HIGH 5

High 5: 14-Year-Old Donates Restored Violins To Music Class

Feb 5, 2020, 1:26 PM | Updated: Sep 13, 2020, 10:43 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The music students at Mountain View Elementary School got a big surprise recently — all thanks to a talented high schooler.

Zeke Sokoloff is a violin virtuoso. He’s only been playing for about four years, but he’s already performed with the Utah Symphony and has a long music career ahead of him.

Zeke is a student with the Gifted Music School. Through one of its outreach programs, he saw a need at Mountain View Elementary’s music program.

“There wasn’t enough violins for everybody,” he said. “Some people had to share.”

Bianka Chavez, a Mountain View student, said sharing the violins caused issues with learning how to play.

“You have to put in multiple hours on the weekends as well, so there’s not always enough for everybody to take home a violin and try to get better on their own,” she said. “So that’s hard.”

Zeke got a violin repair shop to donate a bunch of old violins. He then needed to find the money to be able to fix them up.

Through online donations and working at the local farmer’s market, he was able to raise a total of $600, which in turn restored 30 violins.

When the instruments arrived, the students and teachers were very excited.

“It was really cool because, like, we had all these big, huge variations of violins,” Bianka said.

“I cried,” teacher Rachel Taft said. “It’s a very emotional thing having somebody of that age take it upon themselves to do something wonderful like this.”

Zeke’s parents said he’s not only a huge fan of music but, like any good Utahn, he also loves the Jazz.

Because of his hard work, KSL TV gave Zeke a High 5, complete with a Donovan Mitchell jersey and tickets to see a Jazz game in the lower bowl.

After hearing about such an amazing project from a student in their community, America First Credit Union wanted to go the extra mile.

“Zeke, we just wanted to tell you how proud of you we are for taking an opportunity to help others in need,” said BJ Lund with America First Credit Union as he presented the young man with a $500 America First Visa gift card.

Now, when the kids at the school play, they’re playing a happier tune knowing that they have plenty of instruments.

“It’s just really cool for me to be able to help somebody do what I am very passionate about, something that I love doing,” Zeke said.

If you know someone who deserves a KSL High 5, nominate them here:

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High 5: 14-Year-Old Donates Restored Violins To Music Class