delgani-collage-01by Kelly Quesada, Delgani’s founding cellist

This summer, my five-year stint in Eugene came to a close. The Delgani Summer Academy was the last thing I did before I
ventured out, and it was a picture perfect ending to my time in Oregon. I could never have dreamed of a more fun and meaningful musical sendoff! I will spare you the soggy details of my tearful goodbyes as I left Oregon, but the ensuing adventure was a perfect way to come to terms with letting go of my home in Eugene and looking forward to starting a new life in Chicago. My partner, Noah, and I packed my tiny car with everything that would fit (with a cello, that doesn’t leave too much else!) and embarked on a cross-country move/road trip/vacation, visiting friends and routing through three National Parks: Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Badlands. As Oregonians know best, being in nature is an ideal way to gain perspective, so Noah and I hiked as much as we could and took the scenic route as often as possible.

We arrived safely in Chicago after thirteen days on the road. Thankfully, Chicago is a vibrant city brimming with activity in the arts and music, so even though I have only just arrived, I am already jumping in feet first. I will be substituting in the cello section of the Civic Orchestra, teaching chamber music to kids, taking orchestra auditions (I have three forthcoming), and rebuilding a private studio. Besides just working, I will be taking advantage of living in the big city and plan to go to as many performances, plays and art showings as I can afford.

I can’t pretend it was easy for me to leave Eugene. I am still homesick, especially for Delgani and the surrounding community. There is truly nothing like being in a group that goes the extra mile to reach people and become a meaningful part of their lives. I can only dream of finding or starting something as special as Delgani. Although it was hard to leave, my experience with Delgani has increased my drive to use music to make an impact on the community in which I live. Look out, Chicago!