Deseret News – He wanted to come to Utah, but he couldn’t get a visa. Here’s how this Haitian cellist made it to Abravanel Hall


SALT LAKE CITY — Getro Joseph had arrived at his church to play basketball in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, when he saw a man playing an instrument he had never seen before. Out of curiosity, the 13-year-old approached the musician.

“I asked the man, ‘What is this?’ and he told me, ‘This is a cello,’” Getro recalled.

The teenager committed the name to memory. And when he got home, he told his mom he wanted to attend music school. Although it would take some time to come up with the registration money, Getro’s mom didn’t hesitate, telling her son she wanted him to learn how to play the “big violin.”

But Getro hadn’t forgotten the real word.

“The name is cello,” he told his mom.

Four years later, cello is more than a word to Getro. It’s an instrument that has changed his life. Most recently, it’s an instrument that has brought him to the United States for the first time to study with Utah Symphony cellist John Eckstein.

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