Cellopalooza VIII: February 20, 2016

VCU Music is proud to bring Paul Watkins to campus for two days of Cellopalooza workshops, joining faculty member Dana McComb and Richmond Symphony Orchestra cellist Jason McComb. Students aged 4 to 18, as well as cello and strings teachers, are invited to register.

If you have questions about which level to register for, or for more information, email Dana McComb dmmccomb@vcu.edu.

Registration Information

Early Bird Special: coming soon!
Cellopalooza workshop and parking included.

Regular Deadline Participant
Cellopalooza workshop and parking included.

Teacher Access Pass
This pass allows private and public school teachers to participate and observe both days of the Cellopalooza Workshop. Cellopalooza may count towards recertification points with county approval for public school teachers.


2016 Schedule

The following is a sample schedule from 2015. The 2016 schedule will be posted soon!

Saturday, March 14, 2015: Beginning/Intermediate Cellists

This workshop is geared towards cellists playing repertoire from Suzuki Book 1 up through pieces such as Squire-Tarantella, The Swan, Marcello-Sonata, or at a similar level.

12:30-1 p.m. Registration

1-1:50 p.m. Cello Choir Sectionals with VCU faculty Dana McComb and Jason McComb

2-3 p.m. Beginner and Intermediate Level Cello Group Class with Irene Sharp

3-3:15 p.m. Cookie break!

3:15-4:45 p.m. Masterclass with Irene Sharp*

5 pm – 5:45 p.m. Cello Choir Rehearsal

6:00 p.m. Cello Choir Concert

Sunday, March 15, 2015: Advanced Cellists

This workshop will be geared towards cellists playing at the advanced level, or at least Suzuki Book 6. Advanced solo repertoire includes concertos, Bach solo suites, Brahams sonatas, or at a similar level.

12-12:30 p.m. Registration

12:30-1:20 p.m. Cello Choir Sectionals with VCU faculty Dana McComb and Jason McComb

1:30-2:30 p.m. Advanced Level Group Class with Irene Sharp

2:45-3:15 p.m. Repertoire Discussions: What goes next? How do I choose a college? Which summer festivals are best for me?

3:15-5:15 p.m. Masterclass with Irene Sharp*

5:15-5:30 p.m. Cookie break!

5:30-6:15 p.m.  Cello Choir Rehearsal

6:15 p.m. Cello Choir Concert


* Masterclass participants will be chosen via YouTube audition.

About our Faculty

Paul Watkins

Acclaimed for his international performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a remarkably varied and distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. Paul was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 until 2013, when he joined the Emerson String Quartet. He performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and as concerto soloist with orchestras throughout the world. Recent highlights include concertos with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Colorado Symphony, Hong Kong and Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestras, and appearances at the BBC Proms as conductor and soloist.

Dana McComb

Canadian-born cellist Dana McComb holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Irene Sharp and Bonnie Hamilton. In May 2013, Ms. McComb performed the world premiere of William Soleau’s “Chasing Cello” with the Richmond Ballet. She has also performed in the Toronto Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Sacramento Symphony and the Richmond Symphony. Ms. McComb has participated in the Banff Chamber Music Academy, National Orchestral Institute and Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and was awarded the top prize in Chamber Music at the Canadian Music Competition.

Jason McComb

Mr. McComb has been the assistant principal cellist of the Richmond Symphony since 2002. A native of Portland, Oregon, he earned a Bachelor of Music from the Julliard School, where he studied with Joel Krosnick and Zara Nelsova. He then went on to study with Bonnie Hamilton at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he earned his Master of Music in cello and chamber music. He has participated in numerous festivals, including Aspen, Musicordia, Kent/Blossom, Banff and Tanglewood, where he was awarded two prizes for outstanding cellist. He has been a member of Orchestra London Canada, and has served on the faculty of Brandon University in Canada.

Suggested Hotels/ Parking Information

• Crowne Plaza | 555 E. Canal Street Richmond, VA 23219

• Doubletree Hotel | 301 W. Franklin Street Richmond VA 23220

• Hilton Garden Inn | 501 E Broad Street Richmond VA 23219

• Holiday Inn Express | 201 East Cary Street Richmond, VA 23219

Limited on-street parking is available, but all-day parking is available at the VCU parking garages.

Previous Cellopalooza Guest Artists
Cellopaloosa I: Bonnie Hampton, Juilliard
Cellopaloosa II: Peter Wispelwey, International Artist
Cellopaloosa III: Zuill Bailey, International Artist
Cellopaloosa IV: Joel Krosnick, Juilliard Quartet
Cellopaloosa V: Clive Greensmith, Tokyo Quartet
Cellopaloosa VI: Alisa Weilerstein