Leah Helpingstine, 17, recently spent two weeks improving her music efficiency at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisc.
A viola player for four years, the Highland resident is one of 51 young musicians chosen nationwide for the camp and played six concerts alongside professional orchestra players.
“The concerts were in a barn located right at the camp. It was really cool,” Helpingstine said.
“The music was standard classical repertoire, so a lot of the time we spent in rehearsal or practicing.”
Helpingstine’s group performed Brahms Symphony No.2, Beethoven Symphony No. 7, and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6. in addition to overtures to operas by Wagner and Verdi.
“I played a lot of hard music, and learned what it would be like to be in a more professional setting with my instrument,” she said.
“I learned a lot of new and good ways to practice my music, so that I can have more efficient practice sessions with myself.”
“I also learned how to sort out difficulties in my music that would have before frustrated me,” she added.
The daughter of Dan and Delia Helpingstine, Helpingstine is a senior at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School in Hyde Park, located on the university campus.
“It’s a lot smaller than most high schools; there are only about 120 kids in my class. It’s also pretty tough, and they focus a lot on getting us ready for college,” she said.
Helpingstine is a member of the school’s varsity girls tennis team and co-president of the martial arts club, and plans to attend the University of Evansville for physical therapy.
A member of First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Highland, she is a member of the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra and teaches TaeKwonDo classes at the Griffith YMCA.