George Vance passed away on August 16, 2009 after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 60 years old. George was internationally recognized as a pioneer of pedagogy for young bassists. The author of Progressive Repertoire for the Double Bass, a method for teaching the bass to young students, he was on the faculty of the University of Maryland, and lectured and gave clinics in Ireland, England, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Australia and throughout the United States, as well as holding his own popular annual workshop. A student of Tony Bianco and a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, he was awarded the American String Teachers Association “Citation for Outstanding Leadership and Merit” in 1990. In 1995 the International Society of Bassists presented him with a Special Recognition Award for his groundbreaking work. He held a teaching certificate from the Institut International François Rabbath. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the George Vance Young Bassists Education Fund, established in George’s honor and dedicated to offering educational opportunities for young bassists. Send donations payable to the International Society of Bassists and addressed to the George Vance Young Bassists Education Fund, International Society of Bassists, 14070 Proton Rd., Suite 100, LB 9, Dallas, Texas 75244. The ISB is a 501(C)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. The ISB extends its deepest sympathies to George’s family and students. His extended family includes the many bassists around the world who have been inspired and influenced by his life’s mission of teaching. George will live on in the memories of the students and colleagues whose lives he changed for the better. He made a difference in his too-short life, and we will miss him with all our hearts.
Luthier Carleen Hutchins passed away on August 7, 2009 at the age of 98. A former high school science teacher, she became a violinmaker well known for her body of research into the acoustics of violins, and the creation of a family of eight proportionally-sized violins, The Violin Octet. From 2002 to 2003, Hutchins’s octet was the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, “The New Violin Family: Augmenting the String Section.” Her greatest innovation, still used by many violinmakers, was a technique known as free-plate tuning. When not attached to a violin, the top and back are called free plates. Her technique gives makers a precise way to refine these plates before a violin is assembled. Hutchins was founder of the New Violin Family Association, authored more than 100 technical publications, and edited two volumes of collected papers in violin acoustics. She was the recipient of four grants from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, two Guggenheim Fellowships, an Honorary Fellowship from the Acoustical Society of America, and four honorary doctorates. In 1963, Hutchins co-founded the Catgut Acoustical Society, which develops scientific insights into the construction of new and conventional instruments of the violin family.
The well known Uruguayan-Brazilian double bassist, Professor Milton Romay Masciadri, father of University of Georgia double bass professor Milton Masciadri, has passed away. The senior Masciadri was assistant principal bass of the OSSODRE Symphony in Uruguay and principal bass of the OSPA Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra in Brazil for more than 30 years. He was a professor of the Music institute of the Symphony Orchestra as well as member of the UNISINOS Chamber Orchestra. He was a major force for the double bass in Brazil and will be deeply missed by friends, family and his many former students.