Rick Auburn maintains the ID shop and studio area, supporting the various needs of our students, faculty, and staff. He assists members of the department in capacities such as operating machines, using tools, acquiring supplies, repairing, improvising, and research & development for projects.

What many of you do not know about is Rick’s personal work with Electric Cellos, an idea that began brewing when his own children began playing the cello and viola. His goal was to keep children interested in classical music by adding a new edge to stringed instruments, like the cello. A few years ago, a student in one of Stan Rickel’s classes wanted to build an electric cello; Rick began to think about the possibilities and began building one with his son, in order to understand and be able to further explain the process to the student. While building his first Electric Cello, Rick kept in mind human factors, ergonomics, and design.

Rick stated, “Electric cello I made keeping in mind the human factors of an acoustic cello for natural playing transition to either instrument. Various sounds can be created depending on which electronics are chosen, giving the cellist a different edge.” Rick aimed to create an instrument that was affordable for the common man, and would keep kids interested in classical music by putting a new spin on the cello.

Rick created his electric cello for the kids, both his own and the students, and rock’n’roll.

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