Woodlake Mermaids, a lively group of women who spend summers aqua-jogging, were recently serenaded poolside by a 15-year old violinist. As the ladies swayed in the water, Gunnar Henry’s bow stroked the strings of his violin to create a delightful array of classical music. One mermaid commented that Gunnar’s sounds were the epitome of stress reduction, which happens to be a significant benefit of aqua-jogging.
Gunnar is the grandson of Connie Henry who has lived in Woodlake for 32 years and spends every day in the pool during the summer months. He recently completed five weeks at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro which provides a higher level of musical instruction to young musicians who travel from across the United States and globally to enrich their talents and take a pivotal step toward a career in performing arts.
When he was 2 years old, his parents, Patty and Chris Henry, took Gunnar to a Blue Grass Festival, and he was hooked.
“I loved the feeling the music gave me deep in my soul,” says Gunnar. Shortly thereafter, he started playing the ukulele, and within days, the music made an immediate impact. Building finger strength and sensitivity, he quickly found his interest in classical music and turned to the violin.
His parents saw his engaging interest in violin and within months started him studying Suzuki violin.
He went on to attend Denver School of Arts as an orchestra major, committed to fostering a lifelong love of the arts in a culturally diverse, academically challenging environment. Now at 15, Gunnar plays in Boise High School Chamber Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Principal Vioinist. Gunnar has a desire to attend a music conservatory for college and become a professional violinist in an orchestra.
Gunnar has a diverse and healthy mix of rigorous academic and extracurricular engagements. Violin is his passion but loves rock climbing, cross county and track. Music is the fabric of America culture. With Woodlake’s lake and golf courses on the path to return, the Woodlake Mermaids point to Gunnar’s concerto as another sign their community is in resurgence.