Typical Workshop Schedule

 Bach Cello Suites Workshop has some unusual aspects at the beginning and at the end, but the four main teaching days at the core of the Workshop unfold something like this:

Each participant is matched with others of similar ability.  From the total group of participating cellists we create four smaller groups of equal size (usually 5-7 people) made up of players close to each other in ability. A cellist from the Albany Symphony Orchestra views a very brief video you are asked to submit in the Spring and sorts players of similar ability into the groups. This is to make sure that you spend the week with a group in which you are comfortable. 

You will spend much of the Workshop week with the cellists in your group. Each day, your group will go to a different teaching studio and work closely with a faculty member. By the end of the week, you will have had lessons with each of our four faculty members

The morning is spent in lesson time.  The faculty member spends time with each cellist in the small group while the other members observe.

After lunch, during the four teaching days, a faculty member will offer the entire Workshop group a presentation about their relationship with the Bach Cello Suites.

Ability groups reconvene following the faculty presentation.  Groups return to their faculty member’s teaching studio to expand on lesson material from the morning session.

Most dinners are in the campus dining hall campus.  But for a change of pace, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, cellists are invited to explore local restaurants, some of which are within easy walking distance of campus. Workshop staff will help you find the right fit for your tastes. Carpools are organized for more distant eateries.

Evenings vary.  Each year we feature a guest speaker or performer and this presentation usually happens on Wednesday evening. As you might expect, there is a lot of informal after-hours playing and you are encouraged to bring cello ensemble music to share. 

On the last evening of classes, we host a voluntary session that we call “Please Play for Us.”  This is your chance to play for your fellow cellists, faculty and other participants. This is our house party and this may be your most supportive fake rolex audience imaginable. 

The final full day: The whole group is together in the morning for Master Classes with the faculty. In the afternoon, the faculty rehearse for their public performance taking place in the evening. Some of the BCSW participants may be asked to play in the lobby before the evening concert, and they can use this time for practice as well.

On the final evening, we host our “Big Bach Bash.” This is a public concert for a paying audience in the 400-seat recital hall. Our Artistic Director programs the concert which usually includes some quartets as well as solo opportunities for each of the faculty members.  It is a joyous concert and it is well attended.

On the last morning, we wrap up and help you start your journey home. Lots of hugs!

There’s more … but this gives you a quick overview of how the Workshop unfolds.

Schedule Bach Cello Suites Workshop