News Releases

Annual Cello Festival Hosted at Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY — The James J. Whalen Center for Music at Ithaca College will host the 20th annual New Directions Cello Festival, a three-day series of workshops and performances running from Friday to Sunday, June 13 to 15. In addition to instructional workshops and jam sessions, the festival will offer three public concerts:

  • Friday Evening Concert, June 13, 7:30–10:30 p.m. , featuring Cello in Vogue, Pierre Michaud and Stephan Braun (tickets required)
  • Saturday Evening Concert, June 14, 7:30–10:30 p.m., featuring Emma Beaton, Mike Block with Sandeep Das and Hank Roberts and Bill Frisell (tickets required)
  • Sunday Open Mic & Cello Big Band, June 15, 1:30 p.m., (free).

The public concerts will take place in the Hockett Family Recital Hall in the Whalen Center.

Tickets will be available at the door for the Friday and Saturday performances. Prices for each performance are: $25 for general admission; $15 for students and seniors; $8 for children under 12. To purchase tickets online, visit

"In the 20 years since the New Directions Cello Festival began, the role of the cello in popular and nonclassical music has exploded,” said Chris White, New Directions Cello Festival founder and director. “The cello is now an important feature in countless groups in all genres, helping with the ongoing development of the instrument’s limitless potential.”

The goals of the festival are to encourage interaction among nonclassical cellists and to promote awareness among all cellists and musically oriented public about the contributions cellists are making in many styles of contemporary music. These include jazz, blues, rock, folk, experimental, world music and techniques involving improvisation, which are not commonly taught to cellists at music schools.

For more information, contact Chris White at or (607) 277-1686, or visit