NPR highlights senior on “From the Top”


Jacob Choi

Growing up in a musical family is paying off for senior Jacob Choi who is being featured Monday on the NPR program “From the Top”. Named a Jack Kent Cooke “Young Artist”, Choi is receiving a grant totaling up to $10,000.

Cooper Ragle, WTV Executive Producer

One orchestra student is making news and it’s coming straight “From the Top” as senior Jacob Choi is highlighted on Monday’s NPR program. 

His appearance on “From the Top” would be the pinnacle for some students, but it’s part of Choi being named a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist, a distinction bestowed on just 20 people in the United States each year, and an honor that comes with a grant totaling up to $10,000.

“With this grant I’m able to pursue a lot of my other musical educations that i’ve been wanting to do,” Choi said. “For example, I’m attending a music festival so hopefully I’m able to do that with this money I’ve been provided, and I can also use it on other musical activities too. It’s honestly a blessing.”

Playing the viola and violin, Choi grew up in a musical family.

“My father was a professional conductor and my mother majored in voice, and my brother majored in performance,” Choi said. “Music was always a natural and daily essence of my life, so because of that, there was always music in my house so I was naturally integrated into the music community.”

Being named a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist is a recognition that is well deserved according to orchestra director Julie Blackstock. 

“I have never known somebody as dedicated to his craft as Jacob,” Blackstock said. “One that works so hard to be the very best that he can be, but also is a tremendous human and I think those go hand in hand. Understanding how to work at the proper work ethic, the way you treat others, the way that you work and communicate with others all goes into making a tremendous musician, and that’s Jacob.”