Participants at our festival are amateurs, students, recording artists, professional touring soloists, university professors, young people, freelancers, and university cello majors.  We have planned each hour so everyone can participate in the workshops and jam sessions.  Schedule is subject to change.  All events take place in the Whalen Center for Music at Ithaca College.

2013 Schedule of Events

Time  Beeler Room Presser Room
Friday June 7
 11 am – 12:30 pm     Registration in Lobby  
 1 – 2 pm
 The Moving Cellist – Laura Moody 
— We will use fun movement games and physical theatre exercises to explore bringing our entire physicality into our cello playing. We will look at what possibilities this opens up for us expressively and how we can use these possibilities to tell a story. Please wear comfortable clothing.
 Jam: 2, 3, and 4 part improv and  composing techniques – Alex Kelly 
— Explore how your role changes in an ensemble with the addition of more parts.
 2:10-3:10 pm
 Cello Song – Laura Moody 
–We will look at the worlds of possibility opened up by using voice and cello together. We will explore both instruments to create beats, harmonies and composite sounds. We will then use our best discoveries to create a cello/vocal piece together.
 Flying Pizzicato Delivery Service –  Stephen Katz 
— Add a whole new piece to your solo rep in one workshop session when you learn to play Micro Major, Stephen’s latest (and shortest) Flying Pizz composition.
 3:20-4:20 pm
 The Harmonic Cello: Study  Strategies For Language  Expansion: Session #1
– Barry Kornhauser 

— The chromatic scale can be played within an expanded position, 7 half steps X 4 strings = 28 notes or 2 1/4 octaves.A small universe of possibilities lives within this cello terrain including the notes of every chord and scale in every key.
 Jamming with Songs – Ben Sollee 
— Spend some time backing up and creating your own parts to songs. Find ways to answer melodies, help groove with rhythm and add emotion with harmony. Mostly, have fun finding a place for your cello in the context of a song.
4:30-5:45 pm  Nabenhauer Room – CELLO BIG BAND rehearsal #1 –Conducted by Joel Cohen
Friday Night Concert
7:30 – 10:30 pm

Elizabeth Simkin, in memory of Janos Starker
Alex Kelly
Laura Moody
Cloud Chamber Orchestra

Time  Beeler Room Presser Room
Saturday June 8
Registration for Young People’s Cello-Bration 8:30 – 9:00 Lobby near Beeler Room
 9-10 am
 Experimental Songwriting – You  me +radio
— Is it possible to write engaging songs with experimental sounds and forms?  Together we’ll take on the role of avant-songwriter as we explore the construction and deconstruction of ideas, and turn them into emotionally communicative experimental songs.
 Tunes, Rhythms and more from  the Celtic World – Abby Newton 
— We’ll learn a Scottish tune or two by ear and a rhythm back up fitting with the style of the tunes. And play them together in the ensemble.
 10:10 – 11:10 am
 Thunder-fueled Jick Bronco Party  – Rushad Eggleston
— Explore creating soundtracks for imaginary landscapes using interlocking rhythms, the power of unison cello chords, mixing the heavy and the friendly, and suddenly, Jick.
 Mapping the Fingerboard with
The Seven Points – Alex Kelly

— Fine tune your pitch and demystify the upper positions with an introduction to the The Seven Points approach.
 11:20 am – 12:20 pm
Gateway to the Infinite Bounce – Rushad Eggleston
— Mr Eggleston breaks down his springy rhythmical style, accessing the timeless bounce of thurrowogoufnees.
 Plucking Perspectives –
Ben Sollee 

