Picking up an instrument at a young age and learning how to play can be challenging for some, but for musician Anthony Ursua, sophomore communication disorders and cello performance double major, said he hopes his passion for playing the cello will grow into a fruitful career.
In eighth grade, Ursua decided to pick up the cello. He began playing for his school’s music group at Heritage Oak School and explore his interest for music through strings.
“I decided to play cello because I knew I liked music and my mom encouraged me to try it out,” Ursua said.
Ursua said he dedicates up to 22 hours a week learning, practicing and playing the cello for the University Choir and Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber strings, small group and Choral Union. He also takes time out of his busy schedule to travel to Romania to expand his talents in speech pathology.
“I feel like God has really directed me toward Romania because of the time I have spent there and the connections and love I have acquired for the people there,” Ursua said. “I am fluent in the Romanian language and I feel like that was God blessing me with that. It is a clear sign for me to follow that passion and use that language skill in the field of speech pathology.”
With experience in the music program, Ursua leaves an impact on some of his fellow musicians and friends.
“He is very expressive, he really strives for the utmost musicality and especially likes slow, emotive playing, but that doesn’t mean he is not also good at the really exciting fast stuff,” said Desmond Clark, graduate student in music composition. “He is just an all-around versatile cello player.”
Ruth Noemy Wheeler, violin instructor and Symphony Orchestra conductor, said she appreciates Ursua’s performance in the music program. She commended his ability to take criticism constructively.
“He is always open to suggestions and takes it positively,” Wheeler said. “Now he is confident in his playing.”