Young Cello Artists

Alice HaEun Cho

South Korean-Canadian cellist, Alice Cho, is pursuing her master's in music education at Eastern Michigan University and the graduate assistant in Orchestral Studies where she serves as the principal of cello section of the EMU Symphony Orchestra. Alice is a regular participant of multiple festivals and competitions where she has received awards including the Anna Margaret Wallace and Willam Alexander Mccoy Scholarship, the Colin Hampton Award, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, Muir Laura Kinton, and Sharon Stevenson Career Development Scholarship. She is also the winner of the 2020 Gradate Performance Competition at EMU's School of Music & Dance performing the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor. Alice has participated in masterclasses with Laurence Lesser, Joseph Johnson, Winona Zelenka, Rachel Mercer, Barry Schiffman, Gryphon Trio, Orford Quartet, and Shauna Rolston. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Cello Performance from the University of Toronto where she studied with Shauna Rolston.

Delani Creech

Delani Creech is in her first year at Eastern Michigan University and currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance. A native of Clawson, Michigan, she was a student of Jordan Schug for four years prior to working with Professor Pae. In high school she participated yearly in MSBOA's State Solo and Ensemble, performed in her high school's orchestra, and participated annually in Oakland University's High School Honors Orchestra. She was also a founding member of the Independent String Program of Berkley, a program that focuses on improvised music, and is now a student assistant coach in the program. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing video games, and hanging out with her friends.

 Nia Crutcher

Nia Crutcher is a first year cellist at Eastern Michigan University. She has been playing the cello for the past eight years and over the last four years, she has performed in the Grosse Pointe North High School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Nia has also participated in the Civic Youth Jazz Ensemble and the Civic Youth Sinfonia Orchestra. She is continuing her education at Eastern Michigan as an Art major with a double minor of African American Studies and Music. In the 2021-2022 academic year, Nia plans to be in the EMU Symphony Orchestra and on the color guard team performing alongside the marching band.

Grace Frielink

A native of Sycamore, Illinois, Grace Frielink is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Music Therapy at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to working with Professor Pae, she was a student of Linc Smelser for six years. During her time in high school, Grace participated in all-state festivals, was a member of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and performed the Lalo cello concerto with her high school orchestra. She also teaches violin and cello at Expressions Music Academy and in her free time, she enjoys shooting film and digital photography, and reading.

Athena Goppold

Athena Goppold is currently pursuing a degree in Music Therapy at Eastern Michigan University. Originally a biology major with a general music minor, she auditioned for music therapy at the end of her second year. During those first two years, it was evident that Athena's passion for music outweighed any of her other interests; she found herself spending more and more time playing cello.

When speaking about her encounter with music, Athena states, "Everything clicked when I learned what music therapy actually was; I had never heard of the profession until joining the EMU Cello Studio. Since starting music therapy, I have taken my cello studies very seriously; I am excited to perform the first movement of the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major next month at the Undergraduate Symposium. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities that I have here; I would not be where I am today without the EMU Cello studio."


 Benjamin Kletzli

Ben Kletzli has been playing the cello since he was five years old. Presently, he is a full-time music student at Concordia University and a guest student at Eastern Michigan University in the studio of Professor Pae. Ben has been a member of a number of musical ensembles over the years including Oakland Homeschool Music, The Suzuki Association of MI, Tuesday Musicale of Detroit Student League, and the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has also enjoyed attending music festivals such as Blue Lake and Interlochen, and looks forward to more opportunities in the future. Ben's other interests include singing, roller skating, snowboarding, and golfing.

Lauren McKague

Michigan native, Lauren McKague is a student at EMU's Early College Alliance, a unique educational program designed to fully immerse high school-aged students into the post-secondary learning environment.  She started cello at thirteen years old and quickly fell in love with the instrument. Two years later, upon joining the ECA program, she joined the EMU CELLO Studio. Lauren currently works with the Civic Youth Ensembles through the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She is very grateful for the opportunities the EMU cello studio has given her, and plans to continue with EMU through a bachelor’s degree in cello performance.  After that, she hopes to pursue a cello career.

Jillian Sanders

Jillian Sanders is a music therapy major and completed her course work in December 2019. She recently accepted an internship position at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan! CMHI is a civil psychiatric facility where Jillian will be supervised by Julia Lamb (M.M., MT-BC), who practices Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT). NMT is the therapeutic use of music applied to sensory, speech and language, cognitive, and motor dysfunctions after a neurologic event or diagnosis. This therapy examines how music is processed and perceived in the brain, and how music therapists can use that as a tool in neuro-rehabilitation to improve non-musical goals.  

