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Cherylonda Fitzgerald

Principal Cellist

Current home?

Johnson City, TN

Best thing about playing in the JCSO?

The musicians are friendly and supportive. 
We have the best cello section in the world!

At what age did you start playing?

I started piano at age 6 but did not stick with 
it (my piano teacher would fall asleep at my
lessons)! I started cello at the age of 11 in
 the public schools.

I started private lessons the next year. and continued in music, eventually earning a BA in Music Education from the University of Louisville and a Masters in Performance from Stony Brook University.

Interesting fact about yourself?

I was a Digital Print Production Artist in 
San Francisco, CA for 17 years before moving
 to Johnson City and returning to music 
full-time. I am owned by seven cats.

Interesting fact about your instrument?

My cello’s name is Cecilia and she was born
 close by in Knoxville,TN in 2006. Her maker 
is Kelvin Scott. I love her!

What else do you do?

I play in the Asheville Symphony and the 
Symphony of the Mountains. I am a found
ing member of The Paramount Chamber 
Players which has been bringing chamber music to local communities since 2004. I teach at my home studio (The Cello Underground) 
and at Milligan University, and I freelance on my own
 and with  Signature Strings.

Any hobbies?

Most of my “spare” time is spent with Cecilia! 
I love hiking and have completed the 
Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, 
GA to Hampton, TN. I am a whitewater 
kayaker, but I don’t have as much time for it
 lately. I have kayaked down the Grand
 Canyon and on rivers in New Zealand, Costa
 Rica and Mexico. I also enjoy cycling and have completed a few centuries.

What triggered your desire to become 
a musician?

I chose the cello because it looked like the 
easiest instrument being played by the 
string quartet recruiting for my middle 
school orchestra! That may have been true
 for the Mozart they were playing at the time,
 but I soon found out the truth! But, by that 
time I had fallen in love with the sound of 
the cello and had embraced the challenges!

Message for the patrons of the JCSO?

We love you as much
 as you love us and 
we appreciate your
 enthusiastic support!
 We will always work 
hard to do our best
 to deliver the highest
 quality music we
 are capable of!
 Thank you all!

Get in Touch
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