Virtual Summer Cello Workshop — a three-week program

(Photo from Summer 2019)

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

As of June 24, 2021, this course has closed. We are no longer accepting registrations.

June 27-July 16, 2021 / Monday-Friday, times TBA
Online course

Cora Swenson Lee, coordinator

Faculty: Alan Harris, Eastman School of Music; Kathleen Kemp, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Cora Swenson Lee, Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan Universities; Lisa Caravan, Eastman School of Music; Daniel Ketter, Missouri State University

Guest faculty: David Ying, Eastman School of Music; Rosemary Elliott, Eastman School of Music; guest presenters for special topic discussions (schedule below)

A three-week intensive course designed to help students develop strategies for learning and mastering the cello. Group classes will focus on techniques for healthy playing and longevity at the instrument, as well as techniques specific to solo and orchestral repertoire. Students will receive lessons with faculty members, perform in masterclasses for Eastman School of Music faculty, and participate in classes and topical workshops, including:

Repertoire covered during the Institute will include Bach Cello Suites and other works for unaccompanied cello, standard concertos and etudes, and orchestral excerpts; specific pieces will be determined upon acceptance to the program. Students will be working from the Eastman Cello Institute Technique Book (free with registration).

Orientation Session: Sunday, June 27, time TBA

Faculty Concerts:
Faculty “Cellobration” concert: Thursday July 1, 7:30 p.m. EDT (premiered on YouTube)
Faculty “Cellobration” concert: Friday July 2, 7:30 p.m. EDT (premiered on YouTube)

Participant Concerts:
Student Recital I: Friday July 9, 7:30 p.m. EDT (premiered on YouTube)
Student Recital II: Friday July 16, 7:30 p.m. EDT (premiered on YouTube)

Performer: $1,350 / noncredit     WKS 417-1                  
Auditor: $600 / noncredit     WKS 417-2



Two ways to get involved!

  • Performer (limited to 16 students by audition only; auditions due April 1)
  • Auditor (unlimited enrollment, no audition required; applications due May 17)

Offerings for all enrolled students:

  • Daily group technique class
  • Multiple weekly masterclasses: a mix of performance classes and special topics classes!
  • Regular practice challenges/activities curated for our students
  • Weekly chats with the faculty

Offerings for Performers only:

  • Weekly private lessons with Dr. Cora Swenson Lee 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 David Ying and RPO Assistant Principal Cellist Kathleen Kemp
  • Virtual Recital performance featuring your solo cello repertoire
    • Performances will be prerecorded 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

Sample 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 a sample 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 which will include your Eastman Cello Institute Technique Book, and instructions on how to access Zoom and other technologies required for participants. You will also be given a full lesson/performance schedule by June 18.


  • 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 (Ethernet preferred)
  • A device with a built-in camera and microphone (laptop, iPad/tablet, smartphone, etc.) which has the ability to record video
  • 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

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.



Admittance for performers is by audition only. Click the link at the bottom of this page to use our online Audition Form.

 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 April 1 deadline.

“The course content, faculty, and my overall experience within this course were all amazing and extremely beneficial to me in multiple respects, especially in improving my cello playing itself!” – 2020 participant


Read our blog: New Pedagogical Works for Advancing Young Cellists