April 3, 2014 (Jackson) - Senior Jocelyn Zhu and graduate Shellie Brown ('12) have been accepted with scholarships to two of the most elite master degree programs for violinists in America. Zhu was accepted to Juilliard where only .04% of violin applicants are accepted and Brown was accepted to Rice University to study under one of the most sought after professors of violin.
Zhu will be studying at Juilliard under Catherine Cho who is recognized for her remarkable virtuosity, combining technical mastery of her instrument with an extraordinary and distinctive musicality. Collegeboard.com reports that the acceptance rate to Juilliard is 7%. Zhu applied for the masters program, which consists of 25% of the school's 600-student population.
Brown will be studying under Paul Kantor who is one of the highest-in-demand teachers in America. His studio is always full and he has been known to accept only a couple of students a year. His impressive musical career includes serving as chair of the String Department at the University of Michigan for 13 years and concurrent appointments at the Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory and Yale University. Rice only accepts about 10% of all applicants for their violin program.
President of Belhaven University Dr. Roger Parrott said, While cheering for their success, we also applaud their strings professor, Song Xie, who has not only prepared them musically to complete at the highest levels, but also equipped them with the spiritual foundation to take on the extremely brutal competitiveness of top level music performance and do it in a way that brings honor to the Lord.
Both Zhu and Brown are musicians with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and have won countless awards in violin competitions. They were also both accepted to Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, The Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and the University of Michigan.