Extreme Cello was formed by Clare, James and Jeremy 20 years ago after they heard about a new sport 'Extreme Ironing' in which contestants ironed clothes in unusual locations.  This gave them an idea - if a household task such as ironing could be performed in extreme locations, then why not a creative activity such as playing music?

There are three main purposes to Extreme Cello, all of equal importance to us:

  • To raise money for good causes. To date we have raised over £50,000 for a variety of charities, both local and national.
  • To bring cello music to audiences who might not otherwise hear it. It is often a source of sheer delight to see the faces of children - and, indeed adults - hearing a cello trio for the first time, particularly if it's halfway up a mountain. (We've even played to very attentive audiences of cows before...)
  • To do something a little bit different, and have fun in the process. We're not afraid to appear a little mad - in fact, it's part of our collective identity - and we encourage others to do the same!

This summer, we visited the Isle of Man to settle some old scores (completing former challenges) by playing musical scores, twenty years (i.e. a score) since we started out! This involved:

  • Running the Isle of Man half marathon with cellos (to follow up on the 2012 London Marathon)
  • Playing on the roof of St German’s Cathedral, Peel (specifically, the roof of the Song School - this is the one British Isles cathedral in the Church of England that we didn’t play at on the 2006 Cathedral Roof Tour)
  • Playing on Queen’s Pier, Ramsey (the one pier on the British Isles that we missed in our 2016 Pier Pressure challenge)
  • Playing at the summit of Snaefell (610m – the tallest mountain on the island, to complement our 2008 Four Peaks Challenge)
  • Walking from the west coast to the east coast, playing our cellos along the way, just as we did in England on our 2010 coast-to-coast challenge.

"We had a wonderful time on the Isle of Man, both getting to know the island, and revisiting some of our old challenges. The half marathon reminded us all of the pain and effort involved in running long distances with the cello, and the coast-to-coast walk the following day really tested our feet! But it was fantastic to play for new audiences, see new sights, add to some former challenges (including another mountain, another cathedral roof and another pier), and of course raise about £2,500 for the charities."

Find out more about the latest challenge, by reading their blog.

A massive thank you to Jeremy, James and Clare who have now raised just under £22,000 for Aspire over the past couple of decades!