To further develop her musical and pedagogical skills, she has been extensively teaching lessons in cello, piano, voice, guitar and ukulele. During Jillian's time at Eastern, she was awarded the Dillman Scholarship, which was awarded based on her achievements in performance and creativity specific to her major. 



Recent EMU CELLO Alumni:

Jamie Gallupe

Jamie Gallupe completed her B.M in Cello Performance in 2017, and went on to do a master's degree at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Cello Performance with a major in Historical Performance on baroque cello and viola da gamba, graduating in 2019. 

Some highlights during her time there include- serving as Musician in Residence at the Edenwald Community, receiving the Viola da Gamba Society of America’s Professional Development Grant, performing a concerto with the Baltimore Baroque Band, and representing Peabody at the Bloomington Early Music Festival. Additional performances include the Peabody Opera, Peabody String Sinfonia, Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, Charm City Baroque, and the Peabody Renaissance Chamber Ensemble. After completing her master's, Jamie moved back to Ann Arbor where she serves as faculty at the Ann Arbor Community School of Music teaching cello, chamber music, as well as serving as assistant director of the Brandenburg Project. She also acts as Director of Choral Activities at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Ypsilanti, and boasts a robust private studio. In the summer of 2019 Jamie was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Viola da Gamba Society of America.

Recent performances and ongoing collaborations include: Audivi, The Bach Abel Society, Musica Spira (Baltimore), The Flint Symphony, L’invenzione, The Mirai Collective, and the University of Michigan Chamber Choir. In March 2020 Jamie looks forward to premiering the program “Witches: Revered and Reviled” with Burning River Baroque in Cleveland, which includes a newly commissioned opera “The Ballad of Mary and Margaret” by Alexis Bacon. 

Thomas Loescher

Always known as the Rhythm Guy, or someone who “ate a metronome for breakfast” (Anthony Elliott), Thomas Loescher was immediately drawn into the complexities of chamber music. He joined the Bernard A. Galler Quartet at the age of eight, and has since spent little time outside of ensemble performing. Although he was homeschooled, he managed to participate in three youth orchestras: the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra. His private instructors included Daniel Thomas, Diane Winder, Deborah Pae, and he currently studies with Dr. Kimberly Patterson. In 2014, he won the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra’s Fellowship Award, opening the way for him to be invited back many times as a substitute section cellist in the following years. He is currently seeking a Master in Music Performance at the University of Memphis. In 2019, he won the first holding of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s Musician Fellowship Program, allowing him to perform as a regular substitute section cellist.

Anthony Marchese

Anthony Marchese began his cello studies at 10 years of age in a public school music program. He very quickly developed a passion for music, both performance and composition. After high school, Anthony attended Eastern Michigan University where he studied under Dr. Diane Winder and Deborah Pae. During his time at EMU Anthony was a featured soloist with the EMU Symphony and won the Barry Manilow Concerto Competition. In 2018 Anthony graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in cello performance. Post graduation, Anthony won a competitive assistantship at Bowling Green State University where he currently sits principal cello of the BGSU Philharmonia and is a member of BGSU’s Graduate String Quartet. Most recently Anthony has performed as a soloist on Jennifer Higdon’s Dance Card with the Perrysburg Symphony, performed on the popular radio show New Music from Bowling Green, and performed Anthony Cheung’s Distance over Speed for contemporary cellist Chris Gross.

Kimberly Smallwood

Kim Smallwood studied Music and Arts Administration at Eastern Michigan University from 2012 to 2018. During her time at EMU, she studied under Kate Blaha, Daniel Thomas, and Deborah Pae. She now works at SHAR Music as a Marketing Specialist. Outside of work, Kim is an active cellist in the community and plays in musical pit orchestras across Southeastern Michigan. She also volunteers her time planning and publicizing community dances and events for the Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance (AACTMAD). Her passion for traditional music has led her to explore contemporary cello accompaniment techniques by attending camps like Mike Block String Camp and Northeastern Heritage Music Camp and taking lessons with contemporary cellists like Natalie Haas and Mike Block. Presently, Kim is the cellist in Hotline Strings, a traditional contra dance band that performs various genres of traditional fiddle music with a modern twist for contra and square dances across the state of Michigan and beyond.