Tracy RowellPlease join me and the ISB Board of Directors in welcoming Tracy Rowell to our team.

About Tracy Rowell:

An ISB member for over 30 years, Tracy has been to many conventions, and has worked closely with our Young Bassist program and other educational initiatives over the years.

As a performer, Tracy has served as Assistant Principal Bass of National Arts Centre Orchestra, and a freelance bassist in Boston and Cleveland, where she now lives. She has played concertos with orchestras, solo recitals, and worked with Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland’s Baroque Orchestra.

As an educator, Tracy brings an almost unparalleled set of experiences and perspective to our board: since 2012 she has been on the faculty at Oberlin College & Conservatory. (She also taught at the University of Akron for 15 years). In addition to collegiate teaching, Tracy works closely with young bassists; she founded a renowned Young Bassists program as part of the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Program. Her program includes a unique and highly successful blend of pedagogical training in many approaches, including Suzuki and Vance, as well as close associations with many of the progressive young bassist leaders of our time: Virginia Dixon, Caroline Emery, Johnny Hamil, and many others.

Tracy has been an effective organizer and leader of several summer bass camps, and has a track record of effective work and collegiate partnering in diverse organizations. She comes to our board with the support of the administration at Oberlin Conservatory, and I am sure she will be an important asset to our Board of Directors going forward.

Role of ISB Board of Directors Education Chair:

ISB Board Role of Education Chair:  To be the point person and organizer of the Education Team, which currently includes “Young Bassist Director”, Gaelen McCormick, and “At Large” board members John Kennedy and Hans Sturm. The Education Chair would also help ensure that the ISB fulfills its mission as an educational organization, as stipulated by IRS 501 c(3) guidelines: .

Welcome, Tracy.

~ Nicholas Walker

More About Tracy Rowell:

Tracy’s ISB Activities

Tracy first joined the ISB in 1986, when she attended the Austin convention as a Young Bassist.  Recent activities include presenting at Rochester 2013, “Bach Gamba Sonatas, 3 Different Ways, a Crossover Collaboration between modern double bass and viola da gamba”, with Tracy, Heather Lardin, and harpsichordist Michael Unger.   At Rochester 2013 she participated in a panel/discussion on the Suzuki Method with Virginia Dixon and Derek Weller.   Tracy presented a master class for the Young Bassists program at Rochester in 2013.  She also participated in the All Women’s Bass Orchestra concert, in tribute to Orin O’Brien in 2013.  In 2015, Tracy was a member of the audition panel for the ISB Young Bassists solo competition, ages 15-18.   In 2017, Tracy will be collaborating with Heather Lardin on a recital at the ISB Convention in Ithaca, as well as volunteering for the Young Bassists Program.    Tracy directs the Oberlin Conservatory Bass Ensemble, and is currently putting together a group to perform at the ISB Convention in 2017.   Tracy’s younger students have participated in the ISB Young Bassists Solo Competitions, ages 14-Under (2013), and ages 15-18 (2013-2015).   Several students are hoping to compete in the ISB Young Bassists Solo Competitions in Ithaca, 2017.   Tracy is planning to send as many students as possible, to the Young Bassists Program in Ithaca 2017, as in former conventions they have had a great experience at the Young Bassists Programs in 2013 and 2015.

Performing Background

  • Free-lance Cleveland Musician, 1997-present. Regular performances with ensembles such as Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland’s Baroque Orchestra; Canton Symphony Orchestra (Principal Bass); Citymusic Cleveland (Principal Bass); Cleveland Opera; “Red” an Orchestra, and others.
  • Full Time Orchestral Musician:  Assistant Principal Bass, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, Ontario), 1995-1998.
  • Free-lance Boston Musician, 1991-1995.  Performances with ensembles such as Boston Pops Esplanade Pops, Boston Pops (substitute), Boston Symphony Orchestra (substitute), Emmanuel Music.

Teaching Background

  • Oberlin College & Conservatory, Teacher of Bass, 2012 to present.  Class of 9 students, Studio Classes, Bass Ensemble.  Class of 9 students, Studio Classes, Bass Ensemble.
  • Current students have passed Graduate School prescreening at USC (David Moore), and have attended summer festivals such as NOI, Domaine Forget, Texas Music Festival, National Music Festival.   Former students are employed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Educational programs) and attending graduate school at Rice.
  • University of Akron, Teacher of Bass, 1997-2012. Built a bass program from scratch, trained students for careers in education and performance, including jazz.  Mike Forfia graduated from TR’s class at UA.
  • Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Bass Faculty, 2004-present.

Founded a Young Bassists program as part of CIM’s Suzuki program, initially with a group of five, 5 year olds.   Current class has 15 students ranging from age 7-18, who receive weekly private lessons, weekly group classes, as well as Bass Choir option.  Graduates have gone on to major bass programs such as Paul Ellison’s class at Rice University, as well as to receive music scholarships to college as non-music majors.   Guest teaching artists for Tracy’s program have included George Vance, Virginia Dixon, Caroline Emery, Paul Ellison, Nicholas Walker, and John Hamil.

Summer Bass Programs

  • Directed the Oberlin Bass Workshop, 2015.   Special guest Francois Rabbath.  57 student participants
  • Peabody Bass Works Faculty, 2012-present; roles have included developing Young Bassists Curriculum in 2012; directing bass orchestra; chamber group coach; creating schedules; private lessons; faculty recitals.   Student PBW numbers have grown to upper 70’s regularly
  • Milt Hinton Institute Faculty, 2014, 2016.
  • Rochester Bass Retreat guest faculty, 2015, 2016.
  • Kansas City Bass Workshop, 2010, 2016
  • George Vance’s Summer Bass Workshops (multiple years)
  • New Orleans Suzuki Institute (2009)
ISB 2017 Convention Chair

Nicholas is the President of the ISB, and is an Associate Professor of Music at Ithaca College.