Photo: Christa Wessel

Since arriving here from North Carolina in 2007, I’ve traveled all around the state and have fallen in love with the high deserts of Eastern Oregon and the magically blue waters of Crater Lake. I also relish a stormy weekend at the Oregon Coast.

I adore the natural beauty of Oregon as much as I cherish the cultural beauty of our region. I could easily find myself in a concert hall every night of the week! I enjoy it all: early music, contemporary music, symphonic music and opera. So as not to exhaust myself I deliberately set aside time to play nerdy board games with friends, or will reserve a lazy afternoon to read a big novel. (I adore Franzen, Eugenides, Chabon and the like.)

I had once hoped to be a professional French horn player – I attended Northwestern University with that aspiration - but I graduated with a Bachelors of Music in Arts Administration. I still tootle my horn occasionally, and also enjoy picking up a ukulele from time to time.

Contact Christa Wessel

Latest blog entries from Christa Wessel:

Kira Wang

On Deck with Kira Wang

Cellist Kira Wang is just 14-years old, but is already making a name for herself.  She has won concerto competitions with the Jewish Community Orchestra, the Beaverton Symphony and the Portland Youth Philharmonic.  We’ll learn about what keeps her motivated, as well as some of her other interests, in this episode of “On Deck.”

Erwin Kim

On Deck with Erwin Kim

17-year old Erwin Kim just wrapped up his junior year at Central Catholic High School, and is a member of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony as BOTH a violinist and a French hornist. As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, Erwin is also a member of his school’s baseball team AND volunteers for a local… More

On Deck with Israel Perez

Though 17-year old flutist Israel Perez only recently started taking private lessons, he has already won the Salem Youth Symphony Concerto Competition and was one of 5 finalists nationwide in the US Marine Corps Concerto Competition.  Israel is incredibly self-driven; as one of 9 siblings he the first in his family to go to college. … More

Claire Ku

On Deck with Claire Ku

Claire Ku is a 15-year old sophomore at Tualatin High School, and until recently has been studying both piano and ballet.  She made the decision to stop dancing in order to focus more of her attention on the piano.  Then she won a spot on this year’s MetroArts Young Artist Debut concert.  We’ll hear a… More

Tristan Peng

On Deck with Tristan Peng

Tristan Peng is a 16-year old junior at Catlin Gabel School who has won numerous competitions and scholarships as a pianist… but he also sings with the Pacific Youth Choir, and plays saxophone (both jazz and classical)!  In addition to that he’s heavily involved with the robotics team at school, which not only challenges him… More

On Deck with Noah Carr

Noah Carr is one of the youngest musicians to have appeared “On Deck” – he’s a 13-year old violinist who performs with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony.  In this episode, Noah also dives in to a topic not frequently raised on the show:  racism in classical music. It’s a subject Noah cares deeply about. In Noah’s… More

On Deck with Taylor Yoon

Taylor Yoon is a 17-year old cellist who has had a very big year.  She won a spot on this year’s MetroArts Young Artists Debut Concert AND she was just named All Classical Portland’s first-ever Young Artist In Residence. Combined with recent awards she’s received for her visual art, she admits she’s had a hard… More

On Deck with Micah Ng

Micah Ng is a 17-year old pianist who has been a finalist in numerous competitions (Jewish Community Orchestra, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Jewish Community Orchestra), though he believes his success is due more to hard work than to any innate talent. The church is also very important to Micah; he’ll tell us about a recent mission… More

On Deck with Zayan Akmal

Zayan Akmal is a 16-year old junior at Sunset High School, and was a finalist in the recent Portland Youth Philharmonic Piano Concerto Competition. (He’ll be playing a movement of the Scriabin Piano Concerto with PYP’s Conservatory Orchestra next season.) The humanities are deeply important to Zayan and he enjoys communicating his feelings through both poetry and musical… More

On Deck with Alesandra Pardini

Alesandra Pardini is a 17-year old junior at Lincoln High School.  She is a self-professed “opera nerd,” but choir also plays a huge role in her life.  She has been part of the Pacific Youth Choir since the age of 5. We’ll learn how choir got Alesandra through a very dark part of her life… More