Make a gift today: 888-899-5722

On Deck with Young Musicians

On Deck with Young Musicians – showcasing the incredibly talented young musicians who live and perform in the Pacific Northwest. This weekly interview segment highlights their many accomplishments. Hosted by Christa Wessel, Adam Eccleston, and Raúl Gómez-Rojas, the program reveals a deep appreciation for the value of youthful energy in the world of classical music.

If you know of a young musician who should be profiled On Deck, please email Christa Wessel at

Follow On Deck with Young Musicians on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

Support for On Deck comes from individual donors. Additional support comes from Metropolitan Youth Symphony.


Luke D'Silva

May 13, 2023

On Deck with Luke D’Silva

Luke D’Silva is a sophomore at Westview High School. His musical journey began at 6 years old with the violin. Three years later, he decided to play the viola with Andrea Hawkins as his teacher. Luke joined the Young String Ensemble of PYP (Portland Youth Philharmonic) as the Assistant Principal Violist and became the Principal… More

Sarah Lee

May 6, 2023

On Deck with Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee, age 16, is a sophomore at Westview High School and an award-winning cellist. In this episode of On Deck, Sarah chats with Raúl Gómez-Rojas about her journey and accomplishments, including being one of the winners of Cognizart’s 2023 Young Artists Debut! Competition. Sarah is also a member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and… More

April 29, 2023

On Deck with Andy Shin

Amy Faust chats with Andy Shin, the youngest of this year’s Metro Arts Cognizart Young Artists Debut winners. He’s an 8th grader at Beaverton Academy of Science and Engineering. Andy has played the cello for 4 years after making the switch from piano. (It was a live performance of a Saint-Saens cello concerto that got… More

Minntah Haefker

April 22, 2023

On Deck with Minntah Haefker

Raúl Gómez-Rojas chats with Minntah Haefker, a 16 year old Junior enrolled at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon. Minntah often sings as a guest vocalist with the band “3 Leg Torso,” studies Opera with her voice coach Angela Niederloh, and competes in state/regional competitions singing in multiple languages. She also loves to perform gigs… More

April 15, 2023

On Deck with Sophia Folawn

Sophia Folawn is a junior at St. Mary’s Academy. She’s been playing flute with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony for 3 years and enjoys it very much; she first started out in the Flute Ensemble led by Adam Eccleston and has recently joined one of the top orchestras in the organization. A proud student of Liberty… More

April 8, 2023

On Deck with Aria Morgan

18-year old saxophonist Aria Morgan spent her first three years of high school at Portland’s Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School, then her senior year at the Interlochen Arts Academy.  Now a freshman at USC’s Thornton School of Music, she speaks with Raul Gomez-Rojas about her love of music as well as the importance of activism… More

Chloe Zhang

April 1, 2023

On Deck with Chloe Zhang

17-year old pianist Chloe Zhang (“zang”) was a finalist in Portland Piano International’s Concerto Competition, and also was one of the winners in the Beaverton Symphony’s Young Artist Competition.   She deeply adores music, but interestingly -given her successes- it’s not going to be the focus of her life. She engages in music purely for the… More

March 11, 2023

On Deck with Ben McHarris

Ben McHarris is a 17-year-old senior at Cleveland High School in Portland, and a clarinetist with Metropolitan Youth Symphony, where he has played since 2020. In this episode of On Deck, Ben speaks with Raúl Gómez-Rojas about his initial inspiration to choose the clarinet and his journey at MYS. Also, Ben shares about his other… More

February 18, 2023

On Deck with Alessandro Diaz Ayala

Alessandro Diaz Ayala is a cellist and conductor who hails from BRAVO Youth Orchestras. He’s a 9th grader at Jefferson high school and enjoys classical music very much. Lately, he’s been exploring other instruments like the flute and quickly realized how much air is needed for the instrument, but he still enjoys playing it in… More

Sarah Hohndel

February 11, 2023

On Deck with Sarah Hohndel

Sarah Hohndel is an 18-year-old tuba player with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. In this episode of On Deck, she chats with Raúl Gómez-Rojas about starting to learn the tuba when she was only in fifth grade, horseback riding and earning her third degree black belt in Taekwondo. In addition to those passions and skills, Sarah… More

Our Sponsors

Mary's Woods logo
River City Eye
Albertina Kerr

Meet all of our sponsors  |  Become a sponsor

  • KQAC 89.9 Portland/Vancouver
  • KQOC 88.1 Newport/Lincoln City
  • KQHR 88.1 Hood River/The Dalles
  • KQHR 96.3 Columbia Gorge East
  • KQMI 88.9 Manzanita
  • KSLC 90.3 McMinnville
  • 95.7 FM Corvallis/Flynn