UCI News

Mixed majors

Scholarship recipient Joseph Wong pursues a unique academic combo of music and computer science

by Dhanika Pineda, UCI | October 4, 2021
Mixed majors
“The education I have received at UCI will allow me to share the joy of music with other people,” says Joseph Wong, on far left.

Joseph Wong entered UCI with a single major in computer science, but the absence of music and performance in his life proved too much.

Born and raised in Cupertino, Wong had been exposed to classical music through concerts and recitals and, at 5, began playing the violin. At 11, he was entering Bay Area competitions.

Now a third-year Anteater pursuing bachelor’s degrees in both computer science and music, Wong is an award-winning performer and has even played live – twice – at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

In the future, he hopes to work as a software engineer and, in his free time, perform and possibly teach music. “Perhaps once I’m financially stable, I would consider moving toward performing regularly in a chamber music group or orchestra,” Wong says.

He recently received the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts’ Margie McDade Memorial Scholarship – awarded to an upper-division undergraduate studying piano or violin. “I am grateful for the funding,” Wong says. “It will allow me to not have to worry about the costs of maintaining my instrument and purchasing sheet music.”

This summer, he participated in the Montecito International Music Festival. Usually held at La Sierra University in Riverside, the event aims to “instruct, mentor and inspire the next generation of great musicians.” It was held online this year.

After training with the festival’s world-renowned faculty, Wong is hoping to enter the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, hosted by the California Music Center in San Francisco, later this year.

“The education I have received at UCI will allow me to share the joy of music with other people,” he says. “Music is powerful, and it’s a universal way to communicate and provide comfort in times of difficulty.”

If you want to learn more about supporting student achievement or other activities at UCI, please visit the Brilliant Future website. Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. The Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts play vital roles in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/donald-bren-school-of-ics and https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/claire-trevor-school-of-the-arts.