Hello Young Bassists!

In today’s installment, let’s talk about the music we’re going to play together! We will prepare several works as a Large Bass Orchestra for our final performance on Saturday June 10 at 1pm in Ford Hall. Small ensembles will play one or two works each at this performance. Our concert will be open to the public – so do invite your parents and friends! – and most of the convention attendees will turn out to cheer us on. They were each a young bass player once, and they love watching you perform and supporting your growth.

Here’s the scoop for Large Bass Orchestra:
1. An Die Musik – an arrangement of this timeless work by Franz Schubert, done by the wonderful John Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy has done many arrangements for bass ensembles, and has led the Young Bassist programs in the past. We are fortunate that he is lending us this amazing arrangement, full of twists and turns as he creates many variations on the beautiful and well-known tune of Schubert. You’ll see the humor in your parts. These parts are very equal in their challenges and opportunities to play melody.
2. Better Get Hit in Your Soul – a classic jazz tune by jazz bass icon Charles Mingus, arranged just for us by Dave Morgan. Want to get this in your ears now? Take a listen here There will be plenty of opportunities for us to customize this arrangement to suit our great crew of bass players, and Mike Forfia- – yes, the winner of the 2015 ISB Jazz Competition – will be our coach/conductor on this. He’ll be choosing players for solos and helping us create a unique version of this tune that will stick with us.
3. Dreams Can Come True – a brand new work written just for US by Simon Garcia, a bassist and composer based in Spain. Simon and I spent months working on an idea that would honor the ISB’s 50th anniversary, the legacy of great bass playing, and pay homage to some of the most famous melodies we play. We will be having a coaching with Mr. Garcia via skype before we perform the premiere of his work.
4. ??? There may be a surprise extra piece we put on the program. We’ll talk more about this in person when we meet up for the first time on Tuesday June 6!

The parts are all available now via dropbox. In that folder, you will also see the part assignments. Please note: I made my best guess at what part would suit you, and need to spread everyone around to cover all our bases (yes, pun totally intended). If you find your part is too hard or way too easy, please feel free to browse the parts in the folder. We will have printed parts for you in Ithaca, but feel free to download and print what you want now to practice and choose some fingerings.

Small ensembles: your group coach is bringing music to give you at the first rehearsal on Tuesday (or maybe you are in a group that is improvising, or learning by ear….) Small ensemble rehearsals are mandatory and meet at different times each day. The schedule will be given out on day one. Anyone who needs to miss a rehearsal MUST clear this with me and with the group coach in advance. We want to prepare for our performance on Saturday, and rehearsals need everyone in the room. Anyone who needs extra help preparing their part, talk to me. I’m happy to set up coaching times with me or several other teacher volunteers.

Gaelen_McCormick_0006
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.