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:

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


On Deck with Adam Broce

Adam Broce is a 17-year old cellist who began playing only 5 years ago.  In this episode of “On Deck” Adam talks about the pros and cons of starting an instrument at a relatively late age.  He is passionate about music (he is a member of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony), and says he wants to… More


On Deck with Jenna Tu

Jenna Tu is a 16-year old pianist who is one of the 8 finalists in the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s piano concerto competition.  (This competition – which is a collaboration between PYP and Portland Piano International – is open to the public, and takes place on January 25th at Lincoln Hall at Portland State University.)  In… More


On Deck with Jesse Nieman

Jesse Nieman is a 15-year old musician (he plays a LOT of instruments) who has lately been focusing his energy on the piano.  And it has paid off: Jesse is one of 8 finalists in the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s piano concerto competition.  (This competition – which is a collaboration between PYP and Portland Piano International… More


On Deck with Lilia Biehl

Lilia Biehl is a 16-year old junior at St. Mary’s Academy who has two sides to her musical self:  a singer and a tuba player!  She performs with both the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the Pacific Youth Choir.  Though she has been a singer since childhood it took her a while to find the tuba. … More


On Deck with Willow Klug

Willow Klug is a senior at Hockinson High School in Brush Prairie, Washington. She plays French horn in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, and credits MYS with deepening and expanding her love of classical music. Willow is also practicing saying “yes” to things that push her outside her comfort zone.


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