From the beginning, Cascade Cello has presented regular recitals for youth and adult students. No student is required to take part, although Deb offers much encouragement and lots of good reasons to do so.
Each student is given the opportunity to perform for a small audience of up to fifty people, in a professionally managed and welcoming event. Pieces to be performed are carefully chosen and well rehearsed in advance. There is always a Dress Rehearsal to “iron out any creases” sometime during the week preceding the actual recital.
We are lucky to have the assistance of a fine pianist, Karen Shepard, (pictured to the right) who rehearses and performs in all pieces requiring piano. In addition to being a skilled accompanist, Karen is a thoroughly friendly, patient and supportive musical partner to each and every participating student. According to each student’ s needs and wishes, Karen works alongside Deb during regular cello lessons as well as offering private rehearsals in her home for a modest fee. Her work is part of Cascade Cello’s essential core.
Recitals almost always include cello ensemble music: three to six players perform together, in works which showcase the coordination and teamwork necessary to create the beautiful sounds which can only come from groups of cellos. Deb not only coaches these ensembles, but also performs with them. Students thus have the privilege of working and performing alongside an experienced professional cellist.
Performing to an audience can be scary whether or not you have done it before, and whether you are age 12 or 71. On this issue, Deb comments,
“Having spent most of my life performing, I am especially sympathetic to the many difficulties both new and experienced performers may encounter. During lessons I give advice on tackling stage fright. I address my students’ personal performance anxieties. All of my students learn to slow down, breathe and to take time before starting in order to perform confidently to the best of their ability.
“My students discover that the reward of playing to a live audience is so satisfying that any stress seems more than worth it. The warm glow of success is an irresistible prize. What’s more, their playing always seems to improve by leaps and bounds in the time immediately following their recital.”
Each Soirée concert includes food and drink for all and, de rigeur, carefully printed programs. Upon occasion, it is possible that video recordings may be made available to all, and parents may choose to do their own video recording. This strategy allows students, their family, and Deb the privilege of enjoying their own personal and permanent record of successful concertizing.
Parental support and encouragement is vital to the youth students. These concert recitals are an occasion to celebrate and say “Thank You” to the parents for everything they contribute to their child’s musical education. Above all else, because the recitals now always include ensembles, we are delighted to say that we form one big cello “family” united in our love of music and the fun of working together.
On special occasions, Cascade Cello is proud to include other young instrumentalists. The aim is to put together programs of diversity in style and instrumentation without wandering too far from our core–great cello playing.
Recitals are open to all interested members of the public but seating is limited. Families and friends of students of course have priority. If you would like to attend a recital, please reserve a seat early to avoid disappointment.
We look forward to welcoming you to Cascade Cello Studio.
Photo by Stephanie Castle