For Kailey Thomsen, a Richland High School sophomore, playing the violin has always acted as an escape.

Having moved from Boise to Richland last May for her sophomore year in high school, Thomsen said she has been slowly adjusting, with the violin steadily offering her a place to go where she always feels comfortable.

“It is something to turn to that I know I do well,” she said.

In middle school, Thomsen said the work was tough and that the violin was also something that kept her sane.

Thomsen said the appeal of the instrument upon meeting it in elementary school was that it was something so unfamiliar.

“I remember going to fourth grade registration and seeing the violin,” she said. “It seemed so exotic. Everyone played the piano at that age. I went straight for the violin.”

Since her introduction to the instrument, Thomsen said she has taken orchestra classes every year up through the grades, participating in private lessons every once in a while.

“It is hard to find a private teacher that really sticks,” she said. “And if you do find a teacher, the price for lessons with that teacher is usually pretty high.”

As far as competitions go, Thomsen said she hasn’t entered any as a soloist. However, last year as a freshman, she went with her high school orchestra in Boise to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the WorldStrides Heritage Festival, an event that features some of the most talented musical ensembles in the country.

Thomsen said it was an experience that she will never forget.

“Performing is the most enjoyable part about playing the violin,” she said.

Thomsen said she doesn’t like listening to classical musicians much, but she does love to perform.

The composer whose music she said inspires her is Tchaikovsky. His most famous works include the music from the Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

“His music is just so powerful,” she said.

As for if she plans on playing after high school, Thomsen said she hopes to receive a full-scholarship to the University of Washington for the violin, but doesn’t plan on pursuing it as a career.

She said that a career in music wouldn’t make her feel secure in life, which is one of her number one goals.

Thomsen said she wants to go to school to become a pediatric dentist, but would like to teach violin lessons for kids in the future.