Jessica Yap – musical prodigy giving back to society

On March 4, 2012 violinist, Jessica Yap hosted her first fund-raising concert for The Jessica Yap Pass It On Scholarship Foundation at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.  “The goal is to provide assistance for medical students and the event will present some of the world's finest talents.”

"People should support this event as it is for a very good cause, giving some of Jamaica's most talented the opportunity to continue their education and possibly become some of our finest doctors. It is also a rare opportunity for lovers of classical music to witness the performance of three of the United States' most respected musicians," she added.  The three performers she’s referring to are David Cole, Carol Cole and Jon Robertson performing on cello, violin and piano respectively.

Jessica has been described as a musical whiz-kid, a musical extraordinaire, a musical genius, a gifted musician.  Jessica Yap is not your ordinary teenager. She is an extraordinarily gifted violinist who has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere.

She began performing publicly at the tender age of 13.  Since then, she has graced the stage countless times, bringing soothing joy and awe to audiences of common folks and dignitaries alike.

Musical Distinctions

A musical prodigy at not only the practical, but the theory as well, at the tender age of 7, Jessica became the youngest in the Caribbean to perform with an orchestra and to earn a distinction in the Grade 5 Theory Examinations.  The exam is offered by the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music in London, England. She has also soloed with the New England Chamber Orchestra at age of 7 years.  Jessica is also the recipient of Most Outstanding Performer for 3 consecutive years in the Music Teacher's Festival held in Jamaica biennially.

Furthermore, at 13, she earned the ABRSM diploma.  At 16 she achieved the Licentiate of The Royal Schools of Music (LRSM). She is the region's youngest violinist to receive either of these awards; and the youngest violinist in the hemisphere to complete all the ABRSM grades.  Having earned numerous distinctions; she was awarded a scholarship to attend University of Indiana for the summer of 2006 where she was tutored by renowned violin teachers Mimi Zweig and Carol Cole.

Since then, she has appeared at numerous events nationally and internationally. From the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, Shaggy's Save a Life fund-raising show, Jazz in the Gardens, Fun in the Son, Take Me Away, the Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant and various events in-between, Jessica has awed audiences everywhere.

Today, her repertoire is wide and encompasses pop, folk, gospel, reggae and even dancehall, but most of the time she plays classical music. This, she says is her favourite genre.

Where She Is Now

At present, Jessica is a recipient of the prestigious University of the West Indies Open Scholarship. She is currently a medical student at the UWI, Mona Campus in Jamaica.

Jessica and Charity

A philanthropist at heart, Jessica has fittingly chosen to share the fruits of her success. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of "Angels of Love", a charitable foundation that assists underprivileged and critically ill Jamaican children.

She also established the Jessica Yap Pass It On Scholarship Foundation. The scholarship provides financial aid for deserving and needy Jamaican students. The concept of the scholarship is to help students who will “pass it on" as soon as they are able to help another student through university.

Practising to play and performing with a violin are both lengthy and tedious process, yet Jessica has handled the demands on her exceedingly well. Her love for music and drive for academic excellence is admirable. With a down to earth and humble personality, Jessica is a role model for today’s youth.  Navito (TCC)

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