Helen J Mao began studying at the age of five
with Mrs. Sibbel. Her current piano teacher is Larisa
Kanevski. Helen won the Iowa Music Teachers Association (IMTA)
Ames Piano Competition three times (2015, 2017, and 2018),
and was chosen as IMTA State Winner in 2018. Helen also
attended "Ames Has Talent 2017" an won First Place in the
Elementary Group. This year, she has been named the Winner in
the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) State Junior
Helen is in 6th grade at Ames Middle School. where her
favorite subjects are writing and math. She sings in choruses,
plays violin in the AMS Orchestra, and plays percussion in the
AMS Band. Helen enjoys playing concertos and chamber music,
and loves stage performance interacting with the audience. Her
favorite composers include Chopin, Mozart, and Beethoven. In
her free time, Helen enjoys sports such as tennis and skiing,
reading, drawing, and traveling. Helen is grateful for her
family's unconditional support.
Yihoon Shin is a senior from Emmetsburg High School and
a student of Dr. Jonathan Sturm. He began private violin
studies at the age of five in Seosan, South Korea. Prior to
moving to Iowa in 2017, he had studied in Ohio for nine years
with Alice Weiss, Lilli Foster, Laura Poper, and Mary Price.
Yihoon has been highly focused on orchestral and chamber
music. In addition to studying solo repertoire, he had his
first orchestral experience at the age of nine in Oberlin,
Ohio and later became a member of the nationally renowned
Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. He has worked to be
active in summers as well, participating in a handful of
programs during his middle school and high school summers.
Among them is the Indiana University Summer String Academy,
where he studied chamber music in depth with Evan Rothstein
and briefly with the Verona Quartet. He was an Iowa All-State
Orchestra violinist in 2017 and 2018, and was the
concertmaster in 2018. Though he has plans to pursue a
non-music major in college, he hopes to continue progressing
his passion for music.
Yihoon loves sharing music with his community in church, in
senior homes, and at his school, where he also sings and plays
electric guitar. Outside music, he enjoys swimming, tech,
fishing, and problem-solving.
Yihoon wishes to thank his family, his teachers, and his
friends for their endless support.