Interested in Cello?

We're thrilled to know of your interest in the cello studio at Baylor University! Please follow the steps on the How to Apply page to apply and request an audition. If you have questions during the application/audition process, please email cello professor Dr.  Philip Borter.

The Baylor University School of Music offers the following degrees in cello (see the Degree Plans page for more details):

  • Bachelor of Music (Performance)
  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Master of Music

Graduate Assistantships are available in the String Area. Please email Dr.  Philip Borter for more information.

Performance Opportunities

The Baylor School of Music offers remarkable performance opportunities through its esteemed chamber music and large ensemble programs. The Baylor Symphony Orchestra is Baylor’s flagship orchestra, dedicated to the quality performance of the orchestral repertoire and to the professional and artistic growth of its members. Since 1984, this ensemble has been under the direction of Stephen Hyde. In a typical semester, 90 to 100 Baylor students, hailing from more than two dozen states and several foreign countries, perform in the ensemble. The Baylor Symphony has an extensive performance schedule on and off campus, annually presenting four to six concerts of standard orchestral repertoire, a full opera production and other events such as concerto accompaniments, new music readings and choral/orchestral collaborations.

Musicians also take part in a rigorous chamber music experience, led by the String Area faculty. These student ensembles combine a stimulating learning environment with a high level of artistic achievement, and have presented concerts nationwide and abroad. Student ensembles frequently have had the opportunity to travel off campus to take part in festivals and masterclasses, as well as compete in competitions.

Studio Mission

The mission of the Baylor Cello Studio is to cultivate a musically engaging and rigorous environment wherein a select group of talented students pursue solo performances, chamber music, and orchestral playing at the highest possible levels. Baylor cello students support and inspire each other in weekly studio class, cello choir, and technique classes. The residential atmosphere allows for each individual students’ creative goals to be pursued and we are dedicated to exploring styles of playing and skill sets that are necessary for classically trained musicians to be successful and thrive in the 21st century.

Teaching Philosophy

In the first few semesters, my teaching curriculum involves an early and intense emphasis on the musical cells that build almost all music: scales, arpeggios, bowing & shifting exercises, etc. Effective practice strategies contribute to the goal of efficient practicing and, moreover, the efficient use of the body should be present at the conception of every musical gesture. My teaching priorities include building habits that encourage natural range of motions, the result of which is ease and comfort. 

In order to become a consummate and unique artist, musical values must be cultivated including both analytical and listening skills.  With better listening comes acute self-awareness and an open mind.  Frequent performances are a must for every student; students at Baylor University benefit from the many contact points they receive with me throughout the week in lessons, studio class, orchestra excerpt class, technique class, and chamber music. Additionally, students must become fluent in a variety of genres and styles of playing—which is reflected in my own diverse musical experiences and background.

Ultimately, it is trust between the teacher and pupil that is the basis for improvement; fear and shame as a tool for motivation leaves little room for lasting inspiration.  My enthusiasm and energy for teaching comes from a deeply personal and spiritual commitment to music.  The realization that all talent is a gift from God tempers ambition with humility and contributes to the balance necessary in all aspects of life.


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