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School of Music

2014 Cello Choir

South Carolina Cello Choir

The American String Teachers Association (ASTA) South Carolina Cello Choir and workshop is for cellists of all ages and ability levels. The annual Cello Choir has taken place every September since it's inception at the University of South Carolina in 1980.

Professionals, amateurs, teachers and students from around the region take part in this musical phenomenon, learning from renowned clinicians and music faculty.

Cellists of all ages are invited to participate in this year's Cello Choir and workshop. The festival is designed for cellists of all ages and ability levels. We especially invite out-of-state cellists to join us!

The event begins on Friday, September 25 with afternoon and evening master classes in the USC Recital Hall, and continues on Saturday with a full day of rehearsals and clinics, culminating in an evening performance of ’cello choir music in the Koger Center for the Arts. Instruments will be on display from sponsoring shops.

This is a terrific event for ’cellists of all ages from near beginners who can read music to professionals, and for all lovers of the ’cello as an instrument. We hope to see you there!

This annual event alternates between the University of South Carolina, Furman University, Bob Jones University, Converse College and the College of Charleston.

36th South Carolina Cello Choir

Dates: Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26, 2015
Location: USC School of Music and Koger Center for the Arts, Columbia, S.C.
Clinician: Alan Rafferty and Sarah Kim
Cost: $20 registration ($25 after September 17)
Optional Friday Master Class:  Additional $20 fee with required approval of your cello teacher
Online Registration: Now available

Have a question about this event? Contact Robert Jesselson at 803-777-2033 or email


Friday, September 25

4:00 Registration
4:00-6:00 p.m. Master Class (High School)
7:00-9:30 p.m. Master Class (College)
9:30 p.m Reception

Saturday, September 26

8:00-8:45 a.m. Registration
9:00-10:15 a.m. Full Cello Choir (everyone)
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 Advanced Cello Choir
Senior All-State Piece
Work Session for Full Cello Choir
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00-2:30 p.m. Advanced Cello Choir
Junior All-State Repertoire
Work Session for Full Cello Choir
2:45-4:30 p.m. Final Rehearsal
5:00 p.m. Gala Concert

Special All-State Sessions
Classes on the Junior, Senior and Senior Honors All-State audition pieces will alternate with rehearsals for the Cello Choir.

Master Class
The Friday Master Classes will be for college and advanced high school students who wish to perform.  Listeners and observers are welcome.  There will be an additional $20.00 fee for participants and no charge for observers.

Industry Supporters
We are pleased to have the support of the following industry representatives, who will be displaying cellos, music and cello equipment:

Beau Vinci Violins, Alpharetta, GA -
Cellos2Go, Columbia, SC -
Voss Violins, Atlanta, GA -
William Harris Lee, Chicago -
Prakticello -

2015 Clinicians

Alan Rafferty

Alan Rafferty

Alan Rafferty, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music cello faculty member, is rapidly gaining recognition as a preeminent musician and master teacher. In demand as a clinician around the world, Mr. Rafferty has recently presented master classes at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern University, Ball State University and the Kentucky Cello Club. He was invited as a visiting faculty member to the Cleveland Institute of Music and the New World Symphony in the fall of 2014. Recent students have been Grand Prize winners of the Music Teachers National Association Senior Competition Grand Prize, National Federation of Music Clubs Collegiate and High School Awards, First Prize of the Ohio American String Teachers Association Competition as well as numerous local and regional awards. As a chamber music coach, his groups have won the Gold Medal of the Junior Division of the Fischoff Competition and performed throughout theU.S. and Europe. A member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra since 2007, Mr. Rafferty made his solo debut playing the Dvorak Concerto with the Las Cruces Symphony at the age of 16 and has been a featured soloist on numerous occasions since. In November 2013, he gave the North American premiere of Victor Herbert's first published work, the Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 3. A frequent guest on recital and chamber series both locally and abroad, he served as the cellist of the Rhine String Quartet from 2009-2012. He has been heard on multiple recordings on the Telarc label as a member of the CSO in addition to the CRJ label. Mr. Rafferty completed his master’s degree with Hans Jorgen Jensen as a Civic Orchestra Fellowship recipient at Northwestern University. He received his bachelor’s in cello performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Alan Harris, Merry Peckham and Richard Weiss. In the summer of 2015, Mr. Rafferty returns to the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, VT and the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China. Previous summer festival engagements have included the Meadowmount School of Music and Madeline Island Music Camp. In addition to teaching top pre-college students chamber music and cello for the Starling Program, he and his wife Sarah Kim are directors of the nationally recognized Cincinnati Young Artists which present Chamber Music and Cello Workshops throughout the year.

Sarah Kim

Sarah Kim

Cellist Sarah Kim has established a vibrant career as a performer, teacher and arts administrator. Ms. Kim is currently a member of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Preparatory faculty where she directs the Suzuki cello program. Most recently, Ms. Kim has established a Suzuki cello program at the renowned School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. Previous teaching appointments have included the pre-college faculties of Roosevelt University and Northern Kentucky University. A recognized clinician, Ms. Kim has taught at workshops across the U.S. She is an artist faculty member of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and also the executive director of the Cincinnati Young Artists, a nationally recognized program presenting a yearly chamber music festival and cello workshops for pre-college and college students throughout the year. As a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Kim has given concerts in both the U.S. and Europe in the classical and alternative genres. She continues to be an active performer in the Cincinnati area appearing on the acclaimed Concert Nova, Taft Museum, Collegium Cincinnati, LaSalle Foundation, CCM Faculty and Knox Music series. She has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra on numerous occasions and frequently performs chamber music and cello duos with her husband Alan Rafferty. A native of Minneapolis, Ms. Kim’s primary studies have been with Hans Jorgen Jensen, Steve Doane and Peter Howard. She holds a bachelors degree in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Masters in Cello Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University.

Past S.C. Cello Choirs and Workshops
Past S.C. Cello Choir Clinicians
Jesselson Cello Studio