First Suite for Solo Violoncello
  • First Suite for Solo Violoncello
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My love for the cello suites came in September of 1995. As I came home (to the dorms) from marching band practice at the University of Michigan, I heard not only a glorious euphonium sound, but I heard this beautiful melody in C coming from the dorm's practice rooms. I had to find out who and what it was. As I knocked on the door, I introduced

My love for the cello suites came in September of 1995. As I came home (to the dorms) from marching band practice at the University of Michigan, I heard not only a glorious euphonium sound, but I heard this beautiful melody in C coming from the dorm's practice rooms. I had to find out who and what it was. As I knocked on the door, I introduced myself and then met Matthew Summers, a fellow music major (now currently in the President's Own Marine Band. A week or two later, we went to the library so I could get my own copy of the music.

Coincedently I had just met Leo Eguchi and Minitria Slade who were violoncello performance majors. They had a sound that was just quite mesmerizing. I would ask them questions repeatedly so I could learn how to write for this instrument. I had no idea about bowings, double-stops, bow techniques. I was a kid in a candy store.

Years later, the tuba/euph studio at UM had to learn various movements from the cello suites. I went to the library to grab some recordings. Somehow someway, the video of Mstislav Rostropovich performing the Suites was already playing in the library. He quickly became my favorite cellist. Maybe it was the quality of his CDs. His tone just captured me. The musicality of his cello suites got me hooked on his first note. Forever a fan!

Right around the time I was about to graduate, I ran into our cello professor, Anthony Elliott. He kindly asked me to write him a piece. I was floored. No professor had ever asked me that. Honestly, I was nervous. I hadn't really written solo music before, mostly orchestra music. Unbeknownst to me, Prof. Elliott was putting together a concert and CD of African-American compositions. I just used Bach as my mode and listened over and over to Rostropovich. I didn't write six movements as he did, but decided to use the dance forms.

Musically Yours, Chad "Sir Wick" Hughes

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