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boise cello collective

Boise Cello Collective is a collaborative project among some of Idaho's preeminent cellists, specializing in the performance of unique works for cello ensemble ranging from staples of the Classical era to renditions of popular songs to original contemporary music by Idahoan composers.



The origins of Boise Cello Collective far preceed the summer of 2012. The Collective is a product of a tradition of excellent cello playing in the Treasure Valley, cultivated predominantly by Langroise Trio cellist and College of Idaho faculty Samuel Smith. Since the inception of the Langroise Trio in 1991, students of Smith have completed courses in cello performance at the Eastman School of Music, Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, Boise State University, Rice University, and the College of Idaho. Many of the members of the Boise Philhmaronic's cello section are former or current students of Mr. Smith. Three of the founding members of Boise Cello Collective, incuding Saunders, Claffey, and Mathie, are former students of Mr. Smith.


In 2014, Smith joined Saunders, Claffey, and Mathie as the fourth member of Boise Cello Collective. The addition of Mr. Smith embodies the home-grown and cultivated nature of the Collective.

In the summer of 2012, cellists Jake Saunders, Micah Claffey, Stephen Mathie, and David Feldman would meet on street corners in downtown Boise to play cello quartets. Arrangements of traditional Barbershop tunes and covers of songs by The Beatles converted passerbys into an impromptu audience. Afterall, it's not everyday you see four cellists playing together outside of the concert hall. Downtown busking became a regular event, and Boise Cello Collective was born.


Organized by Saunders, the group originally existed as a loose network of professional, amateur, and student cellists in the Boise area. Various incarnations of the Collective could be heard at Saturday and Sunday morning Farmers' Markets, First Thursday events, or weekend evenings on 8th Street in downtown Boise.


From its humble origins, Boise Cello Collective has emerged as a premiere ensemble in Idaho. Impromtu street-corner sessions transformed into featured performances in many of Boise's diverse venues, including The Crux as part of Classical Revolution: Boise, RadioBoise, Neurolux, the Visual Arts Collective, the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy, The District Coffee House, the Morrison Center, and the Langroise Recital Hall. Recently, the Collective has taken their electic program of cello quartets to the historic Martin Hotel in Winnemucca, NV. 


Boise Cello Collective presents diverse and adventurous programming, with repertoire ranging from Pablo Casals and Wilhelm Fitzenhagen to Radiohead and Queen. The Collective also places emphasis on performing music by local and emerging composers, incuding alumni of College of Idaho Seth Graham and Danielle Danker, as well as established Idaho composers Eric Sandmeyer, Jim Cockey, and David Alan Earnest. BCC has presented two world premieres, including a quintet for piano and four cellists by David Alan Earnest, and "eMerging" for cello octet by Evan Ware. 


The Collective has recently been involved in "Music From the Fringe", a unique collaborative project lead by Sam and Nancy Smith that employs the techniques of remote viewing in the creation of original composition for cello ensemble. "Music From the Fringe 1" was premiered in March of 2013. Fringe 2 will be premiered November 6th, 2015 at the Boise Cello Collective performance on the Caldwell Fine Arts Series. Music from both Fringe projects will be featured as part of the soundtrack for the documentary “Third Eye Spies” to  be released in June 2016.


Core members of Boise Cello Collective currently include Jake Saunders, Samuel Smith, Micah Claffey, and Stephen Mathie. Current contributing members include Brian Hodges, Shea Kole, Kyle True, Kyla Davidson, Alec Duggan, and Julia Pope. Past members and contributors include Shara Long, David Feldman, Leslie Mandigo, and Melissa Wilson.



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