The best of both worlds


Dennis playing her cello. She is hoping to get first chair this year.

Lexi Leisure, Features editor

     Picasso and Beethoven are both famous artists who have impacted the way art is used today. Artists come in many shapes and sizes. Most artists are lucky to be skilled in at least one of the categories. As for Noelle Dennis, it’s a different story. Her hands can pick up a paintbrush, paint a masterpiece, then grab a bow and pluck a beautiful melody on the cello.

Color by number

Dennis has learned all about perseverance through the encouragement of others. From a young age, she has always had her mother’s support.

“I started painting when I was really little because my mom always tried to encourage me to be creative,” Dennis said, “When I was little, I did finger paintings, but now I really like watercolor and pencil drawings.”

Dennis’ says her mother is a big inspiration for her art. She looks up to her and gets advice on her work.

“My mom is a potter and oil painter, and she always encourages me to express myself through art and music. I don’t think I would have taken such an interest in art without her influence on me,” Dennis said.

Dennis is now in 2-D art with Angela Hurd. Hurd is impressed with Dennis’ work so far.

“She has really good craftsmanship. She also has really good consistency and control with the pencil and the colored pencil,” Hurd said, “She definitely is talented enough to move to upper level classes, if she wants to pursue that.”

Dennis is currently working on a observation drawing and hopes to expand her portfolio in the future.

Staying with the rhythm

Bach Cello Suite 1. What is that? It is Dennis’ favorite song to play on the cello. Ever since sixth grade, Dennis knew that playing the cello in orchestra was right for her.

“There was this one day where we could try out all these different instruments. Originally I wanted to play a band instrument, but I couldn’t get a sound out. So, I thought about trying a string instrument,” Dennis said.

Fast forward to sophomore year and Dennis sits in the first chair for the cello section. Dennis’s fellow classmate junior Braden Caswell has enjoyed seeing her grow throughout the years.

“It’s really cool because it means [orchestra teacher] Mr. Hartman sees leadership in her,” Caswell said.

     Dennis has always been able to pick up music fast and has improved on keeping rhythm.

“I’m a pretty fast learner. I can hear a song and play it on my cello sometimes,” Dennis said.

One of her biggest inspirations also plays the cello, but uses his instrument along with his voice to showcase a unique style music.

“The one guy from Pentatonix, his name is Kevin, he plays the cello and beatboxes at the same time. I think that’s really cool,” Dennis said, “He shows me that music can be fun. It doesn’t have to be classical, you can do anything with music.”

Dennis claims that Hartman, has been her favorite music mentor over the years. Hartman stated that he is especially fond of Dennis’ skills and work ethic.

“Noelle is a lovely person. She does a good job with being consistent with her playing and preparing for class.” Hartman said, “She’s also a good leader for the group because the rest of the members of the cello section can count on her and she’s a very helpful person. I hope that Noelle continues to play the cello. She has a gift and I hope she continues to share that with people.”

Not only does Dennis play in the orchestra here at NHS, but she has also has had different opportunities to share her art outside of the classroom.

“At Grace Church, I got to play my cello for a musical and it was a great music opportunity. I got to meet a lot of adult musicians who make playing a instrument a lifestyle,” Dennis said. “It showed me that you can make music more than a hobby.”

Along with the musical at Grace, Dennis also played with the pit orchestra in last years production of Spamalot.

“She is the type of person who won’t get into something like that and then just fake her way through it. She really wants to play. She is tenacious,” Hartman said.

While Dennis enjoys playing the cello, she is looking to branch out and is even taking lessons from her brother to learn how to play the bass guitar.

“I like [music] because it has so many different forms. There are so many options to play. It has taught me a lot about patience and not giving up if you can’t get it the first time,” Dennis said, “I don’t know if I want to play for a living, but I’m definitely going to play the cello for the rest of my life.”