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Tennessee Cello Workshop

February 22, 23 and 24, 2019


TCW Cello Competitions


The TCW Cello Competitions are meant to provide inspiration, stimulation, enjoyment, and encouragement to all who enter and all who attend the finalists' performances. The process of preparing the required literature to the highest level one can is of great value. The opportunity to have a chance to perform and get written feedback from members of the TCW faculty can also be enormously helpful for participants. The finalists' concert on Sunday provides performers and audience members alike wonderful opportunities for shared musical experiences. Finally, for those who receive awards, the competitions provide tangible assistance in the winners' journeys with cello playing and music making, as well as public validation and encouragement for the excellence they have achieved in these arenas.

The TCW hosts four different cello competitions. You must be a registered for the full 3-day TCW to enter one of the TCW Cello Competitions. Many TCW participants will not enter the competition. Many will. This is only a part of the weekend, and isn't meant to distract from, or discourage any from attending, any of the other events at the TCW.

For all divisions of the TCW competitions, the preliminary rounds Friday morning are without accompaniment. For the final rounds, TCW staff pianists will be provided for all finalists.

Participating in any of the four TCW Cello Competitions entails a 15$ entry fee, in addition to the regular TCW registration.


The four categories for the TCW Cello Competitions are based on the contestant's age on February 22, 2019. Previous first prize-winners (or co-first prize-winners) may not reenter in the same category in subsequent years’ TCW cello competitions. Entrants may elect to enter a competition for an older age group than they are eligible for. The literature for the competition division entered, however, will be the required literature.

  1. Junior Division: cellists age 14 and younger.
  2. Senior High School Division: cellists age 15 through 18, and not yet graduated from high school.
  3. Collegiate and Professional Division: age 17 through 26.
  4. UN-competition category: any age or level.
    • This division is for anyone--from adult amateur to young cellist--who would like the experience of preparing for the competition, and performing for the panel of faculty jurors, without the competition element in the equation. Cellists participating in the “uncompetition” will still get written comments from the evaluators, and will have the chance to put themselves "on the line" for this private performance.

Preliminary Round

  • All competition entrants will play a preliminary audition on Friday, February 22, 2019 starting in the mid-morning. This round will be held without piano accompaniment.
  • Written comments on all performances will be provided to all who perform in the preliminary round. TCW guest artists and faculty will be listening and evaluating these performances.
  • Based on the morning performances, up to 3 finalists in each division will be selected to perform in the Competition Finals, which will be held as a public recital on Sunday, February 24, 2019.
  • Abusive or disrespectful treatment of staff pianists or jurors by competitors, their teachers or parents may result in dismissal from the competition.
  • Any of the four divisions’ competitions may be cancelled, if the number of applicants in that division is insufficient for a meaningful competition.

Competition Prizes

In the interest of aiding young cellists in their musical studies, and in keeping the prize sponsors' wishes, all financial prizes are intended to be used as scholarships for summer music camps or collegiate study. The jury may elect to award only some of these prizes. Not all prizes are guaranteed to be awarded.


  1. All finalists: recital performance on final day of the 2019 Tennessee Cello Workshop.
  2. All finalists: 100$ Scholarship towards the 2020 Tennessee Cello Workshop.
  3. Junior High School division: $300, $200, $100
  4. High School Division: $600, $300, $150 
    Prizes generously donated by Wilhite Strings
  5. Collegiate/Young Professional Division: $1,200, $600, $300
  6. Un-competition: great personal satisfaction
  7. Special prizes
    1. A fine cello bow, donated by Josh Henry Fine Bows
    2. 1000$ Scholarship to the Wintergreen Academy 
      This prize is dependent upon acceptance at the Wintergreen Academy, and can be awarded to a High School or Collegiate Finalist who might gain the most from study at the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy.
  8. The competition prizewinners will be announced at the TCW Sunday luncheon on February 24, 2019.

Repertoire Requirements

Junior Division

  • Romberg Sonata in C major, Opur 43, No. 2: Allegro
  • David Popper: Wie Einst in Schöner Tagen

High School division

  • Dmitri Kabalevsky: Cello Concerto No. 1, Opus 49: Allegro
  • David Popper: Spanish Serenade, Opus 54 #2

Collegiate/Young Professional division

  • Bloch: Schelomo
  • Sollima: Alone
  • Hindemith: solo cello sonata, movements 1, 4, and 5


  • A program of no more than 12 minutes of music of your own choosing

Deadlines and Entry Requirements

To enter the TCW cello competitions one must:

  • Submit your online TCW registration form with your desire to participate in the competition indicated on that form.
  • At the payment/checkout page, make sure to include the competition fee along with the participation fee.
  • Proof of age will be required of all finalists on Friday night. Please bring appropriate documentation to confirm your age with you to the TCW.

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