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Sound of Charlotte Blog

I Am Queen Charlotte: Denielle Wilson

As the Charlotte Symphony supports I Am Queen Charlotte, we're highlighting stories, experiences, and lives of Black Women who are part of the CSO, from the stage to the boardroom. We asked Denielle Wilson some questions about her personal and professional background and her experience with the CSO.

What is your role with the Charlotte Symphony?
Acting Section Cellist.

How did you find out about the open position in Charlotte, and what was the process like for being hired?
Last year, after becoming the string division winner of Sphinx's Orchestra Partners Audition Excerpt Competition, Charlotte was the first Symphony to offer me a one-year contract.

I did not know of the position beforehand, but I was extremely grateful for the opportunity. There were barely any auditions happening anywhere around that time. 

What inspired you to play cello?
My father chose the instrument for me, and I grew to like playing it quickly. The musicians who inspired me early on were Yo-Yo Ma and Jaqueline du Pré.

Did you always know you wanted to perform professionally in a symphony orchestra?
Not at first. I began playing in a youth symphony during high school, and it was a tough learning process for me. It wasn't until my last two years in undergrad that I decided to pursue an orchestral career seriously.

What do you like best about being part of the CSO?
The community -- I feel very welcomed here.

Do you have a favorite piece to play or a favorite CSO concert you've performed in?
I am looking forward to playing Sibelius' Second Symphony in April.

How do you hope to see audiences engaging with classical music?
I would like to see audiences ask more questions about it. I know it is not always familiar to everyone, but I sense that audience members don't think there is more to figure out about it after the live performance experience. I am curious to hear about what aspects of certain pieces stood out to them, or made them wonder. 

What inspires you, and where do you find it in your everyday life?
I am inspired by happiness being found. I seek to find it for myself and others in small ways every day, whether it is through a shared meal or a friendly wave.

Posted in Community.

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