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 Issa Okamoto

In this episode of “On Deck,” Amy Faust gets to know Issa Okamoto, a 17 year old coloratura soprano who serves as Executive Director of Portland Concert Opera. Issa arrived in Portland from New York City at age four with her mom and sisters, already possessing a voice so strong that her screams had caused… More

On Deck with Irie Page

Raúl Gómez-Rojas chats with Irie Page, a 17-year-old singer and actor with an already impressive résumé. Irie sang with Oregon Repertory Singers Youth Choir for 10 years and is now a Marian Singer at St. Mary’s Academy, where she is a junior. Additionally, Irie is a prolific young theatre performer: she is a “Young Professional”… More

On Deck with Kelson Gipp

In this installment of “On Deck,” Raúl Gómez-Rojas chats with 18-year-old French horn player Kelson Gipp, a member of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and his school band at the Ida B. Wells High School in Portland, OR. When he is not practicing horn or exploring his interests related to math and sciences, Kelson is out… More

On Deck with Avery Hsieh

Avery Hsieh, a Corvallis native, is currently a freshman studying Violin Performance at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. In this episode of “On Deck,” she speaks with Raúl Gómez-Rojas about her passion for the two instruments that she has played since she was little (violin and piano). Avery also shares about the Intermezzo Project,… More

On Deck with Bella Klucevek

Amy Faust gets to know Bella Klucevek, a junior at Jesuit High School who sings soprano with their chamber choir as well as with Pacific Youth Choir. Bella is the only musically active member of her family, but her parents noticed her love of singing before she was old enough to talk. A member of… More

On Deck with Galilea Rios Schulz

Raúl Gómez-Rojas chats with Galilea Rios Schulz, a 17-year-old violinist with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. Music has always been a part of Galilea’s life, dating all the way back to her dad playing guitar and ukulele for her as a baby. She has been with MYS for the past eight years, and has been a… More

On Deck with Lydia Downs

In this episode of “On Deck,” Christa Wessel chats with violinist Lydia Downs. Lydia is a senior at Cleveland High School, and is slated to graduate as one of the valedictorians of her class. Lydia is a member of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, and though COVID has made participation challenging (recording at home -individually- with a click-track), she finds great reward in the final… More

On Deck with Addison Domenigoni

Addison Domenigoni, a 17-year-old junior from Clackamas High School, chats with Raúl Gómez about her biggest passion: choral singing. Addison has been a member of Pacific Youth Choir since sixth grade, and has participated in several collaborations of PYC with the Oregon Symphony, including performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Stravinsky’s Persephone. Addison… More

On Deck with Ella Dorsey

Amy Faust gets to know Ella Dorsey, a versatile musician who plays classical bass with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. A 15-year-old sophomore at Clackamas High School, Ella has grown up in a musical household with a dad who plays slap bass for western swing bands and a mom who performs with a variety of bands… More

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