Cello Cabaret to showcase talent, dedication and community

cellobattle

This article has been corrected. The concert is at 3 p.m., not 3:30 p.m., as originally reported.

Calvin’s own cellists will be performing a special concert, or Cello Cabaret, in the recital hall. Admission is free to the event, which will be held on April 20 at 3 p.m.

The program has been completely inspired, organized and publicized by student cellists and will feature ensembles varying from duets, to as many as 15 cellists. They will be performing 13 pieces, including works by Lady Gaga, Vivaldi, Bach and Metallica, as well as an original composition.

This group of dedicated musicians represents students from all different majors (mostly non-music majors) and classes, but all of them express great enthusiasm for their instrument and this unique community.

The idea for a cello show occurred to some of the cellists last semester.

“We started with one ensemble piece last semester and then it took off from there,” explains sophomore Josh Ruiter.

“We began planning during interim and picking the music and have been practicing since then,” adds sophomore Amy Tenney.

“Basically, there’s a lot of cool cello music out there and this was a great opportunity to play some of it!” says junior Marie Bloem.

“You can play anything on a cello because we can play both the melody and the bass line, Ruiter explains.

“The cello is one of the only instruments that can make up a whole orchestra,” says Bloem. “Cellos have no limits, but we’re a little biased,” she explains jokingly. “We love all instruments, but are just partial to the cello for its tone, range and versatility.”

The concert is especially exciting because it will include pieces not usually performed by cellists.

Freshman Andrew Plaisier says, “I like to listen to a lot of pieces on YouTube. And I didn’t get the chance to play them in high school. It’s been great to do them now.”

The ensemble hopes the program will be popular with students.

“You are going to get to hear pieces you don’t usually hear from cellos,” says Bloem.

Understandably, the cellists have bonded a lot during their hours of practice and hours of preparation to make the cabaret a possibility.

“We have a cello family,” Tenney explains. “It sounds cliche and dumb, but it’s true.”

Plaisier adds: “We were already getting close last semester but the cello community has only gotten tighter.”

“We’ve especially enjoyed getting to know the cellists who don’t play in orchestra — the people who just started cello or have picked it up again after losing interest in high school,” says Tenney. “It’s been amazing to see the non-orchestra members prioritize music for this event!”

Luke Jebb, not a member of the orchestra, says that coming into the practice rooms is a wonderful escape from his other school activities.

“When I go into the practice room after a long day of economics, it’s like going to a little, peaceful cello island.”

Jebb appreciates the sense of community the musicians have in the practice rooms. He says everyone is friendly and will peek into each other’s practice rooms, creating an encouraging, supportive atmosphere.

The cello community occurs outside the practice rooms, too.

“We go on cellos dates,” explains Bloem. “We’ll go out to a concert and then eat together.”

The cellists have shared their music in a local nursing home as well.

“We even sent out cello Christmas cards and we’ve had numerous photo shoots,” she adds.

“Yeah, we’re getting good at those,” junior Rita Clousing says. “We sometimes do ‘dress up dress rehearsals’ too — ugly sweater cellos for Christmas, classy cellos etc.”

This one-of-kind community promises to give Calvin a not-to-be-missed cabaret.

About the Author

Julia LaPlaca

Julia LaPlaca is a Chimes writer for the 2013-14 school year. She is a freshman at Calvin majoring in literature and art history.

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