Filipino-American musician and Opera Philadelphia Assistant Principal Viola Jay Julio, is devoted to music-making and education both on and off stage. After three years of public school orchestra and learning violin from YouTube, scholarship support allowed Jay to take their first private lesson at the Mannes Preparatory Division at age 14; since then, they have been recognized in national competitions held by the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Music Teachers National Association, and the YoungArts Foundation, and have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl behind artists such as Audra McDonald and Burna Boy.
As an advocate for equity and disabilities on and off stage, Jay has appeared in the Asian American Arts Alliance’s “The AMP”, ABC and NBS affiliates throughout the South, and as guest speaker at the Juilliard School. During the year, Jay performs with ensembles such as the Metropolis Ensemble, the Unsung Ensemble, the American Composers Orchestra, the Palm Beach Opera, and as a substitute with the Portland, Dallas, Virginia, and Memphis Symphony Orchestras. Their teaching experience extends from in-school work with Opus 118 Harlem School of Music and Talent Unlimited High School to violin ensemble coaching at the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and the Young Artists Philharmonic (Bridgeport, CT). Jay currently serves as viola assistant and instructor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Viola Intensive and as a substitute instructor of viola and chamber music at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division.
Jay believes in communicating ideas big and small and adding to every individual’s personal growth through teaching. Music is an integral part of our lives, and any musical learning should thus integrate all the things that make up a student’s life. Jay has seen former students major in music and always keep their love of music, both as a listener and a performer. Jay focuses on making sure that the instrument is not just a pain-free experience physically, but a joyful one mentally. No lesson is quite the same because no student is quite the same, both between individuals and also between the same individual on different days.