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The New York Times


What others say about cellist Will Hayes' cello performances in professional engagements such as recitals, orchestra concerts, operas, musical theatre productions, professional concert series and live music for special occasions in the Capital Region and beyond.  Available for cello performance as well as cello lessons, violin lessons, and weddings, based in upstate New York. 

"The best!!"

- Johnny Mathis

"Musical ninja."

- A. Spencer

"A fantastic cellist."
- Cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio

Eroica Trio

Grammy winner

International Tchaikovsky Cello Competition winner


Daily Gazette of Schenectady

" Consummate professional; adds a stress free element of class to any function and worth his weight in gold."

- Bennington Museum (VT)

"Mr. Hayes exhibits excellent musicianship, stylistically appropriate and sensitive playing."

- Darhon Rees-Rohrbacher, Director of Music

Westminster Presbyterian Church

July, 2021

"At Park McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion, (North Bennington, VT) we strive for elegance at each event we host.  That's why we asked Will Hayes and Emma Piazza to perform during our Mother's Day brunch held in the Historic carriage barn.  Their professionalism, sound and vast musical selection really elevated our event.  We are looking forward to having them back for other events at the mansion this season."

- Chris Oldham, Executive Director, May 9, 2021

"So very talented.  Highly recommend!"

- T.R. Laz

April 2021

"It is such a pleasure working with (Will) collaborating and sharing ideas.  Very easy & understanding as well as helpful and precise.  I will gladly work together again and highly recommend to other players."

- Jeff Picarazzi, Glass Pony (band)

Recording studio project

March, 2021

"We hired Will Hayes and Emma Piazza to play the cello and violin for my mother's 60th birthday a week before the event.  It was a pleasure to listen to Will and Emma's talent.  They were professional and were able to capture our listening preference.  We will hire Will and Emma again in the future if the opportunity arises."

- Miranda Saint Louis

Feb 27, 2021

"Your music made me visualize that I was transported to an enchanted forest where music rules the day and fills hearts, souls, and minds with all things good, healthy and positive, without a care in the world.  You really floored me and brought tears to my eyes."

- Maria Zemantuski, professional guitarist

October, 2020

"An absolute pleasure to work with on all levels.  (We) can't wait to host them again.  Flutist, Melanie Chirignan, cellist, Will Hayes and pianist, Dan Foster, performed an exquisite program of music by women composers.  This trio is so beautifully balanced in their technical skill, artistry, and interpretation, it was as if each note transported us to one of the world's finest concert halls.  They were professional every step of the way in their communications, contract

negotiations, marketing, publicity and performance.  These musicians were ready to go without missing a beat."

- Maria Zemantuski

Hudson Valley Community College Cultural Affairs

"Another incredible performance! 

Thanks for another awesome show."

- Steve Whitney

"Very virtuosic!  You looked really good."

- Bernadette Socha

Cultural Affairs Concert Series

Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY

October 22, 2020  

"Thank you, Will Hayes; outstanding job as always!"

Mike Emery, contractor

New York Players

Saratoga National Golf Club

October 17, 2020

"I love to listen to Will play.  So soothing."

- Michelle Betts,

August 21, 2020

"Opera orchestra musicians are incredible--they are flexible and able to turn on a dime, they have awareness of and a dramatic connection to the stage without seeing it, they maintain utmost concentration hour after hour in the longest evenings, and they know all the repertoire they play so very deeply,"

- Lidiya Yankovskaya, Music Director, Chicago Opera Theater, July 2020

(colleague, Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre, NY)


"I miss making music with musicians the caliber of

cellist Will Hayes."

- Raymond Torres-Santos,


April 20, 2020 

"A very good cellist."
- Cellist Paul Katz

New England Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Quartet

"An excellent performer."
- Cellist Dr David Bebe
The College of Saint Rose

"If ever I would need a cellist, Will would be my #1 choice."

- Diane Hellert

Hellert Studios

Oct 15, 2019

"A fabulous cellist collaborator in the greater capital region; an ambitious, sensitive and kind musician.”
- Kara Cornell, mezzo soprano

"I am always happy to learn that Will Hayes has been hired to perform wherever I am working!  Excellent technique, lovely sound and attentive ensemble skills.

Always prepared and responsible with a positive "got this and can do" comportment."

