Virtual Summer Cello Workshop — a two-week program

WKS 417
Virtual Summer Cello Workshop – a two-week program

We are no longer accepting auditor registrations for this workshop.

July 6-17, 2020 / Monday-Friday (times TBA)

Cora Swenson Lee, director

Faculty: Alan Harris, Eastman School of Music; Kathleen Kemp, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Cora Swenson Lee, Trio Speranza; Lisa Caravan, Eastman School of Music

Guest faculty: David Ying (Eastman School of Music), Daniel Ketter (Missouri State University), John Delmonico (Delmonico and Dugdale Strings)

Although we are disappointed that the Eastman Cello Institute cannot take place on campus this year, we are thrilled to be offering the same quality cello pedagogy through our 2020 Virtual Summer Cello Workshop!

Join us for two weeks of intensive cello studies, and take advantage of this opportunity to get one-on-one time with our expert teachers. Students who enroll will be able to focus intently on building a healthy playing technique, develop an individualized practice plan, and expand their solo cello repertoire. The program features private lessons, individualized practice coaching sessions, daily technique classes, masterclass and recital performances, and workshops on the topics of practice strategies, wellness at the cello, instrument maintenance, and the Bach Cello Suites.

Our faculty and students will be actively interacting over video platforms to help both performers and auditors maximize their time in the 2020 Virtual Summer Cello Workshop. We hope that you will join our Eastman cello community this summer!

Program details:

  • Two-week online program July 6-17 (Monday-Friday)
  • Orientation meeting Sunday July 5 5pm (EDT)
  • Open to advanced cellists aged 14+
  • Faculty: Alan Harris (Eastman School of Music), Kathleen Kemp (Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra), Lisa Caravan (Eastman School of Music), Cora Swenson Lee (Bucknell University)
  • Guest Faculty: David Ying (Eastman School of Music), Daniel Ketter (Missouri State University), John Delmonico (Delmonico and Dugdale Strings)

Two ways to get involved!

  • Performer (limited to 16 students by audition only- auditions due May 15)
  • Auditor (unlimited enrollment- applications due June 15)

Offerings for all enrolled students:

  • Daily group technique class
  • Daily masterclasses: tune in to our six performance classes and four special topics classes!
  • Daily practice challenges/activities curated for our students
  • End of week Q&A session with the faculty

Offerings for Performers only:

  • Three private, 1-hour lessons
    • One lesson with Professor Alan Harris
    • Two lessons with Kathleen Kemp or Dr. Cora Swenson Lee
  • One private, 1-hour practice coaching session with Dr. Lisa Caravan
    • You will be curating a personalized practice plan!
  • One masterclass performance
    • Masterclasses will be given by multiple faculty, including Eastman Professors Alan Harris and David Ying
  • End-of-Workshop Virtual Recital performance featuring your solo cello repertoire
    • Friday July 17, 7pm EDT
    • Performances will be pre-recorded by students and then streamed by the Cello Workshop to be enjoyed by family and friends
  • Feedback from faculty on daily practice assignments/challenges via Flipgrid
  • Breakout practice room sessions with student groups/practice buddies
  • Student group hangouts on Zoom/private Facebook group
  • A print copy of the Eastman Cello Institute Technique Book mailed to your home

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

  • 10am -12pm lesson/practice coaching slots for participants
  • 1-2pm technique class
  • 2-3pm practice room breakout sessions for participants
  • 3-4:30pm masterclass or special topics class
  • 4:30-6:30pm lesson/practice coaching slots for participants

View/download the Daily Schedule here


  • Once you are admitted and confirm your enrollment, you will have a one-on-one welcome meeting with Dr. Cora Swenson Lee, to take place before June 1. At that meeting you will discuss the unaccompanied cello repertoire you will study during your lessons and perform in the masterclass and end-of-workshop recital.
  • You will receive a welcome packet by mail which will include your Eastman Cello Institute Technique Book. You will receive instructions on how to access Zoom, Flipgrid, and the private Facebook group for participants. You will also be given a full lesson/performance schedule by July 1.


  • Once your enrollment is confirmed, you will receive a virtual welcome packet which will include materials for the daily technique classes, a full schedule of events, and instructions on how to access each event via Zoom.

Equipment requirements for all enrolled students:

  • Strong internet access
  • A device with a built-in camera and microphone (laptop, iPad/tablet, smartphone, etc.) which has the ability to record video
  • A cello!
  • Copies of your music (paper, or a music-reading app which allows for annotation)
  • A quiet/private room where you can join in on lessons/classes without interruptions

There will be a meet-and-greet orientation meeting for all enrolled students on Sunday July 5 at 5pm (EDT)!!!

This will be a great chance for everyone to introduce themselves, get to know the other students, meet the faculty, and get an overview of the program!

Special Notes

  • Masterclasses and lessons will most likely require you to submit performance videos 24 hours in advance, so that the faculty can view your videos and prepare comments.
  • Recordings of most group events will be made available for download within 24 hours for those who were unable to attend the live event.

Participant: $850 / noncredit     CRN 37123
Auditor: $200     CRN 37137

“Excellent faculty, performance opportunities, discussion of cello playing/performance/technique. I am a better cellist and musician as a result of this program and closer to what I have the potential to become.” – 2019 participant


Admittance is by audition only. Click the link at the bottom of this page to use our online Audition Form. The audition deadline for this institute is now extended to May 15, 2020.

 Audition requirements:

  • Résumé, including name and contact information of current teacher and information on which school (high school or college) you will be attending the following school year
  • Short biography
  • Letter of recommendation from current teacher–letters can be included with your audition materials or sent in any of the following ways:
  • 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 institute. Watch this page for our Audition Form once registration opens. Audition results will be announced after the May 15 deadline.

Audition deadline: Please send your résumé, biography, letter of recommendation, and recording(s) by May 15, 2020.

Auditor registration deadline (no audition required) has been extended to June 21, 2020.

Click HERE to submit a performer audition

Click HERE to register as an auditor (no audition required)

Read our blog: All Things Cello: Eastman Cello Institute, Season 4