The mission of CTRC is to expand cello student repertoire with commissioning of new pedagogical concert works and etudes for cello solo, cello with teacher accompaniment, and cello with piano, representing diverse musical styles and cultural backgrounds.
As cello teachers, we want to reflect our values in the music that we assign to students, since the approach we take to repertoire selection will be the model our students use when they train the next generation. We seek to meet the need to support contemporary performer composers and newly composed music, promote musical style fluency, and provide students with repertoire that challenges them and helps them grow.
CTRC commissions new student works for cello that can be an alternative or work alongside traditional pedagogical repertoire. In parallel to well-established pedagogical traditions of Suzuki’s graded method books and the American String Teachers Association’s graded syllabus, we commission new works that complement existing learning sequences and cello techniques.
While there is a wealth of new work for cello at the beginner and early intermediate stage, and a great deal of new work for advanced cellists, at first we are focusing primarily on intermediate- to early advanced-level teaching pieces that help students to build core techniques of perpetual motion, lyrical playing, thumb position, shifting, vibrato, double stops, and advanced bowing patterns. Rather than introducing new, unidiomatic challenges, or primarily challenges of interpretation, these works challenge students to master their instruments with core instrumental techniques in diverse musical styles. The works will be written by composers with advanced knowledge of cello technique and appropriate pedagogical sequencing, creating new repertoire that stands alongside historical pedagogical pieces, often written by cellist-composers.
WHY A CONSORTIUM?
+First, to build a community valuing the creation of new repertoire for cello teachers and performers.
+Second, to create a community for students, who are often inspired by seeing older students performing new work, or seeing students in other locations working on the same repertoire. More participation is more student motivation!
+Third, to increase distribution of the works: many newly commissioned works can be difficult to perform multiple times beyond the premiere. The consortium model guarantees a level of performance and participation to incentivize and support composing partners.
+Finally, to sustainably raise commissioning funds, with the goal of creating new work for student cellists year after year.
The Cello Teaching Repertoire Consortium is led by active cello teachers who will determine commissioned composers and targeted level for pieces with input from consortium members. Participation in the consortium allows teachers to gain access to newly commissioned works as they are written and released, and provide input on the commissioning plan for future rounds. Once a sufficient number of pieces have been commissioned, they will be released in a complete collection and made available to the general public.