Weiyi Cai Yu, a music instructor at Lee University, had two students, Darby Lauren Jones and Bethany Thorton, named concertmasters of youth orchestras in their local areas.
Ms. Jones, a senior at Georgia-Cumberland Academy, has studied violin with Ms. Yu since 2008. She has been concertmaster with the Georgia Youth Symphony since 2009, and the Georgia-Cumberland Academy since 2010. A versatile musician, Ms. Jones recently performed with the bluegrass band “Higher Calling.”
Ms. Thorton, a junior, homeschooled student, also studies violin under Ms. Yu. She began playing at the age of three and has played violin ever since. Ms. Thorton currently serves as concertmaster for the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestra and first violinist of its string quartet. Earlier, she was concertmaster of the Junior Youth Orchestra in Lincoln, Neb.
In 2004 Ms. Yu joined the faculty of Lee University’s school of music. She was born in Guangzhou, China, and started violin training when she was six years old. In 1985, Yu was admitted as a scholarship student to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. A year later, she won a full scholarship to study at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. While there, she completed the Bachelor of Music degree and additional graduate study under Professor Peter Salaff, a member of the world acclaimed Cleveland String Quartet. She has participated in the master classes of Joseph Gingold and Itzhak Perlman.
Ms. Yu has performed with Yo Yo Ma and Issac Stern, as well as the Atlanta Pops, North Carolina, Binghamton, Charlotte, Greenville, and Chattanooga symphony orchestras. She has played in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, in addition to many European countries including Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, Belgian, the Netherlands, and Austria.