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Pre-College Alumni Take Next Steps

Every year, SFCM’s Pre-College division sees its graduating class take off to the best institutions of higher learning in the country. Some go to study medicine, engineering, and economics at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Boston University, UC, Berkeley, and NYU. And, of course, some continue their musical studies at the nation’s finest conservatories including The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Mannes School of Music, and SFCM.

SFCM plays a role in the futures of its students, no matter what path graduates take after completing their programs. The curriculum serves to inspire those who aspire and hone a sense of curiosity and dedication. Many look back on their time at SFCM as a transformative experience, preparing them for their next steps in their career paths and ongoing education.

Euan Shields, a just-graduated Pre-College student studying the cello, has decided to pursue music as his career. He was selected this year to join the highly acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), a group that will tour Latin America this July and August and give a performance at Carnegie Hall, as a conducting apprentice. Shields is also a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and is the founder of the San Francisco Youth Chamber Orchestra.

“SFCM Pre-College was the perfect place for me to interact with amazing faculty and students for my last few years of high school,” says Shields. “I'll never forget playing chamber music with my fantastic fellow students and the pure inspiration from my teachers. As my next musical journey, I'm excited to study at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music as it will give me the freedom and encouragement I need to study cello performance, conducting, and academics all in one school. Ultimately, I want to be a person who can help bring the joy of music into people's lives, the same as SFCM has done for me.”

Additional students from this year’s graduating class who are continuing their studies in music at the collegiate level include Jason Moon (violin), Elliot Wuu (piano), and Shini Zheng (piano), among others.

Another recent Pre-College alumnus, Jeremy Tai, has also been taking his passion to new heights—and successes—after a year studying at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music. On June 4, the young cellist won the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, one of the premier string contests for up-and-coming musicians.

“I am so incredibly honored to have been awarded the first prize in the Klein International String Competition!” says Tai. “Words cannot even describe how thrilled I am, it truly is a dream come true. I would like to thank my teacher Hans Jensen. This past year at Northwestern has been amazing, and I have continually been inspired.”