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Cello Ensemble

CSUSB Cello Ensemble

The CSUSB Cello Ensemble provides a wide range of performance, career development, and educational outreach opportunities. Its purpose is to introduce music students to the vast array of performance literature for cello ensemble and advance the performance practice of the cello ensemble. It develops cellists and bring out their highest playing levels every season, and members perform concerts at prestigious venues. This ensemble is modeled after the elite professional chamber cello group (consisting of twelve members) formed by the members of the Berlin Philharmonic and London Cello Orchestra

The CSUSB Cello Ensemble’s activities include rehearsals, sectionals, master classes and workshops that feature world-renowned professional artists and highly respected pedagogues, and concerts with guest artists. In addition, this ensemble provides the unique opportunity for cellists to perform as a soloist within an orchestral setting in local, national and international venues. Each year, the Cello Ensemble holds a solo concerto competition to identify a talented and deserving student to perform a concert/solo piece with the Cello Ensemble Orchestra. This ensemble is dedicated to challenging and motivating students to bring out their potential to be outstanding young musicians and help them with their artistic and professional development. Members of the Cello Ensemble are full-time CSUSB students and students enrolled through CSUSB’s Open University Program and High School University Program.  High school students and others, may audition for the ensemble. 

OC County Cello Ensemble

The Director

Esther Back

Lecturer of Applied Cello; Conductor, Cello Ensemble

Office Location: Performing Arts Building 124


Phone: (714) 296-6918

Ms. Back conducts the CSUSB Cello Ensemble, is the applied cello instructor, and teaches string pedagogy.  View full bio for Esther Back

Ensemble Rehearsal Times

Wednesday, 5:00 - 6:50 p.m., Room 125, Performing Arts Building.  Due to COVID-19, rehearsals will be conducted temporarily online for the fall semester, August 26 – December 2, 2020.  This is subject to change for spring semester 2021.

CSUSB Cello Ensemble Membership

Students, CSUSB faculty members, and community artists are all invited to participate in the California State University, San Bernardino Cello Ensemble.  Membership in the CSUSB Cello Ensemble is open to all students regardless of major; you do not have to be a music major to participate.  High school students are eligible to participate through Open University (freshman and sophomores) and CSUSB’s High School University Program (juniors and seniors), and middle school students are eligible to participate through Open University with their instructor’s permission.  Transferable university/college credit is available through both Open University and the High School University Program, and so please email Ms. Back to receive the registration forms and information.  Membership is by audition only and auditions are held the first week of each semester.  

OC County Cello Ensemble

CSUSB Cello Ensemble Opportunities

The CSUSB Cello Ensemble is a touring ensemble and is next slated to perform at Carnegie Hall on Friday, June 18, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.  There are still a few spaces available, and so consider joining us next summer as we embark on this concert tour to New York! It will be a life-changing experience as you perform at the world-famous historic venue, Carnegie Hall on the Isaac-Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Main Hall Stage, or travel as family to see your child to perform.  The required tour dates are June 17 – 19, 2021 and financial assistance is available to those who are eligible and apply.  An audition is required.  If interested in participating, please contact Ms. Esther Back at or (714) 296-6918.

OC Cello Ensemble

In addition to touring, members of the CSUSB Cello Ensemble also have access to a variety of special opportunities that include a collaborative relationship with the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, and access to participation in the CSUSB American String Teachers Association Student Chapter: Yotie Edition.  

American String Teacher's Association

California State University, San Bernardino Student Chapter: Yotie Edition Opportunities:

CSUSB Cello Ensemble Upcoming Performances

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Admission into the CSUSB Cello Ensemble is by audition and non-majors are welcome. For more information about auditions for the California State University, San Bernardino Cello Ensemble, please contact Mrs. Esther Back at or (714) 296-6918.  You may also connect with us on the String & Orchestral Program's Facebook page.