Study Cello at the School of Music
Central Michigan University

School of Music | Central Michigan University

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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? 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.

Attending CMU

Chamichian Recital Hall | Central Michigan University

Chamichian Recital Hall

To attend CMU you will need to be accepted by the University and the School of Music via an audition. Here is information on undergraduate admissions and graduate admissions.


CMU has a wealth of scholarships available. For a information see the Financial Aid page on the CMU website. 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

2013-14 Audition Dates

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Questions? Please contact Linda Switalski at 989-774-1950

Please register online for an audition.

CMU String Faculty

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.


David Holland, Violist

David Holland has been with Central Michigan University since 2009 and has been Instructor of Viola at the Interlochen Center for the Arts since 1973. He began training with his father in Toledo, Ohio. He then studied at the Indiana University School of Music and the Ohio University School of Music. He is a founding member of the Aurora Quintet and has performed with the New World, Stradivari and Interlochen string quartets. While serving as the resident violist, coordinator of the string chamber music curriculum, and conductor of the string orchestra at Interlochen, Mr. Holland has held visiting professorships at the University of Iowa, Ohio University, and South Dakota State University. He has had summer faculty appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the University of Iowa, Louisiana State University, Ithaca College, and Southern Methodist University. He is currently on the faculty at the Quartet Program located at Bucknell University in Lewisberg, PA. Recently he presented viola master classes at the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Eastman School of Music.



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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