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.

Latest blog entries from Christa Wessel:

On Deck with Jackson Grace

Jackson Grace is a 17-year-old senior at Franklin High School. In this episode of On Deck, Jackson chats with Raúl Gómez-Rojas about his beginnings in piano (which involve playing a video game!) as well as his current musical adventures: playing jazz with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Jazz Ensemble, and writing music with FearNoMusic’s Young Composers… More


On Deck with Elaina Rae Stuppler

Amy Faust checks in with composer and multi-instrumentalist Elaina Rae Stuppler, and then finds it’s impossible to squeeze all of her career highlights into a 9-minute episode, even though she’s only in the 8th grade! A recent transplant from the Los Angeles area, Elaina is the first recipient of the Luna Lab fellowship, a new… More


On Deck with Trinity Goff

19-year old pianist Trinity Goff chats with Christa Wessel about stage fright, improvisation and about her upcoming performance on Cognizart’s Young Artists Debut concert on November 19. Trinity is a freshman at Willamette University and is majoring in music and in German. In addition to focusing on her goal of becoming a professional concert pianist,… More


On Deck with Adrian Hsieh

Adrian Hsieh, 17, is a junior at Corvallis High School who has been playing cello since the age of four and piano since the age of six. On this episode of On Deck, Adrian speaks with Raúl Gómez-Rojas about being one of the winners of the 2021 Young Artists Debut! Van Buren Concerto Competition by… More


On Deck with Katie Liu

Amy Faust gets to know Katie Liu, who, as a winner of the Cognizart competition, will be performing with members of the Oregon Symphony at the Young Artist Debut Concert on November 19th. A freshman at St. Mary’s Academy and a violinist and pianist with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, Katie loves to perform for any… More


On Deck with Grace Applegate

Grace Applegate, 17, is a high schooler at Sherwood High School who plays piano, clarinet, and sings. On this episode of On Deck, she chats with Raúl Gómez-Rojas on topics ranging from practicing habits to advocacy and life goals. Outside of music, Grace is passionate about philosophy, psychology, art, and activism. She also enjoys reading… More


On Deck with Kate Stange

Christa Wessel chats with 16-year old violinist Kate Stange, a junior at Roosevelt High School.  As a youngster, she found her way to the violin after becoming obsessed, as a 4-year old, with a purple toy violin.  Now a member of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony’s Concert Orchestra, music has become a huge priority in her life. In… More


On Deck with Kaisa Amer

Raúl Gómez-Rojas chats with Kaisa Amer, a 13 year-old eighth grader at Sherwood Middle School. Kaisa was born in Michigan, and before moving to Oregon, she lived with her family in Bangkok, Thailand. Her primary musical interest is percussion, but she has also taken piano lessons and enjoys singing in choir. As a percussionist, Kaisa’s favorite… More


On Deck with Cyrus Ngan

Cyrus Ngan is 15 years old and a rising sophomore at Clackamas High School. He has played piano for as long as he can remember, and started playing cello four years ago. In this episode of “On Deck,” Cyrus speaks with Raúl Gómez-Rojas about his musical pursuits, as well as his passion for competitive swimming… More


On Deck with Audrey Opsahl

In this episode of “On Deck,” Amy Faust chats with Audrey Opsahl, a 17 year-old singer with the Pacific Youth Choir and the Cleveland High School Choir. She’s gone from screaming random, original songs as a toddler to singing opera, which she fell in love with after a stint in the children’s chorus for Portland… More


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