The Dorset Cello Classes

Presented by Rebecca Gilliver and Paul Janes


Applications are now open for the Dorset Cello Classes Student Course, 2nd-8th September 2024

Final celebration concert, 7pm,

Saturday 7th September, Church House, Wimborne Minster.

The DCC House

Welcome to the Dorset Cello Classes. Open to graduate and postgraduate students, the September classes are an opportunity of a week to study in a peaceful but fun setting in Dorset, receiving coachings, private lessons and public masterclasses by London Symphony Orchestra principal, Rebecca Gilliver, and renowned pianist, Paul Janes. The week culminates in a celebration concert for the students in Church House on the Saturday evening. For information on the September session and how to apply, please check the 'Classes and 'Apply' pages!

The Dorset Cello Classes were set up in 2019 with the concept of providing a few days of focused study for young professional cellists. Young musicians nowadays have so many distractions in the form of bombarding emails, social media, the need to finance their studies and the difficulty of beginning a career in music. Creating a peaceful space in a beautiful place where they can simply study and learn is the key to the Classes. All classes are open to the public and free to attend.

In 2020 the courses were online; in 2021 they were held both in Wimborne and in London - in 2022 we finally returned properly to Dorset! Eight advanced students were invited to Wimborne for an intensive week of music making, culminating in a wonderful final concert the week after Easter. April 23 followed a similar formula, with April 24 postponed until this September, due to work commitments. The final celebration concert will be at 7pm on Saturday 7t September - a date for your diary!

The pandemic made me think about those who leave college and then are faced with what can be a daunting prospect of finding both musicial satisfaction and employment in what is increasingly, a difficult and competitive music industry. Having to finance themselves as well as having time and space to continue to develop their musical personalities is quite a balancing act and needs support from those of us lucky enough to have entered the profession at an easier time. Therefore the course now gives priority to college leavers and young professionals. Of course, any spaces left over will be gladly offered to students undertaking their postgraduate and graduate degrees so don't be coy to apply!

Coming originally from Dorset, I wanted to bring the music home, to where I had my first inspiration in the forms of the Dorchester Schools Orchestra, the Dorset Youth Orchestra, Music clubs at the Dorford centre in Dorchester and of course my extraordinarily inspiring first teacher, David Norton. Whilst my connection with Dorset is in the Dorchester area, the person who really set me on the path to music was the man who bought me my first little cello - Donald Hall, a wonderful family friend, my godfather and my headmaster! Although he has sadly left us, he lived in Holt just outside Wimborne so I decided to site the course in and around Wimborne in his honour. Thanks to local support, in our fundraising concert last November, we managed to raise enough money to provide some scholarships for students in need of financial assistance. We are so grateful for your support and encouragment for the classes.

Bringing music to my home county is very important to me and a hugely important component of the Dorset Cello Classes is the Adult Learners Event, for adult cellists to enjoy a weekend of music making and coaching. The Adult Learners event has been running since 2020, is aimed at amateur cellists who would enjoy a day and a half of music making, cello chamber music, lessons and masterclasses. Much fun has been had on these courses, with lots of music and cake being devoured...! Details of the 2025 course will be released when I can find a date. (see the Adult Learners tab).

Rebecca and Student