Penn State Cello Studio
Penn State Cello Choir
Welcome to the cello studio at Penn State! The string program has enrolled excellent students from all over the United States, as well as from Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, Germany, Bulgaria, Israel, Jordan, Taiwan, China, Colombia, and Brazil. The cello studio is vibrant, with weekly performance classes and guest master classes. Cello students have won the Penn State Concerto Competition resulting in performances of concertos by Dvorak, Elgar, and Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky (Rococo Variations) and Bloch (Schelomo) with the Penn State Philharmonic. We have hosted cello master classes with Anner Bylsma, Paul Katz, Colin Carr, Alan Harris, Aldo Parisot, Ralph Kirshbaum, Desmond Hoebig, Alisa Weilerstein, and David Finckel, as well as chamber music classes with members of the Tokyo Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Emerson Quartet, and Pinchas Zuckerman. This year, our cello choir has 30 members. Graduates of the cello studio have been offered assistantships from many prestigious institutions, and former students are currently employed as performers and teachers in Croatia, Sweden, Germany, Taiwan, Brazil, and the United States. For more information please contact Professor Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"She is supportive, enthusiastic, and meticulous"
"Very positive and inspirational"
"Ms. Cook is an excellent teacher. She works on technical aspects of my playing that help me progress. She is great at demonstrating these techniques and I feel like I've become much more aware of my bow hand and producing the best sound possible"
"She is extremely patient and positive."
"Amazing teacher! Very encouraging, extremely knowledgeable and supportive"
"Prof. Cook has taught me so much about the cello and technique since I started taking lessons with her. She has shown me how to play comfortably through different exercises is is always extremely encouraging and supportive"
"She always creates a kind and supportive environment in lessons and in cello studio class."
"Ms. Cook is great at isolating specific techniques and explaining/ showing how to improve the most critical elements of cello playing."
"She was able to change her method of teaching when I wasn't fully understanding a concept. She encouraged me when I was struggling with something. "
"Ms. Cook is extremely effective in helping me progress in cello technique. I look forward to my lessons with her each week. "
"Very encouraging, passionate "
"She is the best cello teacher I've ever had"
"Thank you very much for letting be part of this beautiful experience. I do not have words to express how important this is for me and how much I appreciate the fact that I could play the cello in the Cello Choir with you being the conductor. Thanks to you I could play the Bachianas Brasileiras, it was a dream come true."
Pai Liu, Concerto Competition Winner, Schelomo, Fall 2015
Tetyana Pyatovolenko, Winner, Institute for the Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Residency, Penn State Classical Music Ambassador
James Nackley, Winner, Concerto Competition, Fall 2016, Eleanor Beene Scholarship Award
Selected Student Awards, Achievements And Current
Mihovil Karuza, Professor of Cello, University of Split, Croatia, formerly section cello for the Zagreb Philharmonic; principal cello, Split Opera, Croatia, Vivaldi Double Concerto, Split Opera Orchestra
Angela Ferrari, Professor of Cello, Federal University of Santa Maria, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Lawrence Stomberg, Associate Professor of Music, University of Delaware, Solo Recital in Carnegie Hall
Patricia Johnson, Professor of Cello, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil
Lucas Franz Canada, Instructor of Cello, Pensacola Christian College, full time position
Meghan Carey, Assistant Professor at the Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, Adjunct Faculty at University of West Florida,
Principal Cello at Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Section Cello at Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Florida State University, DMA, Cleveland Institute of Music, MM
Derek Clark, Adjunct Professor, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL), La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, Principal Cellist
Brian Towndrow, Adjunct Professor of Cello, Baylor University, Houston, Texas, Head director at Ranchview High School, Houston, Texas
Marcos Vives, Instructor, Carlos Morel Conservatory in Quilmes, Buenos Aires, section cello, National Symphony of Argentina, Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colon, Camerata Bariloche, Orquesta Juan de Dios Filiberto, and Buenos Aires Philharmonic. Instructor, Beethoven Conservatory, formerly Adjunct Professor at Darton College, section cellist, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Florida State University, DMA, assistantship
Hillary Vaden Karuza, full time cello instructor at the Josip Hatze School of Music, Split, Croatia, Principal Cello, Split Opera, Croatia,
Vivaldi Double Concerto, Split Opera Orchestra
Neemias Santos, Principal Cello, Orquestra Filharmonica de PUCRS in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Ryan Hoffman, Adjunct Faculty, Bridgewater College, VA, Eastern Mennonite University, VA, Associate Principal Cello, Altoona Symphony, PA, DMA, James Madison University
Rachel Macleod, Adjunct Instructor at Brooklyn College, NY, Dayton elementary and middle school orchestra director, Long Island, NY
Danielle Karpalla, section cellist, York Symphony, 32 chamber music demonstrations in public schools, York, PA, 2015-16
Dionne Wright, received a grant from the SURDNA Foundation’s National Artist Teacher, Fellowship, which allowed her to consult with members of the Orpheus Ensemble, create a chamber orchestra and implement the Orpheus method into the rehearsals and performances, VA, faculty member of Chowan University, Governor's School for the Arts, Orchestra cellist with Williamsburg Symphonia, the Virginia Symphony, and the Harlem Symphony, the Arte Musicale Ensemble and Hardwick Chamber Ensemble.
