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Cello Fest

UW-Whitewater Cello Fest Clinic

Please check back soon for 2020 details!

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. 

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.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019



Register Online Closed

Registrations accepted online until noon on 4/22/19 for Con fuoco and 5/16/19 for Simplice.  Simplice walk up registration will be available by clicking here after the online registration closes.  

Early Bird attendees (before March 1): $40

Fee after March 1st: $50

Bring-A-Friend Discount (before April 22nd): $10 off registration

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. Make sure to check out "Bring-a-friend" when registering online.  Discount cannot be applied after you register and pay.  You will be charged $10 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 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; 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.

Received an Award, Sponsorship or Discount?

For those participants who will be receiving a sponsorship to attend this event: Register and use the promo code your sponsor gave you. The sponsorship will be deducted from your invoice.  Any remaining balance remains the participant's responsibility. Any cancellations will result in the sponsorship funds being returned to the supporting organization.

Any qualifying discounts given by the event will not be applied after you have paid in full. Be sure to use the promo code at check out to receive your discount. You will be charged if you do not qualify for requested discount at the start of event.

A processing fee will be assessed if a refund is issued due to overpayment on your account.

Questions, received an award/scholarship without a promo code or want to use two promo codes? Please call Continuing Education Services at 262-472-3165 or email

Want to Sponsor a Registrant?

You can sponsor a registrant and cover all or partial fees. We have received requests in the past from schools, companies, organizations, friends and family members that would like to send their chosen registrant to a specific event. If you would like to sponsor a registrant, you can request a promo code that you may give to your chosen registrant. Click here for more details.

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  More information on UW-Whitewater String Area:

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.

Confirmation Emails

Once you register a confirmation email will be sent to your email account. Contact if you do not receive this confirmation email. Historically email accounts used from and are blocked from receiving notifiactions from us or may end up in your spam folder. You are able to register using these accounts; however, you will not receive emails from us. Please make sure you have a working email address on file with us to be able to receive important announcements and updates about this event.


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 Winning compositions and arrangements will be announced via email by April 27th, and performed at the concert.

Tentative Schedule  

Time Event

8:00 am

Welcome, with coffee and donuts!

8:30 am

Cello Orchestra Sectionals

9:45 am

Masterclass with Christine Crookall

11:00 am

Technique classes

11:45 am

Lunch (included)

12:30 pm

Cello Orchestra Rehearsal

2:00 pm

Techniques classes on Expressive Playing

2:40 pm

Workshop: "Playing like a singer, singing like a cellist"

3:20 pm

Cello Orchestra Rehearsal

4:30 pm


5:15 pm


 *All times are subject to change.

Guest Artist

Christine Crookall

Charlie Rasumssen

Christine Crookall is a Professor of Cello and Associate Dean of the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences at Augusta University, Georgia. From 1999 to 2001 Christine Crookall served as Director for the University of Texas String Project, a nationally respected teacher-training program for graduate and undergraduate students at The University of Texas in Austin.

Christine Crookall earned her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Cello Performance at The University of Texas at Austin where she studied cello and pedagogy with internationally acclaimed pedagogue Professor Phyllis Young. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Dr. Crookall started playing cello with Audrey Nodwell in the Suzuki Program at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of British Columbia with former Emerson Quartet cellist Eric Wilson.

Dr. Crookall has given workshops, masterclasses and clinics at public schools, universities and summer conferences located in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Western Canada and Europe. She has also performed in solo and chamber music recitals in Canada, the United States and Europe. Dr. Crookall was a member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2001 and is currently a member of the Augusta Symphony, Trio Jardin and is a founding member of the Augusta Cello Society. Christine lives in Augusta with her husband, violinist and math teacher Ryan Kho, and their young son Aidan, who also plays the violin.

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.