Elena Denny '16
Choosing Wesleyan: I visited Illinois Wesleyan and took a lesson with the cello instructor and I really enjoyed the lesson, so I decided that I wanted to audition here because this could be a fit for me.
The main draw of the school was the faculty and the size of the school, that you're able to have a relationship with the faculty. That was a really big plus in my book.
Double-majoring: I knew I wanted to double major to have a broad spectrum of knowledge and Wesleyan is the perfect place to do that. It's small enough so you can really get your feet in both departments.
I have good relationships with faculty in the music department and also in the business department, so they make it really easy and want you to be able to double major. Next semester I'll really be taking a lot more finance classes, so I'm excited to see that world.
My instrument: I started playing the cello when I was 5 years old. So really it was not an option to stop playing when I came to college. Right now I'm working on Sibelius Theme and Variations for Cello. It's really fun to play with different kinds of styles, like Bach, or Paganini. This piece was kind of rediscovered around in the 1990s, so not many people have heard of it, so I'm really excited to be playing it now.
Opportunities to perform: There's a lot of great performance opportunities here at Wesleyan. When I was a freshman, they asked me to perform a piece at First-Year Convocation, so the first day we moved in, I was already on the stage in front of all my peers – that was a little scary but also really cool.
Also, there's a lot of student composers at this school, which is really great because you get a chance to play their pieces and collaborate with them. It's fun, and you form friendships that way.
Chamber music is another really, really great way to collaborate with other students and faculty. We've gone on small tours with quartets. I went to Bulgaria and that was really cool to experience a new part of this world, but through music.
There's a Concerto Aria competition every year, and this year I was one of the five winners. In February we got to perform with the orchestra. It was great to get to work alongside our conductor. It really prepared me for any other performing experiences I could have later in my future. That was a really awesome experience.