-  Ruth Berry, Dec 8, 2019

Cellist, Glimmerglass Opera Festival (1986-) 

Principal Cello,

Augusta (GA) Symphony and Opera (1990-2008)

"As a music director / pianist, I have worked with Will on multiple projects, and he has always been very professional, timely and well-rehearsed.   Apart from the positive energy he brings to every encounter, his playing is always top notch!  I look forward to every opportunity I get to work with Will Hayes, a.k.a. "The Cellist."

- Peter Darling, Music Director,

Calvin Berger - The Musical,

Not So Common Players,

Clifton Park (NY), April 2019

"You helped us sound amazing out there!"

- Cast of Calvin Berger, Not So Common Players,

Clifton Park, NY, 2019

"To have a musician of your caliber in the pit is a dream come true.  Thank you so much for your

talent and dedication!"

- Matt Streifert, Clifton Park, NY

"Will is courteous, professional and dependable.  His dedication and musicianship make him a dream to work with.  I will definitely hire him again!"

- Claudia Golub, Music Director, Les Miserables

Guilderland (NY) High School

April, 2019


- Katy Cole,

Music Director, Fiddler on the Roof

Johnsburg (NY) Central School, April, 2019

"I was most impressed by and grateful for your instinctive musicality, as well as your responsiveness and flexibility,

talent and efforts."

- Dr. Ryan Endris,

Colgate University,

December, 2018

"We know we were experiencing the profound."

- Lynn Schwarzer

December, 2018

"Extraordinary!  Plays with conviction and expertise."

- Maestro Charles Schneider

2010 - 2018

"A cello virtuoso." 
- Dr James Kelley, Principal
Dothan (AL) City Schools


"Will played cello on a studio recording for my band. He is an excellent musician and is very easy to work with. He made sure that we were happy with the recording. It was a great session and we were very happy with him and his professionalism!"

- Eddie H.


"Will Hayes is a stone-cold session stud!  Much respect."

- Bob Donald, Recording Engineer

November, 2022

"Will is wonderful! Not only is he talented but he is a consummate professional. We had the pleasure of contracting with Will at a few professional events in downtown Albany and we were 100% satisfied and impressed. He kept in touch with us, was prompt, friendly and even promoted our events on his own social media. Don't miss out on his talent!"

- Kelly GW

"Will is an outstanding musician who possesses a quality I like most in a professional musician, he is a pleasure to work with! I greatly enjoyed the occasions on which we were able to work together. His playing is excellent and he is well versed in both literature and various musical styles, you won't be disappointed."

- Jeffrey Wickell, Director of Music Ministry

"Will is both a wonderful person and a fantastic cellist and has a generous and positive spirit. Will recorded music one of my students composed and did a phenomenal job -- he listened carefully to what she was after, and helped bring her piece to life. Thank you, Will!"

- Chris Lastovicka, Composer

"Having worked and interacted with Will numerous times over the years, he is a fantastic musician, and always a pleasure to work with!"

- Tom Monkell, Professional Broadway Musician

"Will has played for us by our communal events and has always done an amazing job. We always look forward to him coming to perform as we enjoy it immensely."

- Raizel Rubin, Saratoga Chabad

"Will has worked for me numerous times as a member of our musical pit, cello accompaniment for ADK voices, as well as other musical collaborations. I highly recommend Will as he is a consummate professional in every way."

- Corey Cerello

"Will was very easy to work with for the new Glass Pony album and did not flinch when we threw new ideas at him on the fly with multiple takes. He was very accepting of our direction and ideas, and we'd love to work with him again."

- Gregory Pittz

"Will Hayes is a fine cellist. I had the privilege of having my music played by this fine player. I am looking forward to our next collaboration."

- Raymond Torres-Santos, RTS Music

"Will, we really appreciated your outstanding performing and accompanying for us in the music ministry of First Baptist Church, Dothan, Alabama during the years I served as minister of music."

- Terry Taylor

"My band Missing Link had the wonderful experience of working with this extremely talented musician. He always exhibited a very professional demeanor and was very adaptable to playing a variety of genres. His warm and easy going demeanor makes him a wonderful team player. His creativity and talent are notable and makes any event a success."

- Cindy Hoffman

"Will performed at our Festival of Trees evening event. You couldn’t ask for a more professional musician. His selection of music was perfect. He is a pleasure to work with."

