Good Counsel Sophomore Haley Hopkins Accepted into the Summer Academy at the Peter de Grote Music Festival

The first time that GC sophomore Haley Hopkins applied to the Summer Academy at the Peter de Grote Music Festival he wasn't accepted. Considering musicians between the ages of 12 and 30, of all experience levels, from all over the world audition to be one of only 80 students accepted into the prestigious program, Haley knew the difficult odds he faced and remained undeterred. He spent the next year at Good Counsel honing his craft under the tutelage of Dr. Slocum as a part of the GC string ensemble. With another year of experience, Haley decided to audition for the program again this summer. "It is very competitive," he explained about the audition process, "but this year I was accepted."


The Summer Academy is a three-week long program of master classes taught by acclaimed musicians who have garnered reputations as both great teachers and excellent performers. Taking place during the Netherland's largest chamber music festival, the Peter de Grote Music Festival, it attracts some of the finest musicians from all over the globe. Haley was able to get expert coaching on his violin play through two-hour long, personalized lessons. "They were very long days," he said with a chuckle, "We'd practice all day long and then they'd spend time going over all your mistakes, fixing your posture, and coaching you on how to play better." The grueling schedule paid off as Haley saw improvement in his play. "Each day they'd have concerts during lunch. If the teachers liked the way a student played that day, they'd ask them to play at a lunch concert. I was chosen to play one day."


Haley returned to Good Counsel this year with all the tools he gained from the Summer Academy. The experience helped him mature as a player, and it showed in class. "He's very talented," Dr. Slocum said of the second-year student, who recently earned the title of Concert Master, meaning he is the first chair violin for the school. "It was a fun experience," he concluded, "I made some new friends and I really enjoyed it."



Haley (pictured front) 

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