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A Musical Life: Arleigh Aldrich


Arleigh Aldrich has been a cellist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra for five years. She grew up in the Wichita area and was cultivated by the thriving music community. She graduated from Wichita State University with her degree in marketing, and works for the orchestra as a marketing and public relations manager.

I am Arleigh Aldrich. I am a cellist here in Wichita, mainly with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. For me, the music that I play on the cello isn’t so much just because I am solely stuck on classical music. I love all music and really what it taught me was how to curate and really listen to what makes music great. It’s not necessarily the genre, it’s the thought process and the feeling that’s been put into it and what the writer or songwriter or composer is trying to say.

What I really love about the cello, specifically, is how much it truly mimics the human form, the human voice. It is the instrument with the closest timbre to the human voice, but, also, you can see at the top of it, where you see the scroll… you can see… that’s the head of the cello and this curvaceous woodwork that kind of represents the body and, to me, the endpin always represents the high heels on my cello.

I just love that aspect of it and, to me, it’s not really just my instrument. It’s my pal, it’s an extension of who I am and I’ve taken photos with it before to where I try and explain that and say, "This is not something that I take a headshot with, this is something that’s my friend, that I interact with." It interacts with me. I’ve taken the time to get to know it so that I can play it to its fullest potential.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.