Praised for the “maturity and sensitivity” of her playing (Casa Magazine), Cleveland-based cellist Rebecca Shasberger is passionate about loving people and pursuing justice through music. To this end she founded Renovare Music in 2018, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together Rebecca’s extensive experience as a performer, worship leader, and teacher. Rebecca gained nonprofit experience working at the Ojai Music Festival and Credo Music prior to founding Renovare, and has received nonprofit leadership training from Praxis Academy and Mission Increase.
Rebecca has presented solo performances and concerti with orchestras from California to New York, in Canada, China, and across Europe. Her chamber music performances have taken her across the United States and Canada and have been broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Particularly memorable chamber music collaborators include James Ehnes, Jonathan Crow, Martin Beaver, Antonio Lysy, Keith and Kristyn Getty, and Fernando Ortega. In the orchestral realm she has appeared with the Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, West Coast Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, and as principal cellist with Cleveland’s Heights and Suburban Symphonies. Rebecca spent summers at festivals including Aspen, Banff, Credo, Toronto Summer Music, and the McGill International String Quartet Academy. While her formal training is in classical music, Rebecca also performs music from genres including jazz, pop, fiddle, and hip hop.
Rebecca previously served as the worship leader of Bethany Covenant Church, and has a lifetime of involvement in planning and leading worship in various schools and churches. She first planned a worship service in 8th grade, a role she reprised on a weekly basis in high school, and has been part of church choirs and/or bands since she was four.
In addition to teaching violin, viola and cello at the Grafton Correctional Institution through her work with Renovare, Rebecca maintains a private studio of cellists. She has previously taught at the Cleveland School of the Arts, Thrive Arts Center, the Aurora School of Music, and the Westmont Academy for Young Artists, amongst other programs and schools. Rebecca has also served as Visiting Instructor at the Oberlin Conservatory. In this role she taught undergraduate string students pedagogical approaches and introduced them to realities of the prison system, then led them in helping teach at the Grafton Correctional Institution.
Rebecca completed her Masters in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in the studio of Sharon Robinson and her Bachelors in Music with a minor in Religious Studies at Westmont College. Additional cello teachers include Trevor Handy, John Sant’Ambrogio, and Dr. Nona Pyron. Rebecca also earned an Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Cultural Agency, Community Development, Organization Management, Design Thinking & Education Leadership from the Ivy league-curated Global Leaders Program.
Rebecca loves exploring Cleveland, drinking tea, reading, hiking, and swing dancing, having recently had her TV lindy hop debut.