CelloChanWoods is presently the only retreat of its kind. July 17 – July 23, 2023
Now in its 16th year, CCW has a successful track record of creating a multi-faceted
environment conducive to cellistic and artistic transformation. Participants clarify and deepen their personal visions of what it means to be an artist and cellist while embracing their artistic voice. At Common Ground Center in Starksboro Vermont, cellists spend seven days and nights learning how to understand tension and release in playing, to solve technical problems, and experience a close knit musical community. Our staff consists of cellists of a very high playing level. They are graduate and doctoral cellists from Juilliard, Indiana (Jacobs) Music School, and the University of Michigan. Participants receive one-on-one mentoring from staff, chamber music coaching, improvisation classes, and daily lessons. Suzanne Smith founder, cellist, and Zen Buddhist teaches mind body integration and how to better focus on the mind/body connection in playing.
The morning talks given by Suzanne set the tone for the days’ work, followed by beginning meditation and a period of silence. Support in a close knit community contributes greatly to student’s willingness to try new things and feel safe in an atmosphere of collaboration, not competition. The afternoon schedule includes rest, discussion, practice, chamber music rehearsals, and being in nature. Optional activities include walks, swimming, games, and more. There are two improvisation groups coached by staff that meet daily. At the end of the week, participants perform in a concert for the public.