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Cello Fest

UW-Whitewater Cello Fest Clinic

For the health and safety of our community, this event is going to be rescheduled for Sunday, September 13, 2020. If you have already registered for this event, you will be contacted by email with further information as it becomes known. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we navigate this situation. If you have any immediate questions, please contact

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 techniques classes and sessions on aspects of cello playing by Dr. Whitcomb and special guest artist Cornelia Watkins.    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? We 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, 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: Sunday, September 13, 2020 | 8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Limited to the first 80 registrants.  Private lessons limited to the first 25 registrants.



Register Online Register Today!

Registrations accepted online until noon on 8/27/20 for Con fuoco and 9/7/20 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 31st: $50

One (1) Thirty-Minute Private Lesson (optional): $18

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 private lesson fee includes one (1) thirty-minute private lesson.  


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. 

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

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Check In - Welcome, with coffee and donuts
8:30 - 9:45 a.m. Cello Orchestra Sectionals
9:45 - 11:00 a.m. Masterclass
11:45 - 12:30 p.m. Lunch (Included)
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Cello Orchestra Rehearsal
2:00 - 2:40 p.m. Techniques Classes
2:40 - 3:20 p.m. Workshop
3:20 - 4:30 p.m. Cello Orchestra Rehearsal
4:30 - 5:00 p.m. Concert
5:15 p.m. Adjourn

*All times are subject to change.  Private lesson time slots will be posted near check in for those registrants that purchased this option in their registration.

Guest Artist

Cornelia Watkins

Cornelia Watkins

Cornelia Watkins has taught cello for forty years, many of those in Houston TX, where she was preparatory instructor and Lecturer in Music at the Shepherd School of Music Rice University, as well as an active freelance cellist, youth orchestra coach, and adjudicator. With a passion for pedagogy, she has presented teaching clinics and master classes across the country, and has been an active committee member and advocate for Wisconsin CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance), an organization which promotes excellence in all areas of music teaching. Ms Watkins is the author of Rosindust: Teaching, Learning and Life from a Cellist’s Perspective, and, with co-author Laurie Scott, From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers, published by Oxford University Press. She has written several articles and reviews for American String Teacher, Wisconsin School Musician, and The Strad. Ms. Watkins now teaches pedagogy at the Bienen School of Music of Northwestern University after relocating to Madison, Wisconsin this past July.

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.