I had a session today for a film whose composer had the genius concept to score the whole movie…..with cellos and basses. 28 cellos! It was nice to hear the sound, of course, but it was also a great hang with some of the top players in LA that I am lucky enough to know. My thumb aches from the false harmonics, but it’s a small price to pay for a whole day in Cello Geek Heaven.

Originally posted 30 July 2007. This session still stands out in my mind as one of the most meaningful I’ve ever participated in. Nearly every first-call cellist was in the room, and I recall watching them intently, something I ask my students to do more of. Don’t just look at technique or posture, but rather, how the people who are reliably called upon to lead sections behave. The way they interact. What they say—and what they don’t—and the tone in which things are said are vitally important. If you haven’t been to music school but have aspirations that involve playing with other people, do try to watch professionals rehearse if you can. The rules are different, and for good reason.