UW-Whitewater Cello Fest Clinic

Mark your calendars for another enjoyable and educational Cello Fest at UW-Whitewater. The day’s events will include rehearsals for a Cello Orchestra that will perform at the end of the day plus sessions on devising fingerings, the history of cello playing, arranging for cello, and a reading session of newly published works for cello.  This event is available to all ages from Middle School - Adult. 

Date: May 18, 2019



Register OnlineOpens Soon!

Registrations accepted online until noon on 5/16/19. We do accept Simplice walk up registrations at event check-in, if space is available.

Two Tracks for Cello Ensemble

Do you like to come to cello-related events like these just for a day of fun, or are you a driven, serious cello-playing machine? This year we will accommodate both types of attendees:

If you would like to show up on the day of the event with no need to bring anything but a cello in your hand and a smile on your face, choose the “simplice” option. The parts that you will play will be sight-readable, so that they can be prepared to concert readiness in one day.

“Con fuoco”
If you are a serious cello player that loves to practice and enjoys a challenge, choose the “con fuoco” option and register by April 21. You will be sent repertoire to prepare during the month before the event. You will get to play the melody. You will play in treble clef. You will play alongside other hotshots. Oh yeah.

Simplice Registration (April 22 - May 18): $50

Early Bird Simplice and "Con fuoco" attendees (before April 22): $40

Bring-A-Friend Discount (before April 22): $30

Returning attendees can receive a $10 discount off their fee by bringing one new attendee with them this year to Cello Fest. Both the returning attendee and the new attendee will receive the discount when they list each others name on the registration and register by April 22th. Use promo code 2FRIEND10 at check out.  Discount cannot be applied after you register and pay.  You will be charged $20 if listed friend does not attend.

Fees Include

The event fee includes lunch, instruction and insurance.  The day’s events will also include a session on the history of cello making, a reading session of newly published works for cello, and a session on the Popper etudes by Benjamin Whitcomb. In addition, there will be strings and instruments to try out over the lunch break.


All registrant accounts must be paid in full three weeks (21 days) prior to the start of event. Registrants with outstanding balances after payment is due in full are subject to being removed from the event roster without refund. Please contact Continuing Education Services at cesevents@uww.edu prior to this deadline if extenuating circumstances prevent you from completing a payment.

In the event of a cancellation, Continuing Education Services should be notified no later than 21 days before the start of the event session in order to receive a refund, less 20% administrative fee. Cancellation request received less than 21 days from the start of camp will receive a refund minus 50% late cancellation fee of event cost. Cancellations due to medical reasons will receive a full refund, less the 20% administrative fee, if the cancellation is requested and medical documentation is provided prior to the start of event. Valid medical cancellations must include a signed letter from a licensed physician to qualify. NO REFUNDS will be given for withdrawal due to early departures, disciplinary reasons or no show after the event has started.

All cancellation requests must be submitted to cesevents@uww.edu; provide registrant’s name, camp and medical documentation, if applicable. Refunds will be returned to name an address of payer.

We reserve the right to cancel any event due to low enrollment; in such as case, all fees paid will be refunded.

What to Bring

  • Cello
  • Rockstop
  • Family and friends to concert
  • Proper attire for the concert: bright clothing

Any additional questions can be directed to Dr. Benjamin Whitcomb at 262-472-5573 or whitcomb@uww.edu.  More information on UW-Whitewater String Area: uww.edu/cac/music/.

Check In

Check-in will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Light Recital Hall in the Greenhill Center of the Arts Building. The recital hall is located just inside the south entrance to the Center of the Arts Building. 

Driving Directions

Directions to the campus can be found online by clicking here. A campus map can be found here.


Parking permits are required on all vehicles parked on campus at all times, with the exception of 5 p.m. Fridays to 11:00 p.m. Sundays.  More information on parking is on the Visitor Center website.

Registration Terms & Conditions

By registering for an event, you agree to our Registration Terms and Conditions. Please review the Registration Terms and Conditions for more details.

Be aware that we advise you to leave all non-essential, portable electronic devices at home (iPod, Fitbit, cell phones, etc), but ultimately it is your decision. We will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items and we do not have open Wi-Fi for electronic devices.

Composition and Arrangement Competition

Do you compose or arrange for cello ensemble? Would you like to have your piece performed by an orchestra of cellists? Submit your original works for consideration by April 21st to Dr. Benjamin Whitcomb whitcomb@uww.edu. Winning compositions and arrangements will be announced via email by April 27th, and performed at the concert.

2018 Schedule (2019 TBA Soon)


8:00 am

Welcome, with coffee and donuts!

8:30 am

Cello Orchestra Sectionals

9:30 am

Baroque Style workshop

10:30 am

Reading session of Baroque cello music

11:45 am

Lunch (included)

12:30 pm

Cello Orchestra Rehearsal

2:00 pm

Baroque style masterclass

2:50 pm

Continuo playing workshop

3:20 pm

Cello Orchestra Rehearsal

4:30 pm


5:15 pm


 *All times are subject to change.

