Hello Young Bassists!

Gaelen_McCormick_0006I am the director of the YB program and am looking forward to meeting all of you and hearing you play. Can’t wait for June 6 to get here so I can hear our first large bass orchestra test out the NEW piece that was written just for us by Simon Garcia!

I bet many of you are coming to the ISB convention for the first time and have lots of questions. Hopefully this email can answer many of them, and the website ought to give you lots more to think about and dream about.

Our daily schedule will run 9am-4pm with a generous break from noon-2pm each day. The general format of each day (Tuesday-Friday) will look like this:

9am – Group Workout in the BenLight gymnasium (30 min) This is a warm up, with basses and bows, not an exercise class!, and is lead by an international teacher each morning. We will be mixed in with all the convention attendees who want to play in this class. These classes will start easy and get progressively more challenging. We will learn from the lead teacher and the people around you.

9:45 am – Large Bass Orchestra rehearsal – right across the hall from the group workout. (1 hour) I am assigning parts today. Please understand that your part assignment is my best guess of what might fit you. If you look at the part (there is a dropbox link) and find it’s way too hard or too easy, please feel free to look at other parts for that piece. We will do 3 or 4 works, two of which were just made FOR US! Never done before, we get to premiere these cool new pieces!

11am-noon – Masterclass or workshop – there will usually be two guest artists in the morning and you will choose which one you want to attend. Masterclasses will have sign-up sheets, and I want everyone to have a chance to play in masterclass who wants to. Attending a class is just as valuable as playing in one. Often we can learn even more by watching someone else work with a teacher, taking those ideas back to our own practice room afterward.

noon-2pm – LUNCH and time to visit vendors, see the make-a-bass workshop, practice

2pm – class, workshop or small ensemble rehearsal

3pm – class, workshop or small ensemble rehearsal – everyone will be assigned to a small ensemble based on interest and experience. You will get your schedule with your coach on the first day of the YB program.

4pm on – dive into the main convention events, head to dinner, take in the evening headliner concerts, hang with your new bass friends!

Parents: we will have volunteers checking students in/out during the morning and afternoon. If a student wishes to go to the main convention, they need to notify me before the start of Large Bass Orchestra in the morning, and sign out with the volunteer when they go.

Bass storage: the large rehearsal room will serve as our locked storage area during lunch, and the BenLight gymnasium across the hall has monitored storage for those who want to get at their bass during lunch or after 4pm.

ENDPIN alert – some of the floors in our building cannot have a sharp endpin in them. Please bring a rockstop or rubber endpin tip. We will also have rockstops available. It is VERY important that we respect the space and keep the floors free of holes.

There’s more to come – Saturday’s special schedule. The lineup of masterclasses and workshops. And the assignment of parts for large ensemble and group assignment for small ensemble.The way to sign up in advance for classes and limited seating workshops. Stayed tuned  – this is all coming in tomorrow’s edition!!

Gaelen McCormick
Chair, Young Bassists Program 2017 | gmccormick@esm.rochester.edu

What I Love About ISB: I love that our bass family has all kinds of interests that we mutually encourage and support: brand new ideas in composing, fiercely focused discussions on the details of orchestral playing, raising the next generation of players with new pedagogical ideas and materials that are being written by our own members, showcasing the wide spectrum of styles that our instrument plays in. I’ve really never been a part of another group that is so broad in mission yet so committed to helping one another in practical ways.