- Kandie Sawyer

"Will and Emma exceeded all of our expectations and were a joy to deal with. It was so fun for everyone to guess the covers they were playing. Can't ask for more!"

- Amy S, Turning Stone Casino, Verona, NY

"Great to work with Will!! Highly recommend his service."

- Yossi Rubin, Clifton Park Chabad

"So accommodating and flexible, paired with beautiful music! Thank you!"

- Shmuly Rubin, Union College Chabad

"Will is super professional and extremely helpful. Much thanks!"

- Kevin Prockup, Composer

"easygoing and easy to work with. always a pro."

- Sandy McKnight, Composer

"Will Hayes it was wonderful working with you! Your cello parts added so much to our recording of Drowning- and fulfilled my dream of recording a live cello part for our song!"

- Niocole Suto, Curious Comet Band

"The best. It is glorious to hear Will play."

- James Charles, Musical Theater Professional

"Five stars!"

- Brett Wery, Schenectady County Community College School of Music

"Five stars!"

- Aaron Holbritter. Musical Theater Professional

"Will Hayes participated for several years in the choir of the church where I serve as Pastor. In addition, he played cello as solos and accompanied the choir on occasion. Whether singing or playing, Will brought an unmatched skill level with his talents and always shared those talents for the good of the choir and the congregation. He was indeed a blessing to us!"

- Joseph Johnson, Pastor

Evergreen Presbyterian Church,

Dothan, AL

"William Hayes is not only a solid musician, but also a wonderful human being. I recommend him highly."

- Peter Freisinger

Music Director,

Freisinger Chamber Orchestra

"Will has performed for our Delaware Avenue Street Fair in Albany. I have chaired the committee for the Fair. In that capacity, I have received numerous requests to invite Will back. He has been an enjoyable and valuable part of the success of our event."

- David Lolik

"I have heard many concerts given by Will Hayes, cellist, and  I must say that I have been more than entertained by the variety of works he has performed.  From sacred music to jazz and back, it is a pleasure to hear and see him perform."

- R. Hupp


- Michael Lotano, April 7, 2019

Producer, Not So Common Players' production of Calvin Berger


- Andy Maycock,

Guilderland High School


"Over several years, I have performed with Will many times.  I have heard his excellent playing in Symphony, Chamber music settings, as well as musical theater.  He is equally comfortable with classical, jazz or pops music.  Very important to me as a contractor, he displays important traits.  Will is always punctual, properly attired and a positive force on the gig.  Most important, he responds quickly concerning availability.  I highly recommend this cello performer."

- Tom Gerbino,


"Magnificent!  The music sounded very elegant, spirited, expressive, passionate; most impressive!" 

- Professor Victoria von Arx,

University at Albany

Chamber music recital,

November, 2011


- Andre O'Neil,

International Baroque Cellist,

February, 2019

"I really enjoyed (Will's) cello playing.  No mistakes!  Great tone!  Excellent communication with the other artists.  Who could ask for more?"

- Joann Bonafede, cellist,

February, 2019

"It is a joy to play music with Will Hayes.  I've worked with him in a number of different scenarios.  Will has lovely tone, excellent musicality, and is always reliable and professional."

- Brian Axford, Music Director,

Park Playhouse,

April, 2019

"Will performed a beautiful, interesting and diverse program.  Thank you for a fantastic performance at St. Peter's in Saratoga on June 23rd, 2019."

- Philip Spaeth, Composer,


- Rabbi Mendel Rubin,

Shabbos House, Albany, NY,

July, 2019



- Corine Salon of Union College
Faure Requiem, April 6, 2014
First Reformed Church of Schenectady, NY

"A true gem and accomplished

and dedicated performer." 
- Beth Fecteau, Founder & Director,

Nacre Dance Company 
Solo cellist for "Mobius" at Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs,  
March 1 & 2, 2014, with the Octavo Singers, and "Full Circle" at Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, NY, October, 2013

“Incredibly talented.”

- Curtis Funk, Artistic Director, Octavo Singers' Messiah, December, 2013

"It was great rock n' roll!  Loved the set!  You guys really sounded hot!"

- 97.7 WEXT's Dave Michaels
Guest artist cellist with Sandy Mcknight & The Idea at Art on Lark,

Albany, NY

June, 2013

"Absolutely sterling cello performance. 

