Teen's piano lessons pay off

After applying twice for the scholarship, Yu was guaranteed the $10,000 before he even performed at "From the Top."

"They called me in August and said I got it; I just had to perform in October," Yu said.

Also this fall, Yu won first place in a contest that landed him a performance with the Ithaca College Concerto. When asked whether opportunities like this for high school students to perform with college concertos come often, Keough shook her head.

"He's not your average kid, coming home with that many awards," she said.

Yu is not directly Keough's student because she is the music supervisor for the entire district, although, she said, over the years, Yu has felt like a student to all of the music teachers, sharing his talent and ideas with everyone involved in music throughout the district.

While his passion is mostly for the piano, Yu said he chose to take up the clarinet because it would grant him the ability to take at least one music class per day.

Yu said he has not yet decided what he will use his scholarship money for. He has, on top of that scholarship, received a $16,000 scholarship to attend the New England Conservatory. He said he wants to double major in college, so that no matter what, music can remain a huge part of his academic life.""

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