PASSION

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​​Dorothy Gerber Strings Assistant Music Director, ​Chas Helge

To Contact David: daviddgstrings@gmail.com, (616) 828 -8231

Chas Helge brings twenty-two years of cello playing, nine years of academic study, and seven years of professional teaching experience to the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program. Growing up in Manistee MI, he was a student of Crispin Campbell of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Indiana University with Emilio Colon, a Master of Music in Cello Performance from Western Michigan University with Bruce Uchimura, and has completed classwork for his Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance coursework at the University of Oklahoma with Dr. Jonathan Ruck.

As a performer, Chas has dedicated himself equally to the solo, chamber, and orchestra repertoire. In 2017, he performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Benzie Symphony Area Orchestra and in 2018 was the winner of the OU Donna Turner Smith Cello Competition. He is an avid chamber musician having performed with faculty of IU, WMU, OU, the Bay View Music Festival, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. While living in Oklahoma, he was a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Fort Smith Symphony of Arkansas.

Chas’s pedagogical training began at Indiana University with Dr. Brenda Brenner and Mimi Zweig. He served as a lead instructor at the Fairview Violin Project, a teacher for IU String Academy, and a counselor and instructor at IU Summer String Academy. After moving to Kalamazoo for his MM degree, Chas was the lead cello instructor at Kalamazoo Kids in Tune (El Sistema) and a strings instructor for the Marshall Music Company while also teaching applied cello lessons and string methods at WMU. He completed his Suzuki Cello Book 1 registration with Grace Field of the Kalamazoo Suzuki Academy. For the last three years, he has maintained a studio at the Norman School for Strings teaching Suzuki cello and violin and coaching chamber music. Chas has served as the cello assistant at Interlochen Cello Institute since 2015.

Dr. David Reimer

DGSP Music Director

Dorothy Gerber Strings Program Music Directors

Dorothy Gerber Strings Music Director, ​Dr. David Reimer

Chas Helge

DGSP Assistant Music Director

To Contact Chas: chashelge@gmail.com, 231-233-2831


Dr. David Reimer has been a professional violinist and teacher for more than 25 years.  He comes to the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program from Calvin College, where he was Professor of Violin and Director of String Activities.  During his thirteen years at Calvin College, Dr. Reimer created the highly successful Calvin String Summit summer camp, performed with the Calvin College Orchestra in England and China, and developed a vibrant chamber music program.  During this time, he also performed with area orchestras such as the Grand Rapids Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, Traverse Symphony and the Baroque on Beaver Island orchestra. He has recently begun playing with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.
Previous teaching posts have included the Omaha Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Connecticut, and the College of DuPage.  Dr. Reimer's students have covered a wide range of ages (6 to 60) and skill levels (beginner to concerto competition winners).  He recently published articles for the College Music Society and the American String Teachers Association and released a CD entitled "Meditatio" in 2010.
Dr. Reimer has enjoyed a variety of performing experiences, including musicals (he performed as concertmaster for "West Side Story" earlier this year) and pops concerts (supporting artists from Bob Hope to Randy Travis).  He has played with many orchestras, including the Virginia Symphony, the West Virginia Symphony, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra.
With a doctorate in violin from the Ohio State University, Dr. Reimer also studied violin at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  He credits much of his passion for violin and the orchestra to his experience in the Omaha Area Youth Symphony.  During his final two years of high school, he was concertmaster, concerto soloist and leader of the OAYS string quartet.