Queens College grad receives two scholarships to study music

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Raised in Japan, educated at Queens College and now singing at the Yale School of Music, Jin-Xiang Yu is one of just eight singers granted with a full- scholarship.

Yu was also awarded with the most prestigious graduate scholarship in visual and performing arts as well as creative writing—the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation 2014 Graduate Arts Award.

Yu grew up in Japan with her father playing the two- stringed Chinese violin called the erh and her mother playing piano as well as the Chinese dulcimer, trapezoidal shaped string instruments played by handheld hammers.

When Jin-Xiang, commonly called JX by her friends, came to America, she played volleyball. While a freshman at Mercy College, QC representatives spotted her playing volleyball and recruited her for the QC Knights.

Jin-Xiang agreed, but played volleyball only for a short while before sustaining an injury that thwarted her volleyball career. As a result, she auditioned twice until she was accepted as a vocal major into the Aaron Copland School of Music.

Jin-Xiang says she “fell in love” with classical music. The music she “hated” in the past and did not considered studying soon became her passion.

Jin-Xiang gives credit to QC for allowing her to find her talent. She says QC “is the kind of place where if you don’t come in with all the tools, professors see your potential and give you a chance.”

Yu was also awarded a $7,000 a year grant from the William Orr Dingwal Foundation, which is presented to students of Asian descent.

In addition to studying music, Yu studied European languages at QC and earned a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. She speaks Mandarin along with Japanese fluently and learned Spanish at the English-speaking international schools she went to in Japan. She brought her love for languages to the stage as she sang in French, German, Italian and Russian at her senior recital.

Yu’s passion, abilities and education surely helped her get into Yale. But most of all her talent, hard work and exceptional opera voice landed her in a prestigious program and to a promising career.

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