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, playing the piano, and attending the musicals at Logan High School to watch her brothers perform. When she was old enough, she enjoyed participating in them herself and 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 that program and the opportunity that it gave to students to perform and share their talents with their community. Believing that such a program could benefit Mountain Crest students by providing incentive to them to pursue excellence in their talents, a venue to showcase their talents to the community, and to offer the community the opportunity to experience these students perform, 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.
Originally, the Young Artist Cup program included high school students from the South end of the valley, eligible to attend Mountain Crest High School and not attending another high school. With the addition of the new High School in Millville and the support of Ridgeline’s Administration, they are excited to see them participate in this program.
George and Julie continue to be thrilled and amazed each year at the caliber of talent displayed by the contestants in this competition and love watching the talent blossom in those entering for the first time as they then go on to compete in following years. They are thankful for the effort of the past and current YAC Committee members and the Mountain Crest and Ridgeline High School Administrations in making this competition possible. And with the addition of several new Sponsors, it has been made possible to substantially increase the prizes and awards given to those that compete in this contest.
George and Julie enthusiastically invite you, the public, to come enjoy some of the finest youth talent in the valley at the annual Mountain Crest Ridgeline Young Artist Cup Competition!