Denielle Wilson is a musician and educator from Lithonia, Georgia.
She has taught privately and publicly, and performed in solo, chamber, and orchestral settings throughout the Atlanta, Chicago, and Charlotte metropolitan areas.
Her interest in a career as an orchestral musician began while spending five years in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program, studying with cellist Joel Dallow. In this program, she and other students with Black and/or Latinx backgrounds received an advanced music education from the ASO through lessons, performances, and scholarships in preparation for college-level music studies and eventually careers in Western classical music. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance and Music Education from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, with her primary mentors being Hans Jørgen Jensen and Wei Yu. While at NU, she played in the school’s Symphony Orchestra and the NU Cello Ensemble, as well as participated in chamber music groups coached by the Dover Quartet.
After graduation, she spent two years performing in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as a fellow and co-principal cellist, helping create and present educational programs for a variety of audiences. She found additional performance opportunities throughout several communities within Chicago through the Grant Park Music Festival String Fellowship, the Matt Jones Orchestra, and Groupmuse house concerts. She also temporarily became a full-time string orchestra instructor and sectionals coach for various elementary, middle, and high schools in the Evanston and Skokie areas.
More recently, Denielle completed her master’s degree through the Diversity Fellowship with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Alongside her academic studies, she received regular mentorship, audition coaching, and performance opportunities from musicians of the CSO. After winning first prize in the Strings and Harp division of the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions (SOPA) Excerpt Competition in 2021, she was invited to play with the Charlotte Symphony as an acting section musician for their 2021-2022 season.
Denielle’s burden for community engagement began early in her journey as a musician. She and her two siblings, Danya and Cliff Jr., formed the Wilson Trio in 2007, a piano trio that has given free performances in and around Lithonia. Her interest in music education has also kept her active in music ministries at her local church, and she continuously seeks opportunities to reach young people with educational performance experiences and affordable music lessons through substitute teaching and community arts education programs, such as Arts+ in Charlotte, N.C.
Her past summer musical experiences include the Interlochen Arts Camp, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Franklin Pond Chamber Music, Meadowmount School of Music, Aspen Music Festival and School, Grant Park Music Festival, and Orchestra of the Americas. Other musical mentors include Alan Rafferty, Hiro Matsuo, Ilya Finkelshteyn, Robert deMaine, Melissa Kraut, Abraham Feder, and Nan Kimberling.
Denielle plays a cello made in 2020 by Mauricio Aguiar, a violinist in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She is currently performing as a section cellist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for their 2022-23 season.