Eastman Cello Institute

(Photo from Summer 2019)

Audition deadline extended to June 17, 2022!

INS 417
Eastman Cello Institute – a three-week program
June 26-July 15, 2022 / Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (plus some evenings)
Rooms: ESM 514, ESM 442, MC 5

Cora Swenson Lee, coordinator

Faculty: Cora Swenson Lee, Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan Universities; Lisa Caravan, Eastman School of Music; Daniel Ketter, Missouri State University
Guest faculty: Alan Harris, Eastman School of Music; Kathleen Kemp, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; John Delmonico, Delmonico and Dugdale Strings; additional guest presenters (TBA)

The Eastman Cello Institute is a three-week intensive course designed to help students develop strategies for learning and mastering the cello. Instruction will focus on techniques for healthy playing and longevity at the instrument, as well as techniques specific to solo, collaborative, and orchestral repertoire. Students will receive lessons with all faculty members, participate in daily technique and orchestral repertoire classes, and attend special topics workshops.

Participants will have several performance opportunities over the three weeks, including daily performance classes with Alan Harris, and recitals featuring Cello Ensembles, Bach Suites, and collaborative works with piano. Specific repertoire to be performed will be assigned upon acceptance and in consultation with each student’s private teacher. Participants will be working from the Eastman Cello Institute Technique Book (free with registration).

Sample Daily Schedule (all events listed in Eastern Daylight Time):

9-10 Technique Class
10-12 Lessons/Piano Rehearsals
12-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:45 Performance Class
1:45-2:45 Masterclass / Orchestra Rep
3-5 Lessons/Piano Rehearsals
5-6 Dinner
6-8 Cello Ensemble Rehearsals / Special Topics Workshops

Special Topics Workshops:

Interpreting Bach
Instrument Maintenance
Healthy Movement for Musicians
Making the Most of Your Practice
Audition Success

Faculty Concert: (will be livestreamed!)

Faculty “Cellobration” concert (cello and chamber ensembles featuring Cello Institute faculty):
Friday July 1, 7:30pm in Hatch Recital Hall         

Participant Concerts: (all concerts will be livestreamed!)

Student Bach Recital: Friday July 8, 7:30 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall 
Student Cello Ensemble Concert: Saturday July 9, 3:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall
Student Collaborative Recital I: Thursday July 14, 7:30 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall
Student Collaborative Recital II: Friday July 15, 7:30 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall

** Please note that each participant will perform on only ONE of the Collaborative Recitals, and those dates will be determined at a later time. If you have family who would like to attend the final recitals in person, it is best to plan to attend both dates. If that is not possible, please put in a request for a specific date as soon as possible. Participants are required to attend all ECI faculty and student performances even if they are not performing themselves. **

This institute is designed as a residential program; high school students age 15-17 may reserve on-campus housing and meals at the Eastman Student Living Center for an additional fee. Due to COVID-19 restrictions for Summer 2022, on-campus housing and meals at the Eastman Student Living Center will be available for high school students only. All collegiate and adult participants will be responsible for their own off-campus lodging and meals. For information about on-campus housing and a list of resources for those staying off-campus, click here.

Orientation Session: Sunday, June 26, 6:30 p.m. (room TBA)

Planning your arrival and departure:
First scheduled activity: Orientation Session, Sunday June 26, 6:30 p.m. (room TBA)
Last scheduled activity: Student Collaborative Recital II, Friday July 15, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Hatch Recital Hall

Professional Development Hours: 100
$5,460 / 3 credits        
$2,200 / noncredit       

“This workshop was very meaningful for me. I wrote down what I learned in a day for three weeks and how I was feeling during the classes and workshops. Now these notes became the tool of my practices. [The workshop] taught me so much, and I’ll never forget the teachings and memories. Thank you so much!!” – 2021 online participant



PERFORMERS (limited to 16 students by audition only; auditions due May 1 June 17 – new deadline!)

    • Daily group technique class
    • Weekly private lessons with Dr. Cora Swenson Lee, Kathleen Kemp, or Dr. Daniel Ketter
    • Practice coaching sessions with Dr. Lisa Caravan
      • One initial hour-long consultation to curate a personalized practice plan, with multiple 30-minute follow-ups
    • Masterclass performance opportunities
      • Masterclasses will be given by multiple faculty, including Eastman Professors Alan Harris and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Assistant Principal Cellist Kathleen Kemp
      • Performances on three recitals in Kilbourn Hall and Hatch Recital Hall (solo Bach, Cello Ensemble, solo with piano)
    • Once you are admitted and confirm your enrollment, you will have a one-on-one welcome meeting with Dr. Cora Swenson Lee. At that meeting you will discuss the cello repertoire you will study and perform during your time at Eastman.


Admittance for performers is by audition only. Click the link at the bottom of this page to use our online Audition Form. Auditions will be accepted and reviewed until May 1 June 17 or until all spots have filled.

 Audition requirements:

Please do not send anything by postal mail at this time, as we are working remotely and are not regularly on campus to receive postal mail.

  • Audition videos:
    • Two 3-octave scales and arpeggios (1 major and 1 minor key of your choice)
    • 1 étude
    • 1 movement of Bach
    • 1 movement of a solo piece of your choice (concerto, sonata, character piece, etc.)

Audition video instructions:

  • All videos must be shot facing directly at the student (no side-angles); camera should be placed between 5-15 feet from the student so that face and both arms are clearly shown
  • Each required audition selection must be recorded as a separate video
  • All videos must be uploaded to YouTube (unlisted or public videos preferred; private videos don’t work)
  • Please compile all file links into one Word document as shown in the “Audition Video Links” template below (do not forward individual videos to the Summer@Eastman office)
  • Links should be “active” so that videos can be viewed directly from your document (you may wish to test this before submitting your audition)

Application material templates:

You may use existing résumés or biographies if you have them; these templates are provided in case you need help putting information together.

Short Biography
Audition Video Links

Please follow this format (or very similar) for your application materials. This will help us get to know you as thoroughly as possible through your application!

There is no fee to audition for this workshop. Watch this page for our Audition Form once registration opens. Audition results will be announced after the May 1 June 17 deadline.

Click HERE to submit a performer audition

Read our blog: New Pedagogical Works for Advancing Young Cellists