Young Bassists in RochesterThis article comes to us from YNN (the 24-hour Time Warner Cable news station in Rochester, NY)

Best Up-And-Coming Bassists Convene in Rochester

It is the largest and the lowest-pitched bow string instrument of the violin family, and at five years old, Noah Bailyn knew it was what he wanted.

“I just came home and I said Mommy, I want to play the bass.”

His mom told Noah to wait a year, and study piano.

“I learned all of the notes on the piano, so I started playing the bass.”

Seven years later, Noah is still playing bass and eager to learn more about the instrument. He traveled from San Diego to join hundreds of young bass players who are at the Eastman School of Music for the International Society of Bassists convention. Performers get a chance to play and take criticism from some of the best musicians in the business.

“It really motivates me to practice more and it keeps me interested in the bass.”

From young students to seasoned professionals, hundreds of performers are here to take part in master classes, workshops and ensemble playing.

“It’s a great opportunity for me also to see the phenomenal talent that is out there playing repertoire that I could not have imagined doing at age 13 or 14. It’s just scary to hear some of these kids play and very exciting,” said James VanDermark.

VanDermark is one of the bass professors at the Eastman School of Music who is co-hosting the convention. He began playing the instrument at 14.

“The teaching has changed, the expectations have changed so much.”

VanDemark says the convention allows students to learn more about technique, as well as musical ideas.

“If they come away with inspiration and enthusiasm, maybe that’s the most important thing,” VanDermark said.

“After I leave here, I hope want to walk away with just, I want to have more fun with the bass,” said Noah.