- Zane Hellmann, junior
- The Weber School
It’s an eager and curious nature that’s led Zane Hellman to succeed in music, soccer and academics.
“My true passion is knowledge,” Zane said. “I love to learn and I’m always interested in new and unusual ideas.”
At age 6, when many children are still learning to read, Zane was a bit of a musical prodigy. He took classical piano. Fast forward to the eighth grade, Zane developed an interest in the free-form musical genre of jazz.
He auditioned to take lessons from Gary Motely, head of Jazz Studies at Emory University. “Mr. Motley agreed to make me his pupil and from there most of my musical activities followed in suit,” Zane said.
Zane now divides his time between classes in both classical and jazz piano. He plays in both the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra and his school’s jazz ensemble, which he helped create.
To Zane, part of the fun of being a musician is the ability to share his talent with others. In fact, he founded an organization to allow student musicians to entertain at elderly homes.
He began volunteering at Summers Landing, a senior-living facility, where he would play for the residents.
Then Zane took it a step forward. He founded a non-profit organization, v-Tunesters to allow student musicians to schedule performances at senior citizens facilities across metro Atlanta.
“The happiness the music I played brought to the elderly was something I wanted to share with other students,” Zane said.
While v-Tunesters has a temporary page on Facebook, Zane is in the process of establishing a more permanent website. He hopes to have the website up and operating by the holidays.
Before beginning music, Zane’s first love was soccer. “My dad, coming from Europe, is obsessed with soccer,” Zane said. “[He] introduced me to the sport at an early age so that I was kicking a soccer ball at age 1.”
While Zane devotes much of his time to piano and soccer, he still takes four Advanced Placement classes and has maintained a 4.09 grade-point average.
While Zane’s hectic schedule leaves little time for rest, he claims the rotation of all of his interests and activities keeps his life exciting.
“The constant change and spontaneity of these programs is what makes it so much fun,” Zane said. “It is really hard for me to replicate the same thing over and over again. All of my activities are never truly the same; they are always progressing.”
Zane doesn’t know where he will attend college, but he expects to continue playing piano and soccer. He also plans to continue work on v-Tunesters. “I hope that v-Tunesters will be at the point of being able to continue to thrive even after I have gone to college,” Zane said. “If it is successful in the Atlanta area I would like to grow it nationwide.”