I'm Helen. I make music, art and computer programs. What do you make?
Helen He (they/them, but any pronoun will do) is an undergraduate student at Oberlin College and Conservatory studying Computer Science, Mathematics and Technology in Music and Related Arts as a student of Tom Handman Lopez and Aurie Hsu. Growing up in a choir, they have attended festivals and competitions in Austria, the United States, Spain, China, the United Kingdom, and Canada. As a composer, they also attended festivals and workshops around the world, including the 2017 International Music Festival of the Adriatic (where they studied composition with Tom Lopez and Stefano Sacher) and the Kyiv Contemporary Music Days masterclass (where she studied with Ake Parmerud, Jaime Reis, Mehmet Can Ozer, and Alla Zagaykevych). Additionally, they are a member of the student council of Society of Composers, Inc.
Helen is especially interested in using music as a tool for social justice - their composition Pulse, a tribute to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, received its US premiere in November 2016, its Europe premiere in March 2018 at FESTIVAL 5 GIORNATE in Milan, Italy, and its Latin America premiere at the MUSLAB festival in Mexico City in October 2018. Their more recent composition Dear His Mom, which discusses the phenomena of victim blaming in incidents of sexual harassment and assault, received its European premiere in September 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine, and its US premiere in November 2017.
A classically-trained vocalist and pianist, Helen enjoys premiering other composers' newest works when she's not composing herself. They are also an avid researcher in the field of computer science - currently, They are conducting research on online privacy challenges of transgender people, as well as running machine learning algorithms on compositional processes (they won the Oberlin XARTS grants for their research in this area). Moreover, they have interned for companies such as Electronic Arts, Inc.
When not sitting in front of her computer, Helen sings music from pre-1600 to 2019 in Collegium Musicum Oberliniese, Oberlin's early music choir, as well as the Sourgum Experimental Vocal Ensemble, for whom they are a composer-in-residence. They are also pursuing a minor in dance, and trains as a circus aerialist and a yogi. They have worked for the school as a teaching assistant (for at least a dozen classes), a concert technician, a library circulation attendant, and a tutor.