Summer Music Study

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!

28499434_15215646130_r.jpegMe in a lesson at my first music camp, Black Hills String Retreat (August 2009)

28499434_15215647690_r.jpegAl Kalbfleish took this beautiful picture of me (October 2016)

28499434_15215650510_r.jpegWSO Concerto Competition performance with Dr. Unruh in Wheeler Hall (January 2017)

28499434_15216032590_r.jpegInterlochen Cello Studio after a masterclass with Peabody instructor Amit Peled (February 2018)

28499434_15216034750_r.jpegPost-Star Wars concert joy! (November 2017) 

28499434_15216035700_r.jpegMy string quartet after a masterclass with the Juilliard String Quartet (October 2017)

Playing Haydn in studio class (December 2017) 


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Alexis DePaolo 
Casper, WY
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