Freshman Alex Wu always knew music would play a fundamental role in his life ever since he fell in love with the cello 13 years ago. At Penn State, he juggles a double major in political science and cello performance. However, regardless of where music ends up in his future career, he hopes he will be able to play for the rest of his life.
Growing up outside of Philadelphia and with a brother that attended Penn State, it seemed like the obvious place for Wu to continue his studies. Since coming to college, he has joined the school’s philharmonic and chamber orchestras as well as the undergraduate string quartet. As one of the winners of the Penn State Philharmonic Concerto Competition, he will also be performing as a soloist with the orchestra in the fall 2019 semester.
The ability to interact with like-minded musicians has helped Wu learn important skills such as accountability, respect and teamwork which have been able to cross over into other parts of his social life such as his membership with Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity.
“All of these activities encompass each of my individual interests and really complete my Penn State experience,” says Wu.
Wu says without the love and support of his parents he definitely would not have the same appreciation for music that he has today.
Though neither of my parents came from a musical background, they understood the importance of music education in my life and really pushed me in my studies and practice so that I could get the most out of the experience.
Along with majoring in cello performance, Wu also chose a major in political science.
“In high school, I was fascinated with how politics influence our everyday lives. I began to notice it in daily activities, even music,” says Wu. “Going into college, I became interested in the relationship between political parties and institutions and how their policies fall in the lines of the legal system.”
Music has had a profound impact on Wu’s life. Although majoring in cello has proven to be challenging he says, “Playing the instrument had such a profound effect in my life before college that I knew stopping would be very difficult.”
In performance arts there can be an air of competition that can be hard to avoid, but in Wu’s future endeavors at law school and in pursuing a career in music law, he hopes he can remind people the reason they got involved in the first place because it makes them happy.