It was exquisitely beautiful music of the very highest quality." 
- Roger Allen, guitarist
Solo and duo cello performances 
First Reformed Church of Del Mar,

Memorial Service, May, 2013

"WOW!  I loved Riverstone.  (Will) and Karlinda playing the Swan was absolutely gorgeous and made me tear up.  Great performance!!!"

- Monica Roach,

Professional Cellist


"Will Hayes is a fabulous musician, and is always professional, easy to work with, and dedicated.  I have been performing with him for years and cannot recommend him more highly!"

- Emma Piazza,

Professional Violinist

"Will is a very active and knowledgeable musician.  I highly recommend him!"

- Lucy Manning,

Manning Music Studio

March 15, 2020

"I LOVE playing with Will and his ensembles!  Will is an impeccable, classy cellist with a beautiful tone and precision.  He also can 'get down,' let loose and jam out to the point where the listeners are dancing and asking for encores.  It's so nice to show up to a gig where everything has been thoroughly prepared and thought through, all I have to do is keep up!"

- Brooke Vincent,

Saratoga Violin,

Nov 13, 2019

"Will Hayes, you WOW'ed our congregation!  THANK you!"

- Loudonville Presbyterian Church

New piano dedication service

Sunday, October 21, 2018

"I have asked Will Hayes, cellist, many times to perform on the Festival of the Arts.  Each time he has been a favorite with the audience, not only with his professional playing, but his enthusiasm and genuine entertainment ability."

- Artistic Director,

Warren Festival of the Arts

1983 - 2019

"A very fine musician." 

- Christopher Neubert, Director, University at Albany Orchestra, 2011


- Naren Budhakar

International Tabla Performer 
Columbia Chamber Players, NY,

June, 2011



- The Schenectady Gazette 
"Great Job!!" - David Janower, Albany Pro Musica
"Warm tone." - The Times Union
Mosaic Arts Opera's production of Puccini's Suor Angelica

May, 2011

"In our collaborations, Will has been very prepared, provided helpful input, and is always professional and light hearted.  He is a delight to work with!

- Melanie Chirignan, flutist,

December 15, 2018

"I really enjoy working with Will; he has a great tone and musical instincts as well as a good sense of humor, which makes working together a lot of fun."

- Paul Quigley, guitarist,

November 10, 2019

"A GREAT job!"
- Alexina Jones, Founder and Director, Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre,

Cambridge, NY, 

Mosaic Arts Opera's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, 

University at Albany,

October, 2011


Capital Region Festival of Trees, December, 2012

"A Hit; the terrific musical talents of cellist Will Hayes."
Ten Broeck Mansion Reception for the Pride Center,

September, 2012


"The best by far." - NY Times
"Sounds wonderful." - Berkshire on Stage
Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre's (Cambridge, NY)

production of Mozart's Magic Flute,

Principal cellist

August, 2012

"One of the best we have ever had; outstanding; the music selections were great and the presentation excellent; we had a great number of compliments on the show.   We look forward to his return." 

- Hudson-Mohawk Theatre Organ Society 
Proctor's Theatre cello and organ recital,

April 24, 2012

"An amazing crew of musicians,

creating an enchanting evening." 

- Troy Music Hall
An Nollaig: Irish Christmas with Eileen Ivers,

Nov 30, 2013 and Dec 18, 2011

"The performance was absolutely stunning; spectacular!"

- Justan Foster

First Reformed Church of Scotia, 
Young Artists' Series, Scotia, NY, April, 2013

"Great cello!"
- Sandy McKnight, composer/producer
Recording studio project,

Albany, NY

February, 2013

"Beautiful music; thanks for sharing your wonderful talents."
Pastor, Union Presbyterian Church,

Schenectady, NY

January, 2013

"Will was so helpful in assembling a group of players who were top notch musicians, professional, and so fun to spend a few hours recording with.  They really brought my compositions to life.  Thank you Will!"

- Kevin Prockup, Composer

July 6, 2021 Musical recording session at Overit Studio, Albany, NY

"Will is an excellent musician, and it is fun collaborating with him!  Together we are able to provide exactly what our clients want.  He is accommodating and easy to work with.  I will certainly be calling him for future performances!"

- Gabby Tegiacchi

Pianist and Vocalist

Music Director, Saint Mary of the Angels Chapel,

Siena College, Loudonville, NY

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