Alaska Cello Intensive

THE ALASKA CELLO INTENSIVE is a three-part series of workshops in Fairbanks, Alaska that provide focused cello instruction and ensemble work for college-bound and elementary students. ACI combines intense music study with the perhaps more intense experience of Alaska’s midnight sun, landscapes like Denali National Park or Kennecott Glacier, Northern Lights, ice fog and stone-cold silence. 

THE ALASKA CELLO INTENSIVE CHOIR is a performance group of cellists studying in the ACI Summer Program. During the two-week summer course, students travel to Denali Park to experience Alaska by exploring the Park, hiking, rafting and biking.  It is also a chance for them to share what they have been learning during the year by performing for the Healy community. Students range in age from 5-16. Performances include cello ensembles, solo works, and full cello choir orchestra pieces. This year 15 students will perform at Tonglen Lake Lodge, along with their instructors, Dr. Alice Ann O’Neill and Dr. Karl Knapp.

HISTORY OF ACI The Alaska Cello Intensive grew as a response to the desire to provide the highest level of music study to students who are living post-digital lives.  Educators have found that students who have a decidedly analog connection with wilderness have distinct musical expression.  For this reason, Alaska attracts sought-after instructors and produces compelling musicians.

WHY CELLO As an instrument, the cello is unique in its range.  Unlike every other orchestral instrument that children play, the cello lends itself to forming an orchestra alone. Students of many different levels can come together as an impressive ensemble.  This element of many different ages and abilities working together to produce something of the highest quality makes for an exciting and heart-warming music experience.


Karl Knapp

Karl Knapp is known not only for his solo and chamber performances, but also as an educator. He has served as Principal Cellist with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra as well as the Arctic Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Madison Symphony, Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra as well as the national Broadway Tour of Bernstein’s Wonderful Town. An advocate of new music, Knapp frequently tours with the cello & percussion ensemble, HooDuo, which made their Seattle recital debut in 2013.

Alice Ann O’Neill

Dr. Alice Ann M. O’Neill, SC, artist cellist and scholar, has professional performance experience in symphony orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and as a soloist throughout Europe, Japan, Canada, and the U.S., in well-known venues such as El Escorial (Madrid), Teatro Alla Scala (Venice & Milan), Symphony Hall (Boston), and Carnegie Hall (New York). She continues to perform regularly with The Mount St. Joseph Faculty Piano Trio and in solo concerts.

Currently, Dr. O’Neill teaches cello, string pedagogy, chamber music and various music courses at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a member of the Sisters of Charity.



Back to Events