You'd think it wouldn't be so hard to count cellists--they sit to play, after all. But even from my front-row balcony seat, I kept losing track around 48. So I can't say for sure, but I think I attended a concert of 59 cellists Saturday.
It was a free, informal concert capping a day of workshops led by Julliard teacher and cellist Bonnie Hampton. The participants ranged in age from about 8 to 80, and were of all skill levels. They performed several short pieces arranged for four-part cello orchestra.
The "wow" factor was undeniable. My 12-year-old was very impressed, and I think my 5-year-old would've been too, had she not been more interested in trying to silently eat the bag of chips she'd smuggled in. (She turned a petulant ear to stage after I confiscated the snack.) It's too bad the audience numbered less than half of those on stage, because it was the kind of event that could impress and intrigue a young person into learning to play an instrument.
In any case, 59 cellos--give or take a few--make a gorgeous sound.