— Explore pizzicato techniques adapted for the cello from other instruments like the banjo, electric bass, three-finger style guitar, pipa, etc… Be ready to try some new chords and build some new calluses.
Time  Beeler Room Presser Room
Saturday June 8 continued
 12:20 – 1: 20 pm  Young  People in Exhibition Room   Cello-Bration for young people ages 8-16.
 String Making – D’Addario Strings 
— Ever wonder exactly how a musical instrument string is made? What’s the difference between steel core, synthetic core, and gut? Why do your strings go false and how often should you REALLY change them? Answers to these questions and many more will help you become a more educated string player, purchaser, and teacher.  We’ll discuss everything that goes into making and playing on a string, including materials, maintenance, longevity, and rosin.
 12:20 – 1:30 pm  LUNCH
 1:30 – 2:10 pm  Exhibition Room presentations:  Beeler Room 
Hear performances on new instruments, bows, electric cellos and other gear.  Hear the makers explain how and why these new instruments sound so good.  Sullivan Violin Shop/ JRJudd Violins/D’Addario Strings/ plus amps, pickups, gear and more!
 2:20 – 3:20 pm  Corbin Keep Taken from  Guitar,  Tailored for Cello
— Tapping,Travis picking and other techniques
 Improvising with Silent Movies –  Cloud Chamber Orchestra
— Learn how to create improvised soundtracks to a silent film with Chris White and the Cloud Chamber Orchestra.
 3:30 – 4:20 pm  Total  Performance
Laura Moody Jam: 

— We will write a story together and then tell it in a collective music, movement and voice improvisation.
 Introduction to Loop-based  Composition – Alex Kelly
— Explore the concepts and techniques of self-accompaniment.  The workshop  also includes a brief explanation how to amplify a cello and the various options you have to set up your rig.
 4:30 – 5:45 pm Nabenhauer Room – CELLO BIG BAND rehearsal #2 –Conducted by Joel Cohen
Saturday Night Concert
7:30 – 10:30 pm

Rushad Eggleston
Ben Sollee
Daniel Levin Trio


Time  Beeler Room Presser Room
Sunday June 9
 9:30 – 10:30 am   The Sounds of Story – Elizabeth  Simkin and Regi Carpenter 
— Explore the collaborative process between musicians and spoken word to create a score that supports and tells the story.
  Solos/Duos/Trios – Danile Levin 
— In this workshop, we will work on strengthening each of our individual voices through the solo format. Once we have practiced speaking confidently in our own personal vocabulary, we’ll expand to duos and trios, focusing on maintaining our independence and personal integrity while being responsive and sensitive to the ensemble dynamic. All material will be 100% improvised. No previous experience with free improvisation required, and all ability/experience levels are welcome.
 10:40 – 11:40 am   The Harmonic Cello: Study   Strategies For Language  Expansion: Session #1
– Barry Kornhauser  

— Intervals are the building blocks of all things harmonic. Inversions, dyad arpeggios, modes, voice leading are some of the contexts to be considered from this perspective.
 Singing with Your Cello –
Ben Sollee 

— Add your voice to your playing! Explore blending with your cello’s sound and using your cello to compliment your unique vocalizing. Already sing with your cello? Bring your song to class and share. Maybe there’ll be something you can tweak!
 11:45 – 12:45 pm Nabenhauer Room – CELLO BIG BAND rehearsal #3 –Conducted by Joel Cohen
 12:45 – 1:30 pm  LUNCH
 1:30 – 2 pm  Open Mic – Hockett Recital Hall
–Share an original song for 5 minutes.  Sign up on the sheet (big sheet of paper) at registration. 
Sunday 2 – 3 pm

Cello Big Band Concert- Hockett Recital Hall
Ithaca College Cello Majors perform a Break of Reality piece
 New Directions Cello Festival BIG BAND 


2013 Workshop Bios

Joel Cohen

Joel Cohen has been involved with the New Directions Cello Festival since 2002 as the director of the Cello Big Band. In 2006 he was a guest artist at the festival performing with Quartet San Francisco.  Joel had his early musical training in the Bay Area with Irene Sharp and Margaret Rowell, and was co-principal cellist with the Oakland Symphony from 1979 to 1985. He lived in Vienna for the next twelve years, playing and touring Europe, Japan and the U.S. with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra under Philippe Entremont, the Wiener Kammeroper, the Wiener Akademie and Quartett Yggdrasil.

