Deseret News – Music education isn’t a priority in the U.S. How this Utah school is doing its part to fix that


SALT LAKE CITY — There are a lot of things Eugene Watanabe could’ve talked about.

He could’ve talked about how he debuted with the Utah Symphony when he was 9 years old. He was a fourth-grader then, and he performed a Vivaldi violin concerto. But that was 40 years ago, and he shrugged it off with a laugh.

“That’s not important,” he said quietly. “Me playing then is insignificant.”

He could’ve talked about how at 17, he was accepted to Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music — one of the most selective schools in the United States (on average, Curtis accepts 4% of applicants each year, and all are accepted on full scholarship). Watanabe was the first person to double-major there, graduating with degrees in both violin and piano performance.

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