Johnson recalls being in second grade when his teacher suggested he might be a good fit for a youth symphony program and sent him home with a brochure.
Like many kids in urban schools, Johnson's exposure to musical instruments and formal music classes was minimal, so when leaders of the special program at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra offered him the bass, he thought they meant bass guitar, rock 'n' roll style.
"I got there, and it was this big, tall thing," Johnson recalled. "But they ran out of bass spots, so I got the cello."
Six years later Johnson, 13, is a cellist in the youth orchestra's second-highest performing group and on his way to becoming eighth-grade class valedictorian at Milwaukee College Prep, 2449 N. 36th St.
Read the full article, which features University Community Orchestra Director Margery Deutsch conducting the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.