While I thoroughly enjoyed my studies with my cello teacher, what struck me was that a cellist could also play music outside the mainstream classical genre. Consequently, when I went on to college at St. Bonaventure University, I signed up for jazz band, where I was the only string player. In addition, some friends and I used to play at several of the coffeehouses -- two guitars and a cello -- playing music from the Moody Blues to Peter Frampton.
At the age of 34, I have just finished my biggest gig -- a rock concert at our church attended by over 400 people. I was on stage with my cello and the rest of my band, which consists of two guitarists, a bass guitarist, a keyboardist, a drummer, a violinist, and a vocalist. Okay, you may think I am crazy, but several in the audience forgot how many 70's, 80's and 90's rock and roll tunes used cello and they thoroughly enjoyed what we performed! We played 18 songs total -- songs from the Moody Blues (who wrote many great ones with cello), Doobie Brothers, REM, U2, and the great "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas. I still enjoy classical music and play it occasionally. However, there is nothing like reaching an audience of 17-70 year olds in one night by breaking out the cello in this fashion. No matter how we use it and in what capacity, it's still the cello!
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