Erica Lessie Projects


On this site, you can find information about

  • Cellos of Unusual Shape – presentations where I share my collection of unusual cellos
  • Lines and Spaces – my project to fund commissions of new music by women composers
  • Cherchez la Femme – a flute and cello duo dedicated to performing works by women
  • my research and contributions to The Cello Museum
  • my online shop where you can purchase sheet music by women composers

Please get in touch with me if you have any questions or comments. I love to connect with music lovers of all sorts.

Stay well –


Cellos of Unusual Shape (C.O.U.S.)

My interest in Cellos of Unusual Shape came about after seeing pictures of a barrel cello and a stovepipe cello from the collection of the Shrine to Music Museum at the University of South Dakota in 1990. What began as a passing desire to know more about these unusual instruments, developed into a years-long obsession with these and many other unique cellos.

To date, I have collected folk cellos made from farm implements, a diverse group of electric cellos, and innovative instruments created from state-of-the-art materials. I share these cellos and the fascinating stories behind them in a variety of presentations. If you would like to learn more, please click here.

Cherchez la Femme

After meeting as teaching colleagues at Sherwood Conservatory in Chicago, flutist Lisa Goethe McGinn and I founded Cherchez la Femme, a musical ensemble dedicated to performing the arts expressed by women across the millennia. Our core ensemble is a flute and cello duo.

Our goals are to

  1. introduce audiences to the work of both historic and modern female composers
  2. make scores of existing works available to students and teachers
  3. commission new works by women composers

To learn about some of our available programs, please click here.

For a listing of pieces flute and cello duets for beginning, intermediate and advanced players, please click here.

To purchase my arrangements of common domain pieces by historic women composers, please click here.

*Please note that all proceeds from the sale of these arrangements go towards funding the commissioning of new works by women composers.*

Lines and Spaces

Lines and Spaces Fund

Lines and Spaces funds the creation and performance of new works by composers. All profits from the purchase of any flute and cello arrangements from the shop on this site will go to the Lines and Spaces Fund. If you want to make even more of an impact, you can make a donation.

Click here to learn more about Lines and Spaces and make a donation.

The Cello Museum

The Cello Museum, launched in the fall of 2020, is the brainchild of curator Brenda Neece.

The Museum is an online compendium of the cello, including articles, cello news, and digital cello exhibitions.

Brenda and I met as cello performance majors in graduate school, and share a deep love for all manner of cellos.

I am thrilled to be contributing research to the Cello Museum exhibitions, writing a series of digital postcards about cello repertoire as a monthly feature, as well as penning the occasional book review and article.

To read my first series on unaccompanied cello works by women composers, “That’s What She Said,” click hereTo read my current series on unaccompanied works by Black composers, click here. To read all of my postcards, click here.

Antique Cash RegisterThe Shop

In the shop, you can purchase:

  • flute/cello transcriptions & arrangements of works by women composers (profits go directly toward the Lines and Spaces Project.)
  • scores of original works by Erica Lessie
  • cellos of Unusual Shape, Cherchez la Femme, and The Cello Museum merchandise

Click here to visit the shop.