william leathers toronto

Toronto musician crowdfunds tuition to go to Juilliard

Seventeen-year-old Toronto trumpeter William Leathers is on the road to Julliard and has already raised over $75,000 (and counting) to cover his first year at the prestigious performing arts school.

Only $263,000 to go before he's able to pay for the entire program.

@juilliardschool #juilliard2022

A post shared by Will Franklyn Leathers (@leathersboy) on

When Leathers was 12, he became the youngest trumpeter accepted into the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra.

This year, Julliard accepted only three trumpeters into its undergraduate music program and he was one of them. 

Julliard isn't cheap, however — especially for an international student.

Leathers and his parents were able to put together $25,500 for tuition and housing this year, but at a cost of $338,500 over four years, it's not enough.

He started a fundraising page to try to cover his first year, and says he'll "see where it goes from there."

"The reality is, there's a pretty big gap between what our family can come up with, and what it costs for tuition, housing, and books," reads his YouCaring fundraiser page

"So if you can find it in your heart to help, my family and I would appreciate it so much."

Father & Son Duet ❤️🙏🏽 #dad #son #trumpet #tradition

A post shared by Will Franklyn Leathers (@leathersboy) on

Leathers' YouCaring fundraiser page will continue to stay open as he goes through school, and 10 per cent of all donations will go toward creating a scholarship fund for young artists.

If his full tuition is raised, all money donated past that amount will go into the scholarship fund. 

Lead photo by

William Franklyn Leathers/ Instagram


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Music

The history of the El Mocambo in Toronto

The Weeknd just dropped a new video and it's straight out of a horror film

The trailer for the new Shawn Mendes doc is out and people can't get over the shower scene

The history of Electric Circus when it was Toronto's best party

The past and the future of the El Mocambo in Toronto according to owner Michael Wekerle

Toronto bride walks down the aisle to theme song from The Office

Drake celebrates son's birthday with epic balloon display at his Toronto mansion

The history of Lee's Palace in Toronto