Study Cello at the School of Music
Central Michigan University

School of Music | Central Michigan University

Are you looking for a great place to study cello for undergraduate or graduate studies, receive lots of one on one attention, and develop as a musician and educator? Or perhaps you are a graduate student looking to study cello in the United States. I highly recommend considering the School of Music at Central Michigan University. We currently offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Performance and Music Education. We combine a state of the art facility, one of the finest student recital halls in which you will ever have the opportunity to perform (see photo of Chamichian Recital Hall below), and a unique combination of the benefits of a large program with the benefits of the attention you would receive at a smaller school.

Click here for a virtual tour of the School of Music!

About Our Faculty

Our faculty at CMU are active performers, researchers, publishers, and clinicians. But best of all, we are devoted to teaching and helping you develop as a performer and or educator. Please see our Faculty Page and browse the biographies of our Professors in the School of Music.

About Our Students

We currently have approximately 450 music majors with about 100 of those comprising our graduate students. Many of our students go on to very prestigious programs across the United States and Europe. Cello students of mine of have gone on to receive scholarships and graduate assistantships from music schools such as the Cincinnati Conservatory, North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin. My students have placed in competitions such as the Adrian Boyert Competition at the Bay View Music Festival, and the 34th Korean Music Journal Competition in Soul Korea.

Chamichian Recital Hall | Central Michigan University

Chamichian Recital Hall

Attending CMU

To attend CMU you will need to be accepted by the University via an application and the School of Music through an audition. Here is information on undergraduate admissions and graduate admissions for CMU. Please register online for a School of Music audition.

Attend CMU as a Graduate Cello Student

The School of Music has Graduate Assistentships available that provide coverage for full tuition plus a monthly stipend for living expenses. We have had graduate students from the United States and beyond such as China, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, and Korea. For application information please contact Dr. Dan Steele at steel1dl@cmich.edu

For students auditioning from out of the country or long distances away, please contact me regarding the possibility of submitting a video.


College is becoming more expensive all the time. I am happy to say that CMU has many scholarships available. For more information see the CMU Scholarship Page on the CMU website. You can also read about the additional competitive scholarships towards the bottom of the page. Additional scholarships are available through the individual departments.

Good news for out of state students! If you are not a resident of Michigan, are a high school senior (not a transfer student), and have a GPA of at least 2.75 GPA, you will receive in-state tuition via the CMU President's Award (scroll down page). This scholarship is for the first year and renewable for three additional years as long as you maintain a 2.5 GPA.

Please contact me for more information about studying at Central Michigan University.

Audition Dates, 2018

Please register online for an audition.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

Questions about audition scheduling? Please contact Lynn Losey at 989-774-1950

CMU String Faculty

We are pleased to announce two new string faculty, Dr. Fangye Sun and
Dr. Alicia Valoti!

James Fiste, cellist

James Fiste, Associate Professor of Cello at Central Michigan University, has been an active recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. Recent solo performances include recitals in the beautiful Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, the Plymouth Chamber Music Festival in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Wisconsin Lutheran College recital series in Milwaukee, Notre Dame Alumni Series, Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and the Ashmont Hill Chamber Music Series in Boston, Massachusetts, and a solo performance with the Baroque on Beaver Festival Orchestra. Recent chamber music performances include performances in the Maison Danoise in Paris, France and the Museu d'Historia de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. He has also performed chamber music in the Plymouth Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts, Fontana Music Festival in Shelbyville, Michigan, the Ashmont Hill Chamber Music Series in Boston and performances at Tennessee Technological University and Michigan State University. He has also appeared in recital throughout New England. He has performed chamber music with musicians from the Boston and Dallas Symphonies, Chicago String Quartet, faculty from the University of Illinois and other distinguished musicians at the Music Festival of Arkansas and Hot Springs Music Festival. Jamie Fiste was co-artistic director for the Plymouth Chamber Music Festival in Plymouth, MA from 2000-2007 and was also founding member of the Stonehill Trio, piano trio in residence at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Dr. Fiste has been a prizewinner in the Rolland Competition, Cello Society Competition and the University of Illinois Concerto Competition. He has also been a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in Providence. He has given several presentations at the Michigan Music Conference on cello technique and pedagogy. Dr. Fiste has studied with Laurien Laufman and Karen Buranskas and has participated in master classes with Janos Starker and Fritz Magg. He received a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, a M.M. from the University of Notre Dame and a D.M.A. from the University of Illinois.


