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 Amelia Kotamarti

Amelia Kotamarti is a 16 year old flutist at Grant High School, who plays with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and her high school Wind Ensemble. In this episode of “On Deck,” Amelia speaks with Raúl Gómez about how music has been a part of her life since before she can remember, and how she attributes… More

On Deck with Kai Frueh

Christa Wessel talks with 18-year old pianist (and aspiring conductor!) Kai Frueh about music and connection.  Kai loves performing for people and with people.  He and his violin-playing brother Ben (featured “On Deck” 3 years ago) frequently make music together, and are actively working to spread their love of classical music to other young people…. More

On Deck with Henry Pappas

Raúl Gómez chats with Henry Pappas, a 16 year-old junior at Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, OR. Henry has been playing the violin since he was 8 years old, and along the way he’s picked up clarinet, percussion, jazz, conducting, and most recently, podcasting. Henry started a podcast for the Corvallis Youth Symphony entitled… More

On Deck with Lily Belisle

Amy Faust talks with Lily Belisle, a senior at Cleveland High school who (in normal times) plays both the piano and the clarinet with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and her high school band. Growing up with a mom who teaches piano and has a master’s degree in music, as well as a former music educator… More

On Deck with William Graham

William Graham is an 18-year-old bassist with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and a senior at Skyview High School in Vancouver, WA. William spoke with Raúl Gómez about his journey as a bass player, including participating twice in All State ensembles and serving as the principal bass for the Lower Columbia River Music Educators Association honors… More

On Deck with Miller Nelson

Christa Wessel chats with 16-year old pianist and composer Miller Nelson.  Miller is a junior at Corbett High School and has been playing the piano since he was in first grade.  He began composing a few years ago, and loves trying to put into music the feelings and moods he doesn’t have words for.  Miller… More

On Deck with Maggie Carter

Raúl Gómez chats with Maggie Carter, a 14-year-old double bassist who loves her instrument passionately, as well as making music with her friends at the Portland Youth Philharmonic, where she is a Principal Bass. Maggie was the winner of the 2019 International Society of Bassists 14-and-under solo competition, the winner of the 2020 Oregon Mozart… More

On Deck with Rylan Ferron-Jones

Amy Faust speaks with 17-year old violinist Rylan Ferron-Jones, a violin player with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony who also plays with their ensemble the MYSfits. A senior at Lincoln High School, Rylan has a penchant for challenging pieces, one of which -Prima Vera Portena by Piazzolla- he performed in the small ensemble category of the… More

On Deck with Angela Rose Padula

Raúl Gómez chats with 13-year-old Angela Rose Padula, a young cellist with an already impressive artistic résumé. Her latest accomplishment is to have been selected by Niel DePonte to perform at the 26th Young Artists Debut! Van Buren Concerto Concert on June 4, 2021. This concert, produced by COGNIZART (formerly MetroArts Inc), will allow Angela… More

On Deck with Nate Strothkamp

Christa Wessel talks with violinist Nate Strothkamp, a 16-year old junior at Oregon Episcopal School. Nate recently won the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Concerto Competition, which granted him the honor of playing the full Korngold Violin Concerto with PYP at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.  Nate is also involved in two non-profit organizations: Project Prelude (he’s… More