I was 10 when I attended a music camp held by the East Allegheny School district, in North Versialles, PA. I attended the camp with the full intention of playing the Viola -- mainly because my best friend played the Viola, though I also wanted to play because I loved orchestra music. When the camp director asked which instrument I wanted to play, I said the Viola. He looked at my hand and said, you have a 'cello hand. So I was given a 'cello.
The very first time I ever played it. . .I knew this was my instrument. Then the 'cello teacher played a little and I was hooked -- what a sound he made! What an absolutely perfect sound that 'cello made! That was 32 years ago!
After graduating from H.S. I went on to Edinboro University of PA and studied with Clifford Cox and Patricia Sublett (Pat was a student of Bernard Greenhouse).
I grew up in Pittsburgh PA. The Pittsburgh Symphony was under the baton of William Steinberg. He was he man with the up - down beat! :-)
Every Sunday afternoon I would hear the broadcasts of the PSO. I enjoyed listening. I never thought that someday I would play some of that great music, too or ever have the opportunity to play with the PSO. That did happen while I was in high school then in college. The PSO chamber group came and played at our High School and we got to sit with them and play during the evening concert and then in college the Chamber group came and again we got the chance to play with them in the concert. What a thrill.
I have played the standard 'cello literature in recitals and concerts -- Bach's Suites and Sonatas; Beethoven's Sonoatas No. 1 in FMajor and No. 5 in Gminor; Brahm's Eminor Sonata; Mendelssohn's "Song without Words;" Faure's "Elegy, with orchestra," etc.
While I am a minister of the gospel by calling, I was also a member of the 'cello section, second stand, of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra,
I am currently living in Lakeland FL and looking for opportunities to play -- either in chamber ensembles or orchestral engagements.
My favorite 'cellists, in order of first to last. . .Jacqueline Du Pre (she died far too early, and left far too few recordings); Yo Yo Ma (just because he is Yo Yo Ma); Pablo Casals (His recordings of various 'cello pieces were my first exposure to the great music for the 'cello); and Rostropovich (he has such a unique sound).
My favorite 'cello piece is Tchaikovsky's Roccoco Variations (the greatest show piece of 'cello literature -- Starker's cadenza is the most amazing).
My 'cello is a prized possession. . . .built in 1954 by the House of Schleiffer in Stugart, Germany. It is a wonderful instrument with a medium tone. . . .and a deep bass. It is great for solo/ chamber playing and orchestral music. I just love it.
I am always glad to hear from other 'cellists. I would welcome the chance to chat or e-mail with others. I invite you to visit Pastor Steve's Place. Keep making beautiful music....Music is the language of God without words.
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