Cellospeak NOTES

Enjoy prior issues of our newsletter, Cellospeak NOTES. Just click on the image of an issue to read it in full.

April 2021 NOTES

We announce that the 2021 in-person workshops are cancelled, but that we have already reserved the last two weeks of July 2022 for our regular workhops at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2021, we are offering two 3-day weekend virtual Studio programs instead. The Technique Studio, Friday July 16 – Sunday July 18, will will focus on personal lessons and skills. The Ensemble Studio, Friday July 30 – Sunday August 1, will focus on rehearsals for one or more virtual group performances of Cellospeak arrangements. Details, including schedules, faculty, tuition and applications, will be announced soon. We also introduce our new Artist in Residence, WETA Classical FM host and cellist James Jacobs, who will share unique insights on cello music and performances. We are also launching Cello Scroll, a new email group exclusively for Cellospeak members.

February 2021 NOTES

We reluctantly say goodbye to our longstanding and inimitable conductor Gary Fitzgerald, though he will continue to provide us with his wonderful arrangements. Visit our Tribute Page for Gary. We also announced the posting on our website of wonderful video of the 2020 Cellospeak Studio presentation by faculty member Ken Law on Composers of African American Descent. Member Brian Forst recalls studying with Cellospeak founder Dorothy Amarandos in an article published in a recent issue of Strings Magazine called “Finding my Voice on Cello: From Las Vegas Lounge to Longhair Music“. Visit our new web page Technique Videos for recorded classes available exclusively to members.

December 2020 NOTES

We announce that our virtual Cello Choir Concert, Cello Carol Medley, a performance constructed from 50 different member recordings, has been posted on YouTube. We also review the “Silver Linings” that Cellospeak has found during the year, even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, including the opportunity to innovate new virtual programs such as our online summer Cellospeak Studio sessions, and finding new ways to stay in touch with our community of cello enthusiasts through Zoom Town Halls and Cellospeakeasies. We also recommend a new book of cello duets arranged by long-time member by Sheryl Smith called 30 Cello Duets For Beginners. It is available on her own website Yellow Cello Music.

November 2020 NOTES

We invite everyone to participate in our first virtual Cello Choir Concert, which was a great success. View the resulting YouTube performance of Cello Carol Medley HERE. We announce the move of our summer workshops to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Faculty member Marion Baker is featured both for his new YouTube videos as well as in our Cello in the Time of Covid segment for a student concert in his backyard.

August 2020 NOTES

We chronicle our very successful first Cellospeak Studio event July 31 – August 2, 2020 with 70 people participating over Zoom. Our Cello in the Time of Covid segment features a photo of Jack Page’s home ensemble playing outdoors in the time of Covid, and a report on a new position for our Artistic Director, Bomin Collins. Find out more about our Cellospeak Studio program HERE.

May 2020 NOTES

We recap our first ever Town Hall, conducted via Zoom on May 9, 2020, to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our community, and coping strategies. A detailed summary of the extensive and illuminating discussion can be read on our website HERE. We also announced our first of several Cellospeakeasies, casual social gatherings over Zoom. Our feature Cello in the Time of Covid-19 profiles how faculty member Louise Butler and member Saadia Howard are coping in the pandemic, and included links to a special article and videos of faculty member Alán Saúl Saucedo Estrada’s talented family performing concerts together at home. Finally, we bid farewell and express thanks to Administrative Director, Susan Manus. Cellospeak President, Aileen Pisciotta, takes over the administrative role in the interim.

April 2020 NOTES

This issue focuses on Cello in the Time of Covid-19 and profiles the coping strategies of faculty member Irina Tikhonova as well as Cellospeak members Petra Warren, Jack Page, Aileen Pisciotta and Sheryl Smith. Both Irina and Sheryl started to give porch recitals outside their homes, finding that, during a time of intense isolation, impromptu cello performances lifted their own spirits as well as those of their neighbors. We also provide links to a new interview, In Conversation With Gary, conducted by Board Member Agnes Manley with our favorite conductor, Gary Fitzgerald.

March 2020 Update

We advise our readers that the 2020 Workshops are tentatively still on, but that more information will be forthcoming as Covid-19 circumstances become clear, and will notify everyone by June 1 for certain if they are cancelled. Meanwhile, we offer a link to enjoyable special virtual events posted on our website and another link to Yo-Yo Ma’s short clip titled “Songs of Comfort: Dvorak – Going Home”. Finally, we include a special article with tips from some William Harris Lee and Company – Chicago, IL on how to clean your cello.

February 2020 NOTES

An article by Board Member Agnes Manley puts the spotlight on the Brobst Violin Shop in Alexandria, Virginia, a longstanding Benefactor to Cellospeak. Agnes reviews the history of this important store and how they have evolved over the years to become an essential resource for finding and maintaining the perfect instrument and its accessories. We also express a heartfelt thank you to longstanding Cellospeak friend, Michael Weller. For many years, Michael was the “luthier in residence” at Cellospeak workshops, a post he earned at least partially through his painstaking and expert work completely rebuilding our founder Dorothy Amarandos’ beloved 18th Century cello dubbed “Napoleon Blownapart” which had been found in pieces in France after World War I.