2018 Guest Artist (2019 TBA Soon)

Charlie Rasumssen

Charlie Rasumssen

Charlie Rasmussen enjoys an active career as both a modern and Baroque cellist and as a teacher at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Mr. Rasmussen was previously on faculty at the Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk, CT where he taught private and group cello lessons, musicianship classes, and coached chamber ensembles. Mr. Rasmussen strives to help his students develop a lifelong passion for music and cello playing. Mr. Rasmussen holds a Masters of Music in Cello Performance from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG), where he was a graduate assistant and studied with Dr. Alexander Ezerman. He also received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory from UNCG. Before his studies at UNCG, Mr. Rasmussen graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in music from Luther College where he studied with Dr. Eric Kutz. Mr. Rasmussen studied the Suzuki Method with Carol Tarr at the University of Denver, and he is trained to teach Books 1-10 through the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Mr. Rasmussen performed as cellist in the Spiritoso Quartet from 2015-2016 and the Immer String Quartet while he was a student at UNCG. As an orchestral musician, Mr. Rasmussen has served as a principal cellist of the Danville Symphony Orchestra (VA), University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, and the Luther College Philharmonia. He has also performed with the Fayetteville and Norwalk Symphonies. An advocate of new music, Mr. Rasmussen performed in the premiere of Alejandro Rutty’s Cantabile Hop at the 2012 North Carolina Music Teacher’s Association in Chapel Hill and premiered a string quartet by Elise Grant in 2015. He has recorded for Grammy Award-winning Broadway and film composer Paul Bogaev.

As a Baroque cellist, Mr. Rasmussen has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival with the New York Continuo Collective and with American Bach Soloists where he participated in the Academy program. Mr. Rasmussen has soloed with Greensboro Early Music and presented solo recitals through the Seabury Academy of the Arts in Norwalk, CT. He attended Phoebe Carrai’s Baroque Cello Bootcamp and the Magnolia Institute where he studied with Brent Wissick. He currently performs in the Vitali Ensemble with Baroque Guitarist Meredith Connie.

Event Staff

Christopher S. Ramaekers

Christopher S. Ramaekers

Christopher Ramaekers is currently Director of Orchestras at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Principal Conductor of the Ravenswood Community Orchestra. Mr. Ramaekers has been Music Director of the Orchestra of St. Vincent's and the Hyde Park Youth Symphony and the summer of 2015 marks his sixth season as Director of Orchestras at Camp Encore/Coda in Sweden, Maine. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the Kalamazoo Symphony, Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra, Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, Chicago Composers Orchestra, ensemble dal niente, the Chicago Opera Vanguard, and internationally with the Berlin Sinfonietta. 

Mr. Ramaekers was a 2012-2013 Conducting Fellow with the Allentown (PA) Symphony Orchestra, was a part of the 2013 Emerging Conductors Program with the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, WI, and was winner of the 2011 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, Community Orchestra Division.

Benjamin Whitcomb

Benjamin Whitcomb

Benjamin Whitcomb is a Professor of Cello and Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, where he has received awards for his teaching, research, and service. An active recitalist and chamber musician, he performs more than thirty concerts a year around the country and overseas. Dr. Whitcomb is a frequent guest clinician and performer at universities and conferences throughout the country and abroad. His book, The Advancing Cellist's Handbook, has received rave reviews from Strings magazine plus the journals of ASTA and AUSTA. Companion books for the other bowed string instruments were published in 2013. He has published numerous articles on cello and on music theory, and has presented many papers at national and international conferences as well. At UW-Whitewater, Whitcomb initiated and continues to coordinate the Theory/History Colloquium speaker series, the Musical Mosaics Faculty Concert Series, the Chancellor's Quartet program, and the Summer String Camp. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Oklahoma State University, and he has studied with Phyllis Young, George Neikrug, and Evan Tonsing. 


Registrants are encouraged to have their own health insurance as accident insurance provided by the University is limited. Each registrant will be covered by a limited accident insurance policy. The insurance includes primary coverage up to $10,000. Insurance does not cover pre-existing injuries and is for accidents only. The cost of insurance is included in the registration fee.

Special Notice

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to equal opportunity in its educational programs, activities and employment policies, for all persons, regardless of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status and pregnancy.

If you have any disabling condition that requires special accommodations or attention, please advise us well in advance. We will make every effort to accommodate your special needs.

Registering for this event you understand that the University may take photographs and or videos of event participants and activities. You will  be required to agree at the time of registration that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shall be the owner of and may use such photographs and or videos relating to the promotion of future events.  You will relinquish all rights that you may claim in relation to use of said photographs and/or videos.