Fei-Wen Lee, Instructor, School of Music in Taipei, Taiwan
Nelzimar Neves, Principal Cellist, Tucson Symphony
Matthew Capobianco, Section cellist, Albany Symphony
Diana Shull, Teaching Assistant at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Orchestral Tour from Germany to China and Mongolia, 2016
Milena Mateeva, section cello, New World Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, section cellist for Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, concerts in Germany, Armenia, Vilnius, "White Nights Concerts" in St. Petersburg (Russia). Brazil, Conductor Christoph Eschenbach 2007-8 and 2008-09 season 4 months of touring, Mahlerjugendorchester, European Youth Orchestra tours conducted by Claudio Abbado, Seiji Ozawa and Pierre Boulez, 15 weeks of international touring during the 1999-00 and 2000-01 season.
Jeremy Hake, section cello, Memphis Symphony, MM, SUNY Stony Brook
Eleanor Norton, touring Broadway production, New York City, Instructor Suzuki School NYC
Garet Holdren, orchestra director, public school, Dallas, Texas
Matthew Shaffer, music educator, Mt. Nittany Middle School, State College, PA
Emma Ripp, music educator, Bellefonte, PA, Central Bucks School District, orchestra teacher at Barclay, Buckingham, Linden, and Titus Elementary Schools
Christine Towndrow, music teaching position, Arts Magnet School, Houston, Texas
Renata Tallman, music teaching position, Shenendehowa Central School District in Clifton Park, New York.
Andrew Simpson, music educator, Altoona Public Schools, PA
Julie Gonsman, music educator, Tredyffrin/Easttown School District, King of Prussia. PA
Brian Buterbaugh, orchestral and choir director, Spring Grove Area High School, PA
Robert Kalanja, orchestra teacher at Plum Borough School District, Pittsburgh area
Brian Mishler, orchestra director, Exeter Area Senior High School,
MM, Northwestern University
Ryan Meyer, orchestra director, Hampton Township School District, Pittsburgh, PA
Jason Majewski, Appoquinimink School District in Odessa, Delaware,
Section cello, Dover Symphony Orchestra, Umoja String Quartet,
Jamie Beiber, DMA, University of Memphis
Joseph Novakovich, Full scholarship to McGill University, Williamsport Symphony Soloist Competition First Prize Winner, Nittany Valley Symphony, Competition Winner, Paducah Symphony Soloist Competition First Prize Winner, Perlman Summer Music Program
Justin Lewis, Dvorak Concerto, Central Pennsylvania Symphony
Nien-Hwa Chin, assistantship, Doctoral Progam, North Texas State University
Jordan Galvarino, Florida State University, Assistantship for masters program
Elizabeth Donovan, Florida State University, Assistantship, MM
Elisabeth Jeremica, Ohio State University, Assistantship, DMA
Justin Dougherty, University of Georgia, Assistantship, DMA
Kylla Murphy, Scholarship, Peabody Conservatory
Scholarships and assistantships to attend graduate programs at Indiana University, Eastman School of Music (graduate assistantship), Peabody Conservatory of Music, Boston Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin, North Texas State University, and the University of Miami, McGill University Florida State University, Ohio State University, University of Oregon
Penn State Student Awards
Graduate Research Exhibition Competition; First Place Winners, 3 years
Concerto Competition of the Penn State Philharmonic (seven times since 1994)
Marjorie Brewster Memorial Scholarship
Atherton Memorial Music Award
2015 Cello Choir!! Pai Liu, Kylla Murphy, James Nackley Emma Ripp, Jin Zhang, Geneva Rowader, Grace Chon Tetyana Pyatovolenko, Mike Klucker, Anna Miller Hannah English, Takugo Amy,Duverney Chaverra-Rodriguez, Nikolai Balashov, Emily Kondracki Madeline Hess, Sarah Neff, Nathan Case, Rachel Winpisinger, Jiahe Wang, Scott Kuntz, Paul Kim Richard Ni, Beth Morgan, Katrina Koch, Samantha DeVries, Michaela Busic, Cai Fei
The Penn State Cello Choir was founded in 1992 by Penn State cello professor Kim Cook. The ensemble has performed for the annual Penn State Montage Concerts, the Eisenhower Chapel Bach's Lunch Series and for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Convention in Harrisburg. The members of the Penn State Cello Choir have included students from Germany, France, Croatia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Turkey, China, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Guam, Puerto Rico, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and California.