She has also co-conducted other MCPS honors string orchestras at both the junior level and 6th-grade level.
Mrs. Lee has also adjudicated various orchestral events throughout Maryland and Virginia, including the Fairfax and Anne Arundel County Solo and Ensemble Festivals, the Columbia Orchestra Young Soloist Competition, and the Maryland All-State Senior Orchestra auditions. Her four children, playing clarinet, violin, flute, and cello from oldest to youngest, have all been involved in PVYO and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If Mrs. Lee had the opportunity to do it all over again, she would, in a heartbeat, still choose music education for youth.