Longtime Camp faculty member and revered music educator, Cassel Grubb, passed away on January 1, 2012. An accomplished cellist, Cassel taught generations of Interlochen campers from 1963 to 2004. He served as director of the Camp’s string ensemble program for fifteen years and co-directed the adult chamber music camp for ten years. The Advanced String Quartet program that offers students the opportunity to work with a professional string quartet is a direct result of Cassel’s vision.
Colleagues will long remember his friendship and admire his skill. “Cassel was a pillar of the summer music program for many years,” said Byron Hanson, former director of the music program and current archivist at Interlochen Center for the Arts. "He knew the joys of playing chamber music and he worked tirelessly to increase its presence in our summer program."
His many students remember him for his patient guidance, good humor and genuine caring nature. “Cassel didn’t separate the cello from the person; he taught both,” said John Rihani (IAC 95) who studied with Cassel in the summer of 1995. “He was always a gentleman, always warm and never lowered his standards. After a recital he would say ‘You did it! Now what’s next?’ I still hear his voice seventeen years later, asking the same question.” John went on to study with Cassel’s son, William Grubb (IAC 64, 66-69, IAC St 70), at Butler University in Indianapolis.
While Cassel’s summers were spent in Interlochen, he had a long and distinguished career at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he was professor of cello and music theory from 1949 until his retirement 40 years later. He also served as the director of the School of Music from 1978 until 1989 and performed in the university’s resident ensemble, the Aeolian Trio. Cassel received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music. A World War II veteran, Cassel was also the first cellist in the Air Force string quartet.
In 2006, an endowed Camp scholarship was established in Cassel's name to honor his four decades of teaching at Interlochen Arts Camp. Five cellists have already benefited from this named scholarship. If you would like to contribute to the Cassel Grubb Endowed Scholarship, please call 231.276.7617 or e-mail Beth Stoner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The faculty of the summer cello institute, which runs from June 16 to June 22, will dedicate one of their concerts to the memory of Cassel Grubb.