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Taking life by the (French) horn

West De Pere’s Trista Schepp will attend Interlochen Arts Academy for her senior year, studying classical performance in horn on her path to becoming a professional musician. Submitted photos

West De Pere’s Trista Schepp to attend fine arts boarding school

By Janelle Fisher

City Pages Editor

With summer halfway over and school supplies popping up in stores, many students and families alike are starting to think about heading back to school.

For many, this means returning to see familiar friends and teachers, but Trista Schepp, a West De Pere student through 11th grade, will embark on a different academic path for her senior year.

Schepp will attend Interlochen Arts Academy, a fine arts boarding high school near Traverse City, Mich.

At Interlochen Arts Academy, students convene from around the world to study music, theatre, dance, visual arts and other artistic disciplines.

Schepp’s interest in music started young and evolved into something she now plans to pursue professionally.

“I started taking piano lessons from my dad in my early childhood, and joined band in 5th grade,” Schepp said. “In middle school, I started becoming more involved in music — going to camps and participating in as many different ensembles as I could at school. I always knew music would be a big part of my life, but gradually realized as I got older that it’s something I’d like to make into a career.”

Although she has experience with many instruments, Schepp will attend Interlochen Arts Academy to study classical performance in horn.

“French horn is my main instrument, but I continue to play trumpet in jazz band, mellophone in marching band and piano on the side just for fun,” she said. “I like each instrument for different reasons and the different styles of music I can play with each one, however, I typically gravitate towards the french horn, as it has the ability to produce such a full and soaring sound and it is the instrument I have invested the most time into.”

Although Schepp has played several instruments starting at a young age, her favorite is the French horn.

Prior to making the decision to attend Interlochen Arts Academy, Schepp participated in a variety of experiences to deepen her involvement with music, including as a member of West De Pere’s marching band, concert band and jazz band; the WSMA Honors Orchestra and Band; the Youth Symphony of St. Norbert College; the Lawrence Community Wind Ensemble at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music; and a variety of camps throughout the summers.

Schepp said part of the appeal of a boarding school like Interlochen Arts Academy is its similarity to those camps she’s participated in.

“Some of my favorite music experiences have been the camps I’ve attended, I’ve gotten to meet tons of new people from all across the country with similar interests,” she said. “This is what initially sparked my interest in Interlochen Arts Academy; it would be like those summer camps I had attended except for the entire school year. Nothing would be able to educate me more about music than being completely immersed in it for an entire school year.”

Although she is excited about this new journey, Schepp said there are things she will miss about being in De Pere.

“I am looking forward to the independent aspect and know it will be good preparation for college,” she said. “I’ll definitely miss my family and friends, and I’m sad that I won’t be spending my senior year at West De Pere with them.”

After her senior year at Interlochen Arts Academy is over, Schepp said she has her sights set on pursuing a musical education at the college level.

“I’m currently interested in Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, or some type of conservatory or school of music,” she said. “I’m hoping to pursue horn performance or music education, but ideally a good balance of both.”

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