The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s visit at Le Moyne
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s visit at Le Moyne
Kamilla Shahzad, Staff Writer • May 17, 2024

On April 18 th , 2024, Le Moyne College had the privilege of hosting a special guest, acclaimed author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, who delighted...

Column: The Long Journey at Le Moyne
Column: The Long Journey at Le Moyne
Mary Anne Winfield, Guest Writer • May 17, 2024

I never expected to be a “senior” senior at Le Moyne College. My first introduction to the college was in the 1970’s. I was a two-year...

Theta Chi house at Colgate University
Column: Why I want to see Greek life at Le Moyne College.
Payton Hirsch, Guest Writer • May 17, 2024

At Le Moyne College there is no presence of “Greek Life,” which has left many wondering why. According to Joseph Della Posta, the school’s...

Photo courtesy of Le Moyne; Images of Officer Jensen, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Lt. Hoosock posted at memorial service.
‘A True Leader and Phenomenal Teammate’: Remembering Fallen Officer, a Le Moyne Graduate
Stephen Moore and Aidan Clark May 8, 2024

The Rev. William Dolan wants you to know what the community lost when Michael Jensen, a Syracuse police officer and a Le Moyne graduate, was...

Dr. James Carroll: The Donation that Rewrote Le Moyne  College’s History
Dr. James Carroll: The Donation that Rewrote Le Moyne College’s History
Legende McGrath, Guest Writer • May 7, 2024

In late March, Le Moyne College, specifically the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $12 million donation provided by Le Moyne alumnus...

Spotlight: Cellist Jordan Gunn’s Musical Journey


This Wednesday, April 10th, Le Moyne will host a performance by cellist Jordan Gunn in the Panasci Family Chapel at 7:30 pm and will be accompanied by pianist Julie Gunn. Jordan frequently performs throughout New York with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Symphoria, and other orchestral groups. She has also held the position of principal cello in The Orchestra Now, The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra. I had the pleasure of chatting with her about her journey with the cello, her upcoming performance, and exploring the music she’ll bring to life on stage.


Q: I wanted to hear a bit about your journey as a cellist. What initially drew you to the cello? 

A: Well, I started playing the cello when I was four years old. My parents are both musicians and started my sister out with the violin and myself with the cello. I was a competitive gymnast at the time, so I found the discipline and mindset of performing to be pretty similar. Once I graduated to an actual-sized cello, I found the sound quality to be much better and resonate with me.


Q: Speaking of the sound of the cello, what do you think makes the cello unique from other instruments in the realm of classical music?

A: They say that the cello sounds most like the human voice, which is true, but it’s not just because of its range. There’s so much versatility in its sound and its ability to mimic spoken word. That’s one of my favorite things about the cello. It also usually plays the bass within the orchestra and acts as a steady foundation for the group. I really like the supportive role it provides and its rich and gooey tones.


Q: Taking a look at the program I can see that there are a lot of diverse pieces. Did you choose the pieces being played for the concert yourself? What was that process like?

A: My mom and I actually developed the program together and she’ll be accompanying me on the piano. We were really interested in this idea of combining French and religious music. We kept coming back to the imagery of the cathedral and honed in on the quality of each of these pieces to keep that main idea in mind. 


Q: That sounds really interesting. Is there anything about the pieces you chose in particular that you want to highlight?

A: They all have a spiritual or contemplative aspect to them. For instance, Arvo Pärt’s minimalist piece makes you really have to sit and think and be completely in the moment. Alexina Louie’s  ‘Wild Horse Running’ is similar, being nature-based and painting a landscape of these majestic beasts—it’s an interesting way of looking at religion and spirituality. We also adapted some pieces from Debussy from vocals into cello as well.


Q: I saw online that you played with Yo-Yo Ma in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago which must have been an amazing experience. Are there any specific artists or composers that have influenced your playing or inspired you as a musician?

A: Yeah! I played with him in 2020 right before the pandemic. He’s definitely one of my biggest inspirations. He truly loves music. He’s not interested in perfection, he’s more interested in communication.


Q: What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspect of performing live?

A: What I’ve realized over the years is that I’ve never played a concert on my own. I’ve always had collaborators with me and a consistent network of support and communication. You see the vulnerability in those around you and learn to rely on each other when performing together. You get to know them in a special way. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to performing live; the communal sense of vulnerability and everything leading up to that one moment can be intimidating. This feeling of being in the now, focused on each other, and dedicated to hearing one another is definitely one of the most rewarding aspects.


Q: What advice would you give to aspiring cellists or young musicians who are just starting their journey when it comes to music?

A: Practicing hard is important, but don’t worry too much about sounding like someone else. You have to make sure you sound like yourself. People are really interested in what you have to say, not your technical perfection. Don’t follow your fear of perfection—follow the point of the music: communication.


Q: What are your hopes for the future of your career as a cellist? Are there any upcoming projects that you’re particularly excited about?

A: My goal as a musician is always to meet and collaborate with as many people as I can and share these ideas and music with others. I have an upcoming performance with Catherine Beeson in the Adirondacks. She makes programs of unknown music and is dedicated to making previously unheard of or not well-known music heard and appreciated.


Thank you to Jordan Gunn for taking the time to share her insights and journey with us. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to attend her performance at Le Moyne this Wednesday in the Panasci Family Chapel at 7:30 pm! Tickets can be purchased at the VPA website here, at the PAC box office, or by calling (315) 445-4200.

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