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 Joshua Hahn

Christa Wessel chats with 18-year old pianist Joshua Hahn, who earlier this year won a spot on the Young Artists Debut Concerto Concert presented by Cognizart by MetroArts Inc.  Joshua loves how music demands perseverance and dedication, and also how it can connect us to emotion and memory deep inside us.

On Deck with Cole White

Cole White is a 15-year-old euphonium player whose musical adventures include playing with the BRAVO Community Orchestra and, most recently, joining two different bands in Portland. He credits BRAVO with helping him improve his musical skills and providing a place to make great friends. In this conversation with Raúl Gómez, Cole shares the story of… More

On Deck with Kara Taylor

A music lover since birth, Kara Taylor took up the piano at the ripe old age of 3 so that she could accompany her own singing. She has since added violin and saxophone to her repertoire, as well as the flute, which she currently plays with Metropolitan Youth Symphony. At 14, her vocal chops landed… More

On Deck with Evan Nakanishi

16-year-old Evan Nakanishi has a dream of being a professional percussionist in a symphony orchestra, and he is having a lot of fun along the way. In this episode of “On Deck,” Raúl Gómez speaks with this junior from Clackamas High School, who shares stories about making performance videos while in quarantine, wearing silly hats… More

On Deck with Skye Neal

Christa Wessel chats with 10-year old Skye Neal, who has had a fascination with music from the time she was a toddler.  She plays violin and piano, sings with the Pacific Youth Choir, and at age 8 she began taking composition lessons.  Skye has been a part of Fear No Music’s “Young Composers Project” for… More

On Deck with Anna Hermes

Our newest contributor to “On Deck,” Raul Gomez, speaks with Anna Hermes, an 18-year old soprano and a recent graduate of St. Mary’s Academy. Throughout her high school career, she was a member of Pacific Youth Choir, a songwriting camp counselor with Young Musicians and Artists, a musical theater performer and a passionate advocate for… More

On Deck with Rhys Phillips

Rhys Phillips is an 18-year old multi-genre multi-instrumentalist, and a senior at West Linn High School. His principal instrument is the piano, but he also sings and plays the cello, guitar and bass. He loves playing classical, jazz and pop. He deeply loves music, and in intently focused on music as a career:  he is… More

On Deck with Andrew Schroeder

Andrew Schroeder is a very busy 15-year old sophomore at Sam Barlow High School.  He is involved in multiple choirs and bands at school (he plays French horn), and he also sings in multiple ensembles with the Pacific Youth Choir.  Additionally, he works twice a week at a memory care center, playing music for residents… More

On Deck with Dina Biggs

Dina Biggs is a 14-year old clarinetist, and a freshman at West Linn High School.  Though Dina has only been playing clarinet for 3 years she is already quite good:  she is the only freshman in her school’s Symphonic Band, and she plays first clarinet in the Portland Youth Philharmonic.  Fun fact: her first clarinet… More

On Deck with Kaitlyn Brown

Kaitlyn Brown is a 16-year old junior at Tualatin High School, and she plays percussion in many ensembles, both at school at with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony.  As a percussionist, she loves having the opportunity to play “weird” instruments (think: brake drum!), but her favorite percussion instrument is tympani, because it makes her feel like… More