Alumni Profiles

With a passion for music like Jeff Faragher’s, it’s no surprise he’s been involved with music since he could walk. When Jeff was six, his mom suggested he start learning how to play the cello. However, he still plays the cello today because of his first lesson. While learning how to properly hold a cello, he was instructed to wrap his arms around the instrument as though he were giving it a big hug. Since then, no other instrument has ever felt as natural to play as the cello!

While completing his undergrad at the U of A, Jeff’s studies were mainly focused on classical and traditional cello music. However, after starting his masters he began experimenting with different styles of music. Starting with baroque and jazz, he soon ventured into the Blue Grass, Celtic and Folk Music he is recognized for today. He’s also a member of the string ensemble, Sultans of Strings, which performs a compilation of Middle Eastern and Western style music.

On November 2nd Jeff returned to the U of A to teach a unique masterclass, focused on alternative techniques for string instruments. Because he was fortunate enough to discover different genres for the cello, his goal is to create the same experience for current students. While studying the cello it’s uncommon to learn pieces and techniques outside the realm of classical music because this is the genre the cello was initially intended for. Unfortunately, the popularity of classical music has been decreasing because people often believe it’s inaccessible.

Jeff aims to teach students how to mesh their repertoire of classical music with alternative music styles and genres. He believes this fusion will not only help keep classical music alive by delivering it in a more tangible form, but also help students find more performance opportunities. Because there’s a finite number of professional orchestras, Jeff believes having a versatile repertoire will create endless performance prospects for any talented musician!

While in Edmonton, Jeff also performed at the Almanac with fellow string player and U of A Alum Daniel Gervais. If you’re interested in checking out Jeff’s unique style of playing, visit his Facebook Page for updates on his upcoming performances!

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