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About Us

The VCE (Virginia Cello Ensembles) is a unique, all cello community orchestra dedicated to offering cellists a challenging and enriching opportunity to cultivate their musical abilities and increase their technical proficiency through performance.


After working with large groups of cello students in group lessons and camp workshops, and attending several of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) annual Cellopaloosa events, Ms. Christine Hartigan was inspired to form a similar musical ensemble made up of only cellists, for the sole purpose of providing a community based group that would rehearse and perform regularly. In 2012, with this idea in mind, The Virginia Cello Ensembles (VCE) was formed.


Now in its 8th season, the VCE offers three levels of placement, and welcomes cellists of all ages with one or more years of playing experience. In addition to a regular three concert season, the VCE has been proud to have partnered with the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra as part of their pre-concert outreach program, spread holiday joy at the Spotsylvania Towne Centre, provide musical entertainment for the cancer research fundraiser "Tea for Michelle", perform as the guest ensemble at the Fredericksburg Festival of the Performing Arts Young Artist Competition as well as the Forte Music Studios’ annual Senior Scholarship Showcase Recital.


The VCE is based in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is part of the growing Rappahannock Music Community and we would like to thank Forte Music Studios for hosting our rehearsal space.




Christine Hartigan

Cellist and founder of Forte Music Studios and The Virginia Cello Ensembles, Christine Hartigan, has been an active musician and private music teacher in the greater Fredericksburg area for more than 20 years. She has served as the principal cellist for the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra, Spotswood Community Orchestra, and was a member of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the St. George’s Chamber Orchestra, the Prince William Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg, of which she is also a founding member.


Ms. Hartigan continues to share her gifts and passion of music as a teacher by volunteering as a strings clinician in area schools through her Educational Outreach Program. She has also been the staff cellist for the Rappahannock Summer Music Camp since 2005.


Alongside her teaching and performance experience, Mrs. Hartigan, taught strings at Fredericksburg Christian Schools, has worked with the Rappahannock Youth Symphony, held a position as the strings coordinator for Roberson’s Music as well as served on numerous boards and committees for non-profit organizations. Her professional affiliations include American Strings Teachers Association (ASTA), Virginia String Teacher Association (VASTA) and Rappahannock Music Society (RMS).


Ms. Hartigan currently teaches cello and violin at her private studio in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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