Seunghee Lee, Violinist

Violinist Fangye Sun, a native of China, has enjoyed a multi-faceted career from concert halls to teaching studios in both China and the United States. She has appeared as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, Michigan State University Symphony, Mason Symphony, Xi’an Conservatory of Music Symphony and Jiao Tong University Symphony performing in Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, the United States and throughout China. As an active chamber musician, she has been featured in the Pacific Music Festival, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Lansing Symphony Chamber Series and has collaborated with Walter Verdehr, Yuri Gandelsman, Suren Bargatuni, Carl Topilow, as well as musicians from Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Dr. Sun joined Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and has held orchestral leadership positions including Guest Concertmaster of Lansing Symphony, Concertmaster of MSU Symphony and Assistant Concertmaster of National Repertory Orchestra. Prior to moving to the U.S., she was Assistant Professor of Violin at Xi’an Conservatory of Music in China. During the summers, she is often invited back to China to perform and present master classes at Universities and Conservatories. Her early violin training started at age four with her father. After winning the gold medal at the “Gao Hua” Chinese Youth Violin Competition at the age of eleven, she has won numerous prizes including the Best Performance Prize at the Seventh Chinese National Youth Violin Competition, the Bronze Medal at the Chinese National “Golden Bell Award” Violin Competition, Second Prize at the Marquette Symphony Young Artist Competition, and the winner of the Michigan State University Honors Concert Competition. Dr. Sun attained a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music in Violin Performance from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Mu​sic from Xi’an Conservatory of Music. Her mentors include Walter Verdehr, Yaoji Lin, Xie Min and Qihua Li.


Alicia Valoti, Violist

Alicia Marie Valoti has held an internationally fruitful music career as a young violist. Beginning as a pianist at Indiana University Bloomington, she eventually came to study the viola and later completed a performance degree at McGill University in Montréal. Following her time in Canada, Dr. Valoti continued her studies of viola and chamber music in Italy at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, the Scuola APM di Saluzzo and the Conservatory of Florence “Luigi Cherubini”, where she received a Master’s degree in viola performance with the highest honors as well as a Performance Diploma in Viola and Chamber Music. Her residency in Europe allowed for much experience as an orchestral player, and Ms. Valoti consequently served as principal and in section orchestral positions, also completing tours in places such as Italy, Egypt, Montecarlo, and Switzerland. As a chamber musician, she participated in competitions and recitals throughout Italy and Europe​. ​​In 2009 Alicia Valoti began further graduate studies at Rice University with James Dunham, where she received the Cheri and Andy Fossler Award. Her participation in masterclasses and festivals includes the Accademia Chigiana of Italy, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival of Finland, International Meisterkurse Bratsche of Germany and Le Domaine Forget in Canada, among others. She has been fortunate to study the viola with incredible artists such as Lawrence Dutton, Bruno Giuranna, Garth Knox, Nobuko Imai, Hatto Beyerle and Atar Arad. Dr. Valoti was selected in 2013 as an orchestral fellow for the Castleton Festival, where she played under the direction of the late Maestro Lorin Maazel. Dr. Valoti has been an integral part of the performance of both contemporary and baroque genres. In Florence, Italy, she gave the premiere performance of "SorellaViola", composed in 2005 for viola sola by Gaetano Giani-Luporini, and in 2009-2010 toured the United States with the chamber music group Astraios, also making a premiere recording of a Sally Beamish work. Also in 2010, Dr. Valoti gave a premiere of Sergio Mesa's String Quartet in affiliation with Aperio, Music of the Americas. As a member of Ars Lyrica and the Houston Bach Society, Ms. Valoti has performed, toured and recorded as principal viola, using true baroque instruments and bows. She can be heard, as Principal Viola, on the World Premiere Giovanni Paolo Colonna CD with the Houston Chamber Choir and Orchestra. A committed educator, Dr. Valoti served on the faculty of Lone Star College and Sam Houston State University School of Music, where she was a member of the Kolenneh String Quartet. In addition, Dr. Valoti was an Affiliate Artist at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and remains an Artist-Teacher at the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. Her masterclasses have been held in places such as Ecuador, Jordan, Italy, Ireland, New York, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Texas. In China in 2010, Ms. Valoti received a distinguished guest professorship at the Wuhan Conservatory, and held a month-long residency at Liaocheng University as a violin and viola professor. Dr. Valoti also served on the string faculty at the prestigious Interlochen Summer Academy for the Arts in 2014. After initial doctoral studies and research at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, Alicia Valoti completed her doctorate in viola performance at Stony Brook University in New York, where she also served as an instructor. Recently, she was the first prize winner of the "David Dalton" American Viola Society Competition, and performed as part of the "Rising Stars" series in the American Viola Society Congress in Oberlin. She will give a lecture-recital for the International Viola Society Congress in Cremona, Italy in October 2016. ​


Ed Fedewa, Bass

Edward Fedewa serves as instructor of double bass at Central Michigan University. He is a member of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and serves as a mentor in the Lansing Symphony Mentor program. Fedewa has performed in the pit orchestras of numerous Broadway shows at the Wharton Center and with the Boarshead Theater and has performed with the Moody Blues and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Fedewa has recorded with the Capitol Jazz Quartet, Shawn Wallace, Ann Elizabeth and many others. In addition to performing and teaching, Fedewa restores double basses at the Guarneri House in Grand Rapids. Fedewa received a bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Michigan State University.

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