Weiyi Cai Yu, a music instructor at Lee University, recently had
two students, Darby Lauren Jones and Bethany Thorton, named
Concertmasters of youth orchestras in their local areas.
Darby Lauren Jones, a senior at Georgia-Cumberland Academy, has
studied violin with Yu since 2008. She has been concertmaster with
the Georgia Youth Symphony since 2009, and the Georgia-Cumberland
Academy since 2010. A versatile musician, Jones recently performed
with the bluegrass band "Higher Calling."
Bethany Thorton, a junior, homeschooled student, also studies
violin under Yu. She began playing at the age of three and has
played violin ever since. 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 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
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.
PHOTO: Pictured here (l to r) are Thorton, Yu, and