Cellospeak to perform concert Friday

July 29, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • Conductor Dan Allcott of Cookeville Tenn., leads an 86-member cello choir in preparation for a concert at Wilson College's Laird Hall on Friday. Many of these musicians started learning to play cello later in life. The concert is free and open to the public.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer,

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The voices of 86 cellos will reverberate throughout Laird Hall on Friday.

A free cello choir concert at Wilson College will conclude a week-long workshop dedicated to the tenor of strings. The workshop, in its 10th year, was coordinated by Cellospeak, a Virginia-based educational nonprofit for student cellists who are adults.

"It's very much different for adults to study later in life," said Dorothy Amarandos, Cellospeak founder and artistic director. "Children learn much more readily than adults."

Cellospeak offers ensemble opportunities and educational opportunities for adult cello students, Amarandos said. The workshop is open to adult cello players at all abilities.

Many of the players are like Oona Cheung, who took her first cello lesson at age 39.

"I'm considered an early starter in the world of Cellospeak," Cheung said.

Cheung, who's now 48 and is part of the Cellospeak organization, said she's been playing the piano since she was a child. "Piano was something my mom wanted me to learn," she said.


Amarandos said even beginners will have a chance to shine during Friday's cello choir concert. The program includes the world premiere of "Expanding Circles," by James Barry. The hour-long recital will conclude with "Rococo Conversation," a debut of Gary Fitzgerald's arrangement of Tchaikovsky's "Variations on a Rococo Theme" for solo cello and orchestra. Though in this case, the cello solo will be divvied among the workshop's 16 faculty.

The remaining 70 cellists will serve as the "orchestra."

"The cello has virtually the entire range of the orchestra," Amarandos said.

If you go ...

WHAT: Cello choir concert, presented by Cellospeak

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 30

WHERE: Laird Hall at Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pa. The campus address is 1015 Philadelphia Ave.

COST: Free admission.

MORE: To learn more about Cellospeak, go to .

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