Haley van Meurs makes All-State as a freshman

When freshman Haley van Meurs went to an orchestra concert for the first time at the age of five, she fell in love with the violin and begged her mom to let her learn to play. 

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Haley van Meurs makes All-State as a freshman

Freshman Haley van Meurs shows off her skills in the band
room on Dec. 16. Photo by Sonya Sheptunov

Freshman Haley van Meurs shows off her skills in the band room on Dec. 16. Photo by Sonya Sheptunov

Sonya

Freshman Haley van Meurs shows off her skills in the band room on Dec. 16. Photo by Sonya Sheptunov

Sonya

Sonya

Freshman Haley van Meurs shows off her skills in the band room on Dec. 16. Photo by Sonya Sheptunov

Sonya Sheptunov, Editor-in-Chief

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When freshman Haley van Meurs went to an orchestra concert for the first time at the age of five, she fell in love with the violin and begged her mom to let her learn to play. 

“I just loved the sound and the person that was playing it. They were so passionate, and they looked like they were having so much fun. It just drew me to it,” van Meurs said. “I just remember walking out of that concert half asleep but super inspired.”

Ten years later, van Meurs’s hard work and skill earned her a position in the All-State Symphony as a freshman in high school. After starting out with a private tutor, van Meurs joined the Cascadia Symphony and worked to the highest level, First Violin Chair. After making it into Junior All-State in seventh and eighth grade, she said she decided to audition for All-State as a freshman. Now that her work has paid off, she said she regards it as a separate, greater accomplishment entirely. 

Van Meurs credits part of her success as a violinist to her violin instructor, Jenny Sokol.

“I’ve had the same teacher since [I was five]… She’s quite strict and sometimes a little bit hard, but she’s a fantastic teacher. A lot of people that I know who take lessons have switched teachers one or two times, but I don’t think I ever want to switch because she’s amazing,” van Meurs said.

Aside from Sokol’s tutelage, van Meurs said that continuing to play the violin from a young age has taught her discipline and commitment. Not only does her discipline impact her work ethic in other aspects of life, it also pushes her out of her comfort zone to be on stage.

“I’m still quite afraid of talking in front of people, but when it comes to violin, I love getting up on stage and playing, even if my heart is going like 300 miles per hour,” van Meurs said.

Van Meurs said that playing the violin allows for a greater capacity of self-expression. 

“The music you play sometimes is so powerful, and it has so much feeling and depth to it,” van Meurs said. “Because so many composers out there have some great pieces, it’s great just to play because the feeling when you perfect the piece is so beautiful.”