Hello! My name is Alexis DePaolo and I'm from Casper, Wyoming. I am currently studying the cello as a Junior at Interlochen Arts Academy, an arts boarding school located in northern Michigan. My parents sacrificed a lot to get me here, and I am truly grateful for their hard work and dedication towards my education and my wellbeing. I have never loved being a part of a school more than I do at Interlochen. Being at Interlochen has helped me embrace my love for art, and I am asking for your help to further continue my studies.
I'm raising funds to pay tuition for summer music programs. This coming fall, I will be going through the exciting process of applying and auditioning for music schools. Being at places this summer where I am getting excellent instruction, playing chamber music and concerts with talented students and growing as a musician will play a crucial role in my success.
I worked at Great Harvest Bakery last summer and have managed to save $1000 of my earnings. My parents have saved money, but unfortunately, we don't have quite enough to cover my summer study expenses.
Tuition at the Castleman Quartet Program is $2800. I have been awarded a $900 merit scholarship. My family will need to pay the remaining balance of $1900 for me to attend this prestigious program. Although I haven't attended before, I have only heard good things from teachers and alums.
Tuition at Indiana University's Summer String Academy is $4,600. I attended this program in 2016, and it helped me grow tremendously. I love the teacher, and the program includes 4 hours of daily scheduled practice time which would indefinitely help me prepare for upcoming college auditions. I will also be playing in a quartet and performing solos at various masterclasses.
Transportation from Denver to New York and then to Indiana will cost about $1000 plus an additional $200 every time I have to pay to check my cello (3 times total), for a total of around $1600.
Here's a bit more of my story:
I was surrounded by music from a very young age. My Dad always tells me about one of my first musical experiences as a 3-year-old. My grandpa had given me a violin for Christmas, and my dad would tune the strings up to make a nice sounding chord, letting me sit on the floor and saw away endlessly. I loved to sing, and dance to any type of music, and eventually, I found a love for the cello. I got my first real instrument and started lessons in kindergarten. I found a knack for learning new pieces out of the Suzuki books and kept going all through grade school. In middle school, I started to become more serious about my playing, and my parents helped by spending 5.5 hours driving me to and from Laramie, WY on Friday afternoons for lessons. It was a challenging experience, and I was often unable to get to my lessons in the winter months due to the road conditions. However, I grew immensely and I began to play more frequently in competitions and recitals. In 2015 and 2016, I won the state MTNA competition, and during my freshman and sophomore years, I was principal chair in Wyoming All-State Orchestra. Spending a few summers away at camps in middle school and high school made me realize that there were other passionate, hard-working kids out there who love classical music just as much as I do. I needed to stretch myself, musically speaking. That is exactly why I need help this summer - to stretch and grow in these amazing environments. By practicing and focusing on my cello this summer, I hope to improve my skills and earn college scholarships to pursue my dream of making a career through playing music.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Thank you for considering a donation to my cause. Any and every small amount is so deeply appreciated. I am currently planning "thank you" recital in Casper, Wyoming in August. You are all invited!
Me in a lesson at my first music camp, Black Hills String Retreat (August 2009)
Al Kalbfleish took this beautiful picture of me (October 2016)
WSO Concerto Competition performance with Dr. Unruh in Wheeler Hall (January 2017)
Interlochen Cello Studio after a masterclass with Peabody instructor Amit Peled (February 2018)
My string quartet after a masterclass with the Juilliard String Quartet (October 2017)
- Christen MacGuire
- INGE KUTCHINS
- Lisa Fujita
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