Celli is a group of four classically-trained cellists that push the boundaries of traditional cello music. They enjoy performing the intricacies of classical music but are just as likely to be found playing eclectic arrangements of rock and pop songs as well as their own original works. Whether on stage in a traditional concert hall or in a late-night rock club, Celli shatters any preconceived notions of what it means to be a cellist.
Mary Beth Bryant started cello at the age of twelve in Marietta, Georgia. She studied with Martha Gerschefski and later went to graduate school at the University of Hartford to study with Mihai Tetel, where she served as principal cello of the university orchestra. She has performed in master classes for TImothy Eddy and Hans Jorgen Jensen. The AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria, as well as tours across Taiwan and China, were some of the most rewarding experiences for Mary Beth as a musician. She feels very blessed to have a wonderful studio in Atlanta and she loves performing with Celli!
Jessica Messere started playing cello in Virginia at the age of nine and a year after starting cello she moved to Georgia. Once in Atlanta Jessica began private cello lessons and participated in youth symphonies such as the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (AYSO). She studied with the late Wolfgang Laufer at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned her Master's degree with Martha Gerschefski at Georgia State University. She has performed in various recording projects, professional symphonies, numerous international music festivals, and performed solo in masterclasses for cellist pedagogues such as Norman Fisher, Evan Drachman, Hans Jorgen-Jensen, Darrett Adkins, Timothy Eddy, Andres Diaz, and Yo-Yo Ma.
When not performing on cello Jessica teaches private cello students at her studio in Decatur or in school classrooms teaching students the beginning techniques of string instruments. Jessica lives in Decatur with her partner Ethan, her two children Taylor and Claire, and two furry children Tank the Pug and Fizzy the Cat. She also enjoys yoga, weightlifting, fiction novels, meditating, and watching just about anything Science Fiction.
Nan Kemberling has a passion for connecting with her audiences. She strives to make music a dynamic communication between performer and listener, setting music free from the tethers of convention. To that end, her activities are wide-ranging and inclusive. No stranger to public speaking, her concerts are frequently peppered with behind-the-scenes information. She has outlined the dance structures of the Bach Suites, going so far as to dance a sarabande for the audience; discussed the intricacies of chamber music at her performances with the Phoenix String Trio, and introduced new music to the public as a member of the new music ensemble, Bent Frequency. In the fall of 2012, she told the stories behind the standards of cello repertoire at her solo concert for the Atlanta Music Club.
Nan's exuberant playing style has led to engagements with a variety of popular artists, including televised appearances with Josh Groban’s orchestra on The Oprah Winfrey Show and on the Celtic Woman PBS special, Believe. Nan is also a singer-songwriter and studio cellist for both pop albums and movie soundtracks. She is as likely to be playing at a bar or outdoor music festival as she is to be performing in a concert hall. Most recently, Nan performed Delius' Double Concerto with violinist Betul Soykan at Spivey Hall in Spring 2013, just after releasing a second album with her pop band, Pink Pompeii. As an educator, Nan can be found enchanting young children with Columbus Symphony's Orchestra Up Close program, inspiring musical leadership in the members of the Atlanta Cello Project, helping music majors at Clayton State University deal with performance anxiety, and discussing the merits of efficient cello technique with students from all walks of life. Look for Nan on YouTube with her educational cello rap, "Always Room 4 Cello."
Erin Cassel Idnaniholds a Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from the University of Louisville with teacher Paul York and a Master’s degree with renowned cello pedagogue Martha Gerschefski from Georgia State University. Other teachers and mentors include Felix Wang of Vanderbilt University, Melissa Kraut of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Gilda Barston of the Music Institute of Chicago. Since moving to Georgia in 2009, Erin has continued her busy schedule of performing and teaching, touring in China and across the United States with orchestras and performers such as Shirley Jones. A cellist and chamber musician with the Savannah Philharmonic, Erin is also a member of Celli, a professional pop/classical cello quartet that performs in venues throughout the state.
Erin is the head of the Suzuki Cello Program at the Georgia Academy of Music in Atlanta and the Artistic Director of the Newton County Youth Strings program. She is the director of the Georgia Academy Cello Choir and the Durham Middle School cello choir, and leads cello sectionals at many middle and high schools in the metro area. Erin has been a guest clinician at the Blair School of Music’s Suzuki Workshop and is on faculty at the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus's summer festival.