Since returning to the U.S. in 1997 he lived in the Boston area, performing with various orchestras and chamber music groups including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the National Lyric Opera, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Music at Eden’s Edge and the Leonora Quartet. He is a founder of the Zephyr Chamber Orchestra, a conductorless ensemble playing unusual repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries. He now resides in Northern California and is freelancing and teaching in the Bay Area.

 Stephen Katz

Cellist and award-winning composer Stephen Katz has charted new territory for the rhythmic potential of the cello with the groundbreaking technique he calls Flying Pizzicato. He has premiered his cello compositions at Carnegie Recital Hall, and toured internationally with the Paul Winter Consort, Rachael Sage, and the Essex String Quartet. Stephen won the Jury Prize Gold Medal for Best Impact of Music in a Documentary at the Park City Film Music Festival.

As a co-founder of the movement/theater company Seen & Heard with the late dancer and monologist BJ Goodwin, he literally danced with the cello while accompanying the dramas they played out on stage. A native of San Francisco, Stephen lives in Haydenville, Massachusetts with his wife Beth and their seven year old son Olin. His recordings, teaching videos, and publications are available at

Corbin Keep

Corbin Keep, aka The Wild Cellist, has been making cellistic mischief at NDCF for many years. He is editor of Cello City Online, bi-yearly newsletter of the NDCA.

Barry Kornhauser

Barry Kornhauser
 was born into musical life as a guitarist first and then later as a bass guitarist.
I gravitated towards cello because it had the extra ability to crescendo/decrescendo and evolve a single note…..and because  it had that “sound”.
 Along the way I have held on to elements that I consider  basic to music making: the ability to accompany and play in a rhythm section in addition to being the melodic voice. 
Part of my cello path has been the integration of my guitar/bass skill sets into a cello paradigm by any means necessary.
 I am thrilled for the opportunity to share both madness and insight of this personal work in progress with the New Directions Cello community.

Abby Newton

Abby Newton
 is well known for her groundbreaking work in the revival of the cello in American and Scottish traditional music. As part of the folk music revival of the past many decades there has been a movement to restore the unique richness of the cello to traditional music. Abby has been on the forefront of that movement.  She has toured extensively, and performed at most of the major festivals.

“Crossing to Scotland” in the Catskills is a new cello retreat program Abby has created to take place in her studio in New York State beginning in the summer of 2013. Widely respected as an instructor and performer in both the USA and Scotland, she performs and conducts numerous workshops where she promotes the use of the cello both as a melodic and rhythmic back up instrument in traditional music. Abby has taught at Ashokan Fiddle Camp, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Swannanoa Gathering, Gaelic Roots and others.

Elizabeth Simkin and Regi Carpenter

Elizabeth Simkin is the extraordinary cello professor at Ithaca College, who teaches all the fantastic cello majors who assist at the New Directions Cello Festivals we have had in Ithaca.  She is in demand internationally as a performing artist, coach and teacher.  She was Janos Starker’s assistant when she studied at Indiana University, working very closely together with him for a number of years.

Since 1983, Regina Carpenter has been motivating and inspiring audiences throughout the country with a diverse repertoire of world stories, folktales, myths, music and personal stories of her hometown Clayton,NY.  Each story and with each telling, Regina mixes mirth, music and everyday events into myths and muses about life, death and nothing in particular. The winner of numerous awards for performing, recording, teaching and writing, Regina’s wit, compassion, and craft are reflected in her workshops, keynotes, adult and children’s programs.

You, Me and the Radio

You, Me and the Radio
are a trio/quartet fearlessly committed to crazed acts of free improvisation and experimental songwriting through the unique instrumentation of cello, guitar, voice, and saxophone. Drawn together by a mutual curiosity for sound and its most eccentric possibilities, they have brought something distinctive and new to the underground scene in their hometown of Ithaca, NY.

Currently touring their debut EP, You, Me and the Radio will clasp your hand in theirs and lead you deep inside an audio forest of hilarious yet confusing dreams where you will discover the meaning of the universe, your purpose in life, and other great stuff.