Both George and Julie Whitney grew up in homes where music and the arts were valued and encouraged. George’s parents loved the arts and made an effort to expose their children to quality performances, many of which included concerts and plays at USU, the old Capital Theater in Logan, the Valley Music Hall in Bountiful, and the Pioneer Memorial Theater in SLC, as well as many music lessons. Julie learned to love music in her home, starting with piano lessons from her mother. Recordings of great music were played constantly. Julie loved taking dancing lessons, playing the violin in elementary school and playing the piano. She enjoyed attending the musicals at Logan High School to watch her brothers perform and when old enough she participated in them herself, and also loved being a part of the high school choir.
Because of the many great experiences and opportunities they had in school with choir, band and musicals at Logan and Bear River High Schools, Julie and George were anxious to see their children involved in and enjoying the arts at school because of the wonderful things they could learn from those experiences. When their children were old enough to attend the South Cache Freshman Center and Mountain Crest High School, they wondered what they could do to support those programs and encourage the students to develop their talents.
In 1999, George and Julie attended the Bennett Cup music competition at Preston High School to see their daughter accompany a friend that was performing. They were extremely impressed with the program and the opportunity that it gave to students to perform and share their talents. Believing that such a program could benefit Mountain Crest students by providing a venue for them to display their talents to the community, as well as encouraging excellence in music, they asked some friends to help them put a similar program together. Then, with their help and the support of the Mountain Crest Administration in 2000, the Young Artist Cup was born.
They continue to be thrilled and amazed each year at the caliber of talent diplayed by the participants in the competition and love watching the talent blossom in those entering for the first time as they go on to compete in following years. They are very grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the talent these performers put on display and all the help of past and current YAC Committee members and the Mountain Crest High School Administration in making this competition possible.