Life: Online (My Spring Newsletter)

Hello Friends, Greetings from Sunny (but Locked down) Bermuda.

It’s been a while since my last article. Since then, the world got turned upside-down, and everyone has been hurriedly adjusting to this “new normal” as they call it.  I do have some posts rolling about in my head that will make their way to this page in the coming days and weeks, but for now, I thought I would give you all a bit of an update on what has been going on here.  This was the Spring edition of a quarterly update I send out to my private mailing list.  I hope you’ll check out the links below, and join me for some of these events!  All the best! -Kate

We join the rest of the world in a stay-at-home order, though as of yesterday, the parks and beaches have opened, and some of the restaurants have re-opened for curbside pick-up. It’s been 4 solid weeks of cooking over here, and I’m beyond ready for some House of India curry tonight!

Other than needing to travel for concerts, my career (practicing, teaching, writing and coaching) is primarily based online so this whole change to the virtual world hasn’t been as painful as it could have been. In a lot of ways, it’s business as usual over here (except that my husband has turned the living room into his Physics Classroom!) My wonderful Bermuda School of Music students and their parents have handled the switch to online lessons like champs, however, and I am grateful for their enthusiasm and grace through all of this.

In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the past 6 weeks have been some of the busiest I have had in a long time.  Here are a few things that I have coming up that you might be interested in checking out:

Monday, May 4th:

I’ll be doing a guest interview on “Teaching students online and Creating a 3-Way Relationship Between Teacher, Student and Parents” as a part of the  Expand Online Summit for Artists.  Hosted by Tech wizard and online business creator Jaime Slutzky, this 5-day event has tons of fantastic interviews with various artists who have taken their teaching and courses online. There is no charge to register to watch.  If you’ve been thinking about taking more of your career or business online, be sure to check this one out. My interview will be viewable for 48 hours.

Friday, May 8th at 12 pm EDT:

I’ll be Interviewed on the “Own Your Voice” Series in the Facebook Group, Make Music Your Own., hosted by Stani Dimitrova. We’ll be talking about ways to shape your career to better fit your ideal lifestyle, and about my latest venture (keep reading….)

Monday, May 11th:

An Online Book Release Event with Novelist Karen Osborn to discuss her new release, The Music Book, about a young female cellist in the 1950’s. The author will be reading some excerpts, I’ll be performing music by J.S. Bach and George Crumb, and we’ll be discussing various aspects of the story (which I absolutely loved, by the way!) Platform TBD. Keep an eye on my Personal and Professional FaceBook Pages for more details!

And now, the BIG NEWS….(drumroll, please….)

The Virtual Summer Cello Festival

The Virtual Summer Cello Festival (VSCF) is a project that has become a labor of love for me. As news of the cancelations of most of the big summer festivals started to flood my inbox, my heart broke for all of the talented students who would be left without a program for summer study.

These summer months are incredibly important for young pre-professional students, for both musical and instrumental growth as well as the widening of their networking circle and the lifelong friendships that are forged. As a professional musician, it was devastating to think that this year, thousands of students might be denied those opportunities.

I wondered if there was a way I could combine my knowledge and experience in online teaching with my years spent both studying and teaching at summer festivals and directing various programs to create an online version of a summer festival.

Applications are now open for the Virtual Summer Cello Festival, which will be an intensive 7-week program geared for a limited number of advanced cellists, ages 15-23.  The faculty list is world-class, and I am so excited for these lucky students. I am particularly fascinated with all of the new advances in the world of audio and conferencing software that are coming out almost daily!  I can’t wait to see what we end up with by June!

The best part is that, because it is all being held online, there is an incredible opportunity for cellists of other ages and levels to take part as auditors. The workshops and masterclasses will be recorded and available for replay at the auditors’ convenience, and there will be private Facebook groups set up for both the participants and the auditors to get to know one another, exchange ideas, and help each other stay motivated. So whether you are an intermediate level player, or an adult amateur, or simply want the benefit of the knowledge without the 7-week commitment, you can register to be an auditor.

With all of the bad news that we are bombarded with on a daily basis right now, I wanted to provide an experience of a lifetime for these cellists. The idea being: Is it possible to create something online that is EVEN BETTER than an in-person festival could offer? Some aspects will be different, of course, but there are surprise guests, and extra bonus sessions planned to delight the participants and auditors all summer long.

Please take a look, and pass along the information to any cello players in your life!

Other than that…
I’ve been enjoying time working in my garden (I might have gone a bit overboard in my enthusiasm for pesto, and I’m growing what basically amounts to a Basil Farm!) and having the time to spend catching up with friends and family over Facetime and Zoom. I am looking forward to a (slow and cautious) return to our past freedoms, but for now, we are simply grateful for good health and sunny days.

Take care, and stay healthy!



P.S.  My favorite thing about sending these quarterly newsletters is when you all write me back and tell me how you are, what you’ve been up to, etc.  Especially now, I’d love to know that you are well and safe and happy, so I hope you’ll leave a comment and say hello!

P.P.S. You can also find me on social media:
Facebook • VSCF Facebook • Instagram • VSCF Instagram • Website • Blog

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