Cello at Arts Academy

Why Study Cello at Interlochen

The cello is known for its likeness to the human voice. Here, you'll develop a robust technical foundation and a nuanced musical understanding as you find your unique voice. At Interlochen, you will learn to apply that voice to the cello's solo and ensemble repertoire.

What You’ll Learn

Whether you prefer classical or modern works, performing solo or as part of an ensemble, we are here to help guide you.

At our boarding school for cello, your progress will come from private lessons and studio classes, as well as large and small ensembles, tailored to fit your skills and propel your growth. Our passionate instructors will work with you on fundamental techniques, expression, musicality, and your knowledge of musical genres and styles. Our six tracks will allow you to focus on your interests, while our well-rounded curriculum instills the awareness and discipline you need to develop your full potential. 

How to Apply

Audition Requirements

Meet the Faculty

Patrick Owen, D.M.A.

Instructor of Cello

All Faculty

Past Guest Artists

  • David Finkel, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
  • Amir Eldan, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
  • Guy Johnston, Royal Academy of Music
  • Rhonda Rider, Boston Conservatory at Berklee
  • Tony Ross, Principal Cello of the Minnesota Orchestra

Program Highlights

Performance Opportunities

As a cello student, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of ensembles. All cellists participate in daily rehearsals with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra and collaborate with their peers in the Cello Choir. You can also join a variety of chamber ensembles, including string quartets. See our Explore Ensembles section below.

Concerto Competition

Each year, Interlochen Arts Academy hosts a concerto competition that is open to all music students. Winners will perform their concerto with the Arts Academy Orchestra during one of the spring concerts.

Radio Performances

Arts Academy music students are frequently invited to appear on Interlochen Public Radio's In Studio A segment. The segment consists of a brief interview and a solo performance. In Studio A is heard by thousands of listeners in northern Michigan and around the world.

The Music Center

Our state-of-the-art 60,000 square-foot music facility has two 3,500 square-foot rehearsal halls, two recording studios which allow for rehearsal and performance recordings in multiple venues on campus with multiple ensemble and practice rooms, and individual faculty teaching studios. Learn more about The Music Center.

Explore Ensembles


Assembled at the faculty's discretion, chamber music ensembles are offered as electives in the Music division. Each ensemble is coached by one of the Arts Academy's acclaimed instrumental faculty.



A recipient of the American Prize, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra performs an advanced repertoire that includes symphonies, concerti, contemporary works, and original compositions.


Wind Symphony

The American Prize-winning Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony presents a diverse and challenging repertoire in regular live, prerecorded, and public radio performances.



Interlochen Arts Academy’s multiple contemporary music ensembles foster collaboration, musicianship, and stagecraft through regular rehearsal and performance opportunities.


A cellist rehearses with an orchestra

Interlochen was the best possible high school experience for me. My time at Academy taught me the motivation and discipline required to make progress in my cello playing, and supplied me with invaluable connections needed to begin a career in music. While at Interlochen, I also had the opportunity to work with incredible faculty and staff. These teachers showed me every day what it is to be a professional musician and a good person. Most importantly, studying at Interlochen allowed me to be surrounded by a community of similar-minded young artists who would become some of my closest and longest lasting friends. My years at Interlochen, in every sense, shaped me into the person I am today.

Audrey Jellett '19, Arts Academy (Music)

The Interlochen Arts Academy Cello Choir performs Klengel

Sit back, relax, and listen as Interlochen Arts Academy cello students  perform Julius Klengel's "Hymnus" in Corson Auditorium. Guest conductor is Matthew Schlomer. Patrick Owen directs the choir.

College Matriculation

  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston University
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Indiana University
  • The Juilliard School
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • New England Conservatory
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oberlin College and Conservatory
  • Rice University
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University

Dive deeper into Interlochen Arts Academy with a free digital viewbook

Arts Academy Viewbook Thumbnail

In our free informational booklet, you'll learn more about: 

  • Each of our seven arts areas 
  • Renowned faculty 
  • College-preparatory academics 
  • Student resources 
  • How to apply and financial aid information 
  • And more