Youthphonic was founded by Verona Teo, Sarah Wu, Jamie Ip, and Lily Wang, who were all drawn together in the hopes of exploring the possibilities of string quartet music while having fun with their instruments. As young musicians who had all experienced the fun of performing in a group, they worked together to form a string quartet that combined and showcased their talents. Based in the Bay Area, they have enjoyed playing together since their first practice session, and have never looked back.
The ensemble's name is derived from combining two words, Youth and Euphonic, a pun based on the age of our musicians and the quality of our music.
A musician for many years, Verona has been playing the piano for eight years and the viola for three years. Ever since she was five, she developed a strong passion for music and started playing the piano in Kindergarten. In the fifth grade, she became interested in string instruments, but loved the powerful sound of the viola the most. Verona has entered many piano competitions over the years, such as USOMC and the San Mateo County Fair Competition, and has won a great amount of awards. She also completed ABRSM grade 8 when she was in the sixth grade. Apart from playing music, Verona enjoys reading, digital photography, and talking to her friends. As the founder and violist of Youthphonic, she is also the principal violist for the Peninsula Young Artists. She loves playing music with friends - whether it's an ensemble, orchestra, or simply, a duet.
Currently 16 years old, Alex Rotundo has been playing the violin for nine years, and joined Youthphonic in December 2015. He has also been a pianist for ten years, completing the tenth level of the Certificate of Merit exams in March 2015. As a violinist, he is currently fifth chair of the senior orchestra of the Peninsula Youth Orchestra organization, and also received honorable mention in their Concerto Competition in 2015. Alex has been a member of the PYO organization since 2009. He is also active as a composer, and has won composition awards from the National Association of Composers, USA, as well as from the Multicultural Sonic Evolution. Alex is currently a violin and composition student of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
The youngest member of Youthphonic, Lily is 11, and currently in 6th grade, attending the GATE program of Bayside STEM Academy. She started playing piano when she was four and began taking lessons for violin when she was seven, developing her talent in music from a young age. She has passed Grade 8 in the ABRSM exam for piano and Grade 5 for theory. She is currently the principal violin for Concordia Strings, a subsection of the Peninsula Youth Orchestra, and the primary accompianist of Youthphonic. Also, she's a monkey.
Jamie Ip is 15 years old and curently in his sophomore year at Hillsdale High School. The cellist of the group and its technical manager, Jamie started taking private lessons for cello when he was eight years old and has also played the piano since he was four. While in 9th grade, he helped lead his high school orchestra to achieve a Unanimous Superior at CMEA with only two celli, including him, in their twenty-two man orchestra. Holding a distinction in Grade 8 of ABRSM for cello and a current member of the main branch of the Peninsula Youth Orchestra, the quality that he likes the most about the cello is the richness of its sound and how relaxing it is to play. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games, watching anime, and reading any books that catch his interest.