Here is an interview with Jessica in 2021:
How long have you played the violin?
I began studying the violin at age 10 through a program in my elementary school.
How long have you been a Wilmington Symphony Orchestra musician?
I joined the WSO when I moved here to Wilmington in 2015.
What do you do for a career?
I am a self-employed freelance musician and violin teacher. I have enjoyed various other jobs over the years that span a wide range from lambing assistant to orchestra librarian.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in a densely populated farming community. My education and family brought me down to North Carolina and I now fondly call Wilmington home.
What is your favorite song, artist, and/or musical memory?
I really enjoy playing in orchestral performances that blend multiple art forms and feature living composers. When I listen to music I often gravitate towards world music, often Afro-pop. Oumou Sangare (Mali) is a new favorite artist of mine.
Favorite meal or restaurant?
We are regulars at Sealevel, Fun Bowl, Pho Cafe, Far from France. If we have a little saved up and can get a babysitter my husband David and I often choose Caprice. Catch is a new favorite. For a top notch home treat David's thinly handcut french fries can't be beat.
I have recently started making my own kombucha and am working on a spicy turmeric ginger variety.
What is your favorite vacation?
Vacations that take me out in nature with friends and family and music are my favorite.
What's your pet situation?
We started out our pet quest leaning towards cats and dogs and have landed very squarely in Catlandia. I love our two crazy black cats Minou and Midnight who are really helping us through this pandemic.
What do you want people to know about the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra?
The WSO is full of musicians that are mentoring future musicians right here in Wilmington. When people support the WSO they are truly supporting a local project that ripples out through the community in many meaningful ways.
How are you keeping yourself occupied while being at home all day?
My yard has never felt so loved. And I am slowly getting to know every alleyway within walking distance, park within driving distance, and am going to the beach at least once a week. My local seashell finds, once turned into jewelry, sometimes make it into my fun new little Etsy shop!
Any words of wisdom to help others through this?
Simple words I turn to when I struggle -- one step at a time.
Christine Maynard, Concertmaster
Mary Jo White