Author: cellospeak

Feature Article:

Cellospeak Town Hall, May 9, 2020

In the midst of the Covid-19 shutdown, Cellospeak held its first-ever Town Hall via Zoom on May 9, 2020, hosted by our Artistic Director, Bomin Collins. It was a smashing success. About 70 peopled registered, and at any one time we had over 50 people participating, from as far away as Washington, Florida, Arizona (100+ degrees), Maine (snow) and even Ireland! Everyone was happy to see each other’s faces and to have a chance to catch up. We also had significant participation from our wonderful faculty, including Bomin Collins, Louise Butler, Bob Battey,...

Featured Article, April 2020

Cello in the Time of Covid-19

In this stressful time of social distancing and covid-induced anxiety, we want to do our part to keep our cello-loving community strong and connected. We know that many of you are turning ever more fervently to your instruments for solace, comfort and joy – for yourselves and others. Some, like long-time faculty member Irina Tikhonova, have put on much-appreciated impromptu porch recitals for their neighbors. Yay Irina!  (See this local news report on her concerts). For more inspiration, please revisit some of our awesome faculty’s 16 Cellos performances on YouTube, such as this...

Featured article, February 2020

Spotlight On...The Brobst Violin Shop

I recently visited Brobst Violins to meet the owners of this business who have been supporting Cellospeak for many years, and to learn a few things that would be of interest to our readers. The music I heard when I first walked into the store was irresistibly beautiful, even though it clearly did not come from a cello. In one of the large showrooms, Gerald Brobst was playing a violin, which he promised to tell me more about later. During our conversation he explained how this family business evolved over the past five decades,...

Featured Article, December 2019

Transition for Cellospeak

Introducing Cellospeak’s New Administrative Director, Susan "Sue" Manus
The Cellospeak Board was very disappointed that Susanna Mendlow decided to move on from her administrative role with Cellospeak to bigger and better things, but we are thrilled to announce that we have a new Administrative Director, Sue Manus! Sue, a resident of Arlington, Virginia, has a BA in Music from the Pennsylvania State University and an MA in Arts Management from American University. A well-trained musician, she is a violinist and freelance performer in the Washington, D.C. area, including with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and various chamber groups. She is...

Featured Article, September 2019

Workshop Chronicles

Like a well-oiled machine, the 2019 Cellospeak workshops took place at Bryn Mawr College from July 21 until August 3. Artistic director Bomin Collins and Executive Director Susanna Mendlow delivered another sterling two weeks of cello instruction, ensemble playing and musical delights with the help of the dedicated faculty and Gary Fitzgerald. This year’s workshops were somewhat saddened by the passing of Cellospeak’s founder, Dorothy Amarandos, on June 22, 2019. Nineteen years ago, Dorothy started the workshops to give adult cello students and players an opportunity to share their passion with, and learn from, a...

Featured Article, May 2019

Cello Chat at Potter Violins

If you have attended any of the past Cellospeak workshops, you will surely know Potter Violins, a company that has been a benefactor of Cellospeak for many years. The company was founded by Dalton Potter, whose reputation as expert of string instruments spans more than 30 years. He dedicated his business to the notion that one can succeed in life by helping others to succeed. After two decades in Bethesda, Maryland, Potter’s found its new home in the historic Blair Mansion in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is delightful to visit this new store, which...

Featured Article, March 2019

Stand Partners

There is a wonderful definition of a “stand partner” in an article available online, “The special bond of being a stand partner,” which was written by Max Raimi, a violist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Here is Mr. Raimi’s definition of a stand partner: If you play a passage particularly well, often your stand partner is the only person who knows it. And if you miscount, or play a wrong note, or play something that is dreadfully out of tune, your shameful little secret is entrusted to your stand partner. The best stand partners are supportive and not...

Featured Article, January 2019

Lime-Light Fever

Cold and flu season is here, but lime-light fever has nothing to do with winter ailments. The malady  many of us occasionally struggle with is what Italians and Germans respectively call febbre della ribalta and Lampenfieber. These expressions directly translate into English as stage-fever or lamp- and lime-light fever. Merriam-Webster's definitions for fever are “a state of heightened or intense emotion or activity,” as well as “a contagious usually transient enthusiasm.” Is it a cultural difference, or are Italians and Germans onto something when they use more benign terms for stage fright and performance anxiety? Their stage related “fevers” don't have such negative connotations and...

Featured Article:

Workshop Chronicles - 2018

We always seem to think that the current Cellospeak workshop year is the best ever, and that remains true with the 18th annual workshops, held during the first two weeks of August 2018 at bucolic Bryn Mawr College. Our indefatigable and immensely talented leadership team of Artistic Director Bomin Collins and Executive Director Susanna Mendlow, along with Accompanist/Conductor Gary Fitzgerald and our stellar faculty, delivered once again. This year we enjoyed the return of veteran faculty and welcomed Katlyn DeGraw and Natalie Spear to the team. Both Skill Builder Week and Ensemble Week were filled...

Featured Article:

Preparing for the First Rehearsal 

Here are a few suggestions on how to prepare before you get to the first rehearsal. For those going to the summer workshop, this is your current challenge, but we all find ourselves frequently at this stage.
  1. Particularly for unfamiliar works, listening to a recording of your piece for example on YouTube with your part in hand is probably the most useful action you can take. Conducting while you listen is a great way to follow along. You may find this impossible on occasion, especially when...