Rocky Mount, N.C – Damariscotta “Scottie” Helm, a Rocky Mount native and current North Carolina Wesleyan student, has grabbed international attention after earning Female Grand Champion honors at the 38th Annual International Whistler’s Convention in April.
Helm, who has displayed her unique talent both on Wesleyan’s campus and local radio stations, took first place in all three categories — popular, classical and allied arts, which made her the overall female champion. She explains that judges evaluate many facets of performance.
“You get judged on tone quality, the difficulty of the piece, and if you are able to hold the pitch or not,” Helm said. “They also judge your musicality and the feeling you put behind the music.”
Helm was praised for her performance in the allied arts competition that saw her team with her sister for some comic relief surrounding the song “Kung Fu Fighting.”
Prior to her championship performances, the junior Biology major had watched the whistling contest as a spectator six years ago and competed for the first time just two years later, finishing second and third in different categories. After receiving the official scores just two weeks ago, Helm was pleased to see that she was the highest scoring whistler in the entire competition. This means she’s not just the best female whistler… she’s currently considered the best whistler in the world, period!
For the past four years, the contest has alternated between nearby Louisburg and international sites such as Japan in 2008 and China last year. Helm pointed out that this year’s contestants came from 14 countries, including Israel, Japan and Taiwan, as well as many states.
She couldn’t be happier that her success is getting Wesleyan some great publicity.
“I consider Wesleyan to be one of the East Coast’s best-kept secrets. Everyone here is so open and friendly, and they genuinely want you to be successful. I love it!”
To view Scottie in action, please visit http://www.youtube.com/user/WhistleMeD#p/a/u/0/UkITOnsVemE.