Willa joined the first violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2017 during her junior year at the Eastman School of Music. She continues to play in the RPO after graduating in 2018.
During and after her time at Eastman, Willa performed with faculty members, Steven Doane, Rosemary Elliot, Masumi Per Rostad, Alexander Kobrin, George Taylor, and her own teacher, Mikhail Kopelman.
Willa served as a concertmaster in both the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia, starting both positions in her sophomore year.
In 2016 she won the Eastman School Violin Concerto Competition and subsequently performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra.
Willa has also performed as a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, the Asheville Symphony and the Empire Film Music Ensemble.
The Crooked North at the Parcel 5 Stage - Fringe Fest 2018
In the summers she has participated in the Verbier Festival as associate concertmaster and principal second violin of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Madeline Island Center for Chamber Music Fellowship Program, and the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. In 2020, Willa was going to attend the International Musicians Seminar: Prussia Cove, but it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Willa attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts her senior year of high school, where she studied with Ida Bieler and Sarah Johnson.
In November 2019 Willa released an impromptu solo album entitled "Ask Me Why" with jazz pianist Sterling Cozza and jazz trumpet player Nathan Kay.
Willa is a founding member of Copper Hill, the Rochester folk band formed in 2017.
A North Carolina native, Willa grew up playing Celtic and Old-Time music with her family. For over a decade she played with her father, sister, and friend in the Celtic group The Forget-Me-Nots, who performed across western North Carolina, most notably at the roots music festival, Merlefest.
The Forget-Me-Nots released three albums during their tenure. The third album, Blooming, released in 2010, is comprised of all original music.
Since 2020 Willa has been getting back to her Irish roots with guitarist and trombonist Brendan Lanighan.
Both sisters play on instruments made by their father, David Finck Luthier, whose workshop is located in Boone, North Carolina.
Her number one fan is her mother, Dr. Marie Hoepfl, the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at Appalachian State University.
Willa finds joy in many of the art forms: music (of course), but also dance, visual arts, film, and literature.
Since moving to Rochester, Willa has joined the Lindy hop scene.
She is an avid reader and movie-watcher and her interests also include painting, photography, hiking, baking, and fashion.
Favorite Recent Read: "The Color Purple" - Alice Walker