By Stelios Pappas 
BELLEVILLE – Daniel Jiang used to be a victim of bullying, but he used musical talent to prove himself to his aggressors and is now a professional violinist.
Jiang, 21, was born in China, and his family came to Canada in 2007, settling in Scarborough. “I was 11 years old. I didn’t know any English. In fact, I didn’t know anyone,” Jiang said.
Jiang was enrolled in an English-as-a-second-language program at Pleasant View Junior High  in Scarborough. Both his parents were music professors in China. ButJiang didn’t pick up an instrument until he started being bullied by other kids at school.
He continued violin lessons and was looking to improve his skills even further. While he had stopped being directly harassed, he said, he wanted to prove he had more to offer. To him that meant going to a musically advanced school.
The Claude Watson arts program at Earl Haig school is an enriched program for students with interests and talents in dance, drama and music. Students must audition to get into the course.
Jiang continued to advance, picking up steam in the music community. Soon he was playing around Ontario and, as he puts it, played his heart out.
“I performed for Kiwanis  and Ontario music festivals, playing in a string quartet. I had played in Toronto, Peterborough, Kingston and Montreal,” he said.
It was important for him to continue doing something he loved, and that meant to continuously expand his musical ambition, he said. Currently Jiang is working toward his master’s degree in musical performance at McGill University  in Montreal.