Dennis Helppie


Photograph of Dennis Helppie

Dennis Helppie became concertmaster of the Sammamish Symphony in 2005. Dennis has used his love for music to help connect people and to help promote the Sammamish Symphony.

He has been a resident of Sammamish since 1991 and has lived on the Eastside most of his life. Dennis has been married to his wife Sherry since 1975 and he has one son and one grandson.

Dennis started in music with the violin in third grade. He studied violin and viola with Vilem Sokol. He also studied with David Madison of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Richard Massman at the University of Michigan. Madison was a student of Leopold Auer.

Dennis is also a freelance ensemble musician and soloist. He is a member of the jazz/fusion quartet Plateau Music Players and a member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Orchestra since 2003. He also played with the Everett Symphony in Carnegie Hall.

A graduate of the University of Washington with degrees in Economics and Business Administration, Dennis has worked in sales and sales management for manufacturers representation, distribution and telecommunications corporations.

Dennis received the Sammi Award for Arts in 2007.

He is the owner of Plateau Music, a music store, in Sammamish. He is also an instructor of violin, viola, cello, guitar and ukulele.

Viola Section

Photograph of a viola

The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is slightly larger than a violin in size and has a lower and deeper sound than a violin. Since the 18th century it has been the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin (which is tuned a perfect fifth above it) and the cello (which is tuned an octave below it).


The strings of a modern symphony orchestra make up the largest family of instruments in the orchestra. This family is made up of five sections consisting of first violins, second violins, violas, cellos and basses.