City Academy 


August 14, 2019

Salt Lake City—City Academy charter school in Salt Lake will soon begin sharing space with Gifted Music School. Beginning August 2019, Gifted Music School will move some of its programs from 150 S. 1000 E. to the City Academy campus at 555 E. 200 S.

City Academy is a public, tuition-free charter school for grades 7 through 12. Founded in 2000 by a group of University of Utah educators, City Academy was one of the state’s first charter schools. Gifted Music School was launched in 2008 by internationally recognized musicians Eugene and Vera Watanabe as a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational institution. Gifted Music School has a variety of programs for students between the ages of 0 and 18.

According to City Academy Executive Director and Founder Sonia Woodbury, “The arrangement between City Academy and Gifted Music School will be beneficial for both of our educational organizations. Since many of Gifted Music School’s programs are held after regular school hours and during the summer, this arrangement will allow for a very efficient and productive use of our campus. In addition, it is my great hope that City Academy and Gifted Music School students will take advantage of opportunities offered by both schools. The potential crossover of students could result in a unique and life-changing education.”

Gifted Music School Co-Founder and Artistic Director Eugene Watanabe added, “Dr. Woodbury and City Academy have successfully strived for equal-access, quality academics. Our goal is that this collaboration will build the foundation for a nationally significant model of exceptional music education combined with opportunities for uncompromising academic excellence.”

Woodbury said, “A unique opportunity for all these students is that City Academy is Utah’s only Cambridge University Cambridge International Centre school. City Academy uniquely offers Cambridge advanced-placement courses and exams that are more highly regarded than AP or IB because they require students to write thoughtful answers rather than answer multiple choice questions. Accomplishment on Cambridge International Examinations is recognized by Utah colleges and Ivy League schools along with internationally renowned institutions like Oxford and Cambridge as an important element in considering potential new students’ applications.”

Watanabe added, “Gifted Music School’s track record of unparalleled standards in music education makes it a natural partner for City Academy. Gifted Music School operates three major programs: a Preparatory Division (tuition-based private lessons in 10-plus instruments), a Conservatory (full-scholarship division for serious musicians), and Project GRIT, a tuition-free program for low-income youth in Title I schools. Gifted Music School graduates have advanced to such well-known schools as the Juilliard School, the Colburn School, Curtis Institute of Music, Stanford, San Francisco Conservatory, New England Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Gifted Music School is hopeful that its partnership with City Academy will enable many more children to realize their musical and academic dreams.”