He named his black grand piano Mariah, after Mariah Carey, who taught him that "you could get girls with a piano."
Besides Mariah, though, 15-year-old George Abbott seems to be too busy for girls these days.Abbott, a musician and budding performer at Bountiful High, is deciding whether or not politics is for him. His appointment to the Davis School Board as a student representative should help make up his mind.
Even though Abbott can't vote, the talkative junior says he is looking forward to being a part of discussions and persuading the school board to open up the schools to more cultural events and performances.
This summer, Abbott got an up-close look at government during a three-week Junior Statesman seminar at Jamestown University. The group of students held debates that mimicked congressional sessions during the day and listened to politicians like Attorney General Janet Reno on weekends.
Abbott said Reno was his favorite speaker because she told them "not to spend our whole lives trying to get money and power because there's too many interesting things out there that we could be doing."
Taking Reno's advice literally, Abbott plans to focus on his music and work hard on his grades to get into a competitive performing arts program. Besides taking part in school board meetings, politics can wait because Abbott is "kind of tuned off to the whole idea of dragging myself through the mud."
Abbott says he hopes to get the school board to give recognition to academic and performing arts students as well as the athletes.
"Art is powerful," he said. "It's applying something that you can learn. . . when you see things performed, they are much more powerful and much more real," he added.
Abbott's mother, Kathy Wight, knows where he gets his strong opinions on education. Having been the dean of students at Abbott's middle school in California, her son often had to sit through board meetings to wait for rides home.
Wight said her son has always been very determined and insisted that he start kindergarten early.
"It is challenging to raise a child that is intent and determined to do it all," she said. "It's been hard to pull him back (sometimes) when he can't be in something but wants to do it sooner," Wight added.