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Cello Fest

UW-Whitewater Cello Fest Clinic

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Reserve your spot and plan for the fun with no money down.

If we cancel this event due to COVID-19, we will let you know two weeks prior to each session.

UW-Whitewater is delighted to announce that we will be hosting an on-campus cello day on Sunday, May 16th. In order to minimize health risks to participants, the event will focus on the wonderful repertoire for unaccompanied cello.    This event is available to all ages from Middle School - Adult. 

Outdoor venue

The plan is for the event to take place in the great outdoors, where we can all enjoy the beautiful UW-Whitewater campus and hopefully be inspired by nature, just as have some many great musicians in the past. In the event of inclement weather (which is historically only a 6% chance), the event will be moved indoors.


For health reasons, participants and staff will remain six feet apart throughout the day. In addition, please bring a mask, which would be required.


  • Participants will have individual coachings and a masterclass on the unaccompanied music they are working on along with time to practice them.
  • Dr. Whitcomb will present a session on the Bach suites, including how they are structured and various aspects of performance practice.
  • A similar presentation will be given on some famous etudes and how to get the most out of them.
  • A reading session will acquaint participants with additional repertoire for unaccompanied cello.
  • The final concert will consist of unaccompanied repertoire.


The Bach suites are among the most important works for cello, and it is very valuable for all cellists to know at least a few movements from them. In addition, they are a gold mine for learning both technical and musical aspects of playing the cello.

The cello repertoire also contains a very large number of etudes, some of which are quite beautiful as well as instructive. The study of etudes provides an excellent way to advance various facets of one’s technical skills.

  • If you have one or more movements of a Bach suite and/or an etude that you are working on, excellent! Come prepared to work on them. It is wonderful if you have these from memory, but if not that is fine—just be sure to bring your sheet music (we will provide stands and clothes pins) or tablets.
  • If you are not currently working on either, we will send suggestions for movements and etudes that would be good to learn quickly once you register.

Date: Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Limited to the first 20 registrants. 



Register Online Register Now!

Registrations accepted online until noon on  5/9/21.  Walk up registration NOT available.  

Fee: $40

Fees Include

The event fee includes instruction and insurance. 


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.

Exception: Cancellations due to exposure to COVID-19 will receive full refund.  Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms or exposed to someone who does.  No medical documentation need. 

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.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater are planning events to return to a modified normal at both our Whitewater and Rock County campuses.  

UW-Whitewater cares deeply about the health and safety of our community. Our Facilities Planning and Management crews have completed extensive plans for the frequent cleaning of our buildings and are installing signage to encourage safe behaviors. We also are working with health experts in Walworth, Rock and Jefferson counties and the University of Wisconsin System regarding testing and contact tracing and what to do should the virus be detected on campus.

Visitors and community members are expected to follow the practices described in the Warhawks Return plan, including wearing a face covering, maintaining social distance, following directional signage and practicing proper health hygiene. Do not come to the university if you are sick.


What to Bring

  • Cello and bow
  • Rockstop
  • Sheet music for unaccompanied pieces you are working on (if needed)
  • Please check the weather that morning in order to dress comfortably
  • Face covering
  • Lunch money or bring a non-perishable lunch

Any additional questions can be directed to Dr. Benjamin Whitcomb at 262-472-5573 or  More information on UW-Whitewater String Area:

COVID -19 Self Check-In Online Survey

Complete self check-in survey that will be emailed to you one week before the event takes place.  You will be asked three (3) Yes/No questions:

  1. Have you had close contact with anyone diagnosed with, or shown symptoms for, the COVID-19 illness within the last 14 days.
  2. Do you have a fever, greater than 100.4F or 38.0 C, currently  or within the past 10 days?
  3. Do you have any respiratory symptoms, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, currently or within the past 10 days?  If these issues are because of previously diagnosed issue, such as asthma, you should respond "No".

If you have answered "YES" to any of these questions, you will not be eligible to participate in any on-campus events for the safety of yourself and others.  You will be contacted by to process your cancellation and refund, if applicable.  Additionally, if you have experienced any of the symptoms listed, it is advisable to contact a medical practitioner for further evaluation.

If you have answered "NO" to all the questions you may participate in this event.  At check-in you will be asked these three questions again.  If you answer "Yes" at check-in, you will be asked to leave immediately and will be in contact with you to process your cancellation and refund.

Check In - New Policy due to COVID-19

Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the atrium of the CA.  Remember to practice social distancing while waiting in line.  Staff will greet all registrants and ask them the three COVID-19 survey question above. Staff will check in all registrants and give directions on where to go. Face coverings will be required upon entering, or exiting the building, using the rest room, or waiting for sessions to take place.  We will follow the state mandated face covering order.

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.

Driving Directions

Directions to the campus can be found online by clicking here. A campus map can be found here. Campus building addresses 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.  Saturday events do not require a parking permit in Lot 1.  More information on parking is on the Visitor Center website.

Terms & Conditions

By registering for an event, you agree to our Registration Terms and Conditions. UW-Whitewater will hold all registrants responsible for their conduct.  Serious misconduct or disruption will lead to immediate dismissal from event.  Registrants dismissed from the event will not receive a refund.  Please review the Terms and Conditions for more details.

Be aware that we recommend that all portable electronic devices be left at home, but ultimately it is your decision. We know that parents and children value the ability to be able to call each other at a moment's notice.  For that reason, we do not prohibit cell phones at camp, but ask that cell phone use does not interfere with the event and other participants.  Parents are responsible for setting clear guidelines for cell use with their child.  We will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items.

Tenative Schedule

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Check In
9:00 a.m. Overview of the Bach suites
10:00 a.m. Individual practice/coachings
11:00 a.m. Comparison of editions
11:30 a.m. Lunch (on your own)
12:30 p.m. Four famous etudes: Lecture demonstration
1:00 p.m. Individual practice/coachings
2:00 p.m. Masterclass
3:15 p.m. Reading session
4:00 p.m. Performance
5:15 p.m. Adjourn

*All times are subject to change.  

Event Staff

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.