Freshman takes Eastern by the strings

Kalyn Hayslett, Verge Editor

Two weeks into the semester, Logan Wood, a freshman music and psychology major, already joined three

Logan Wood, freshman music performance and psychology major, stands with cello in the red zone lounge.
Kalyn Hayslett
Logan Wood, freshman music performance and psychology major, stands with cello in the red zone lounge.

student organizations with aspirations for self-growth and campus improvement.

However, the Eastern Symphony Orchestra became one of Wood’s top priorities this summer.

At five years old, Wood’s love for music ignited when he heard a cello performance by an elementary teacher.

“While walking home, one of the music teachers was playing the theme song from Zelda on the cello in the playground,” Wood said, “I ran over to her and tried to climb over the fence, but I was too little so I walked around and finally got the courage to ask her about the cello.”

Wood, being an only child, experienced loneliness, but his mom bought him a cello and he began to meet with the music teacher for the basic music lessons that following summer.

The cello brought joy to Wood’s life and he found comfort in performing in an orchestra.

Wood applied to Eastern with the hope of performing in the ESO and entering the music program.

However, Wood had to participate in two auditions.

Performing arts is a competitive industry, so Wood understood the importance of auditions, but his nerves conflicted with his belief in his own abilities.

Last week emails were sent to all student interested in being a part of the orchestra, with information about selecting a time slot and a six-page music sheet that needed to be prepared for the audition.

However, Wood was added to the email later than a majority of the students, so the director gave Wood the music for the audition the day of.

“I began practicing with the little time I had before the audition, so I was rushing a little bit carrying my cello and getting my stuff together,” Wood said. “While I was walking down to the art center I kept thinking ‘Am I going to make it? Am I going to be able to do this?’”

Flustered due to time constraints, he did not perform as well as he wanted, or portray himself in the best light in the audition, but he got accepted into the orchestra. His self-pride remained, Wood said.

Words of encouragement from the director, personal passion for the cello and resilience to prove himself did not allow Wood to remain discouraged for long.

Now that he is in the ESO, he looks forward to the progress his musical career will go through.

“Simply knowing that I’m getting better and the realization that I’m playing and learning news songs it gets crazy.” Wood said, “Now that I am in college I can only expect the music getting more difficult but reaching those goals is going to eye opening.”

The passion Wood puts into learning, reading music and performing translates into other aspects of his life.

Wood’s resident assistant, Chris Wasson, a junior communication studies major, describes Wood’s personality as inspiring, excitable and mature.

“He is always willing to seek out new things everyday, so he is really embracing the EIU experience,” Wasson said,  “despite having a negative attitude about EIU first coming here.”

Wood went to North High School where he lived in Terre Haute, Ind.

Despite being the only student attending an out of state university, he felt reluctant about moving to Illinois.

His experience with Prowl and the health and safety meeting in Thomas Hall transformed him, and the next day, he loved it. He was eager to get involved with the sexual assault counseling and information center and hall council.

“My current dream career is being a clinical psychologist for either criminal behavior or mental health issues. I want to help in those areas because, sure, there are a few people doing those careers, but there aren’t many people with enough emotion to heal,” Wood said.

The ability to help others fix their problems and providing a support system is a major priority for Wood.

Wood recently applied for an executive board positon as a Residence Hall Association representative and attended a SACIS meeting, which he is excited to actively participate in the rest of the year.

“He brings a lot of joy and positivity to the floor, and he is a positive influence for people who are hesitant to get involved on campus,” Wasson said.

Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]