Faculty Profile

Jocelyn Demita Butler

NMS Cello Faculty
Talent can only go so far, the rest is left up to quality consistent practice.


Jocelyn Butler received her Bachelor and Master degrees in Cello Performance from Indiana University, and wrapped up her post-graduate studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts studying with John Sharp, principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony. She was a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra for two years, ending her final year as co-principal. She has performed with the Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Symphony's Music Now, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Miami Symphony.

Butler is an avid chamber musician.  At Indiana University, her quartet became Quartet in Residence after winning the IU Kuttner Quartet competition.  Upon arriving in Chicago, she was invited to perform in the Peridot String Quartet coached by Richard Young of the Vermeer String Quartet. They performed on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series broadcasted live on WFMT.  The Peridot Quartet received a full scholarship to attend the Daniel Festival in the Netherlands where they gave several concerts around the country and studied with both the Vermeer and Jerusalem String Quartets. 

As part of the International Chamber Artists (ICA) in Chicago, Butler has performed on numerous concert series, including Mostly Music, Dame Myra Hess, “Live from WFMT”, Chicago Cultural Center, UIC, and St. James Cathedral.  ICA played the Beethoven Triple Concerto in Schaumburg and gave a performance/master-class at the University of North Carolina – Pembroke.  She was a featured soloist with ICA performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for 2 Cellos.  Expanding her reach into the world of chamber music,  Butler is the cellist of Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, which travels across the world giving arousing performances of an exciting mix of classical and blues music written by Corky Siegel.  In addition, she is a member of the Accende Ensemble, NMS Piano Trio, and the Chicago Sinfonietta.


Jocelyn Butler holds Bachelor and Master degrees from Indiana University and a Professional Diploma in Orchestral Studies from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts.   She has studied with some of the top professors and musicians in the world including, John Sharp, Brant Taylor, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Orlando Cole, Anthony Elliott, Stephen Geber, and Eric Kim.  At Indiana University, she was Teaching Assistant to Professor Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi where she had the pleasure of working with college freshman.  During her tenure in Bloomington, she also taught privately.  Since moving to Chicago, Butler became Suzuki certified and has taught at the Music Connection, and the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute.  One of the important teaching philosophies she imparts on her students is teaching students to teach themselves.  This was the greatest skill Orlando Cole, long time professor at the Curtis Institute, taught her after five summers of intensive study.  The student must develop the eyes and ears of their teacher.  The teacher generally only sees the student one day a week and for the other six days the students are left to fend for themselves.  With quality practice and proper attention to detail regarding technique and musicality, the student can make tremendous progress during these days away from their teacher.   Students must learn to make every moment they touch their instrument count, even if it is just thirty minutes.