Based in Rochester, the Cello Divas are four professional musicians ...and they are friends who have lots of fun together with or without their cellos. The Cello Divas are Ingrid Bock, Kathy Kemp, Rosemary Elliott, and Mimi Hwang. They bring a fresh approach to a wide range of musical styles, and are equally at home playing the music of J.S. Bach or Duke Ellington.
A grant from the Brighton Education Fund brought the Cello Divas to FRES for an in-residence experience with the string orchestra. The Divas developed arrangements of several pieces that would enable the entire orchestra to play with them, then they visited FRES for three of the orchestra's 8 AM rehearsals.
"Diva Day" at FRES began with another of those 8 AM rehearsals. The afternoon brought an assembly performance of the orchestra for the entire school with the Cello Divas as special guest performers; they performed one work as a quartet and two works in conjunction with the full orchestra. The day culminated with a similar evening performance for students and families.
The orchestra felt lucky to have the opportunity to perform with the Cello Divas, and they sounded great together. It was easy to see the impact of this experience on many of the students, especially the cellists, for whom their time with the Divas redefined what it means to be a musician.
story and photos by Beth Remming