Hello Everyone! The Berkeley Youth Orchestra (BYO) is a full symphonic orchestra whose mission is to foster the musical abilities and personal growth of dedicated young musicians in grades 5-10+ by providing a nurturing environment and the highest quality opportunities in both rehearsal and performance in an orchestra setting. The orchestra rehearses at Laney College in Oakland on Saturday mornings, and features a chamber music program, a full staff of instrumental coaches on hand at each rehearsal, and a weekend retreat (kind of like a short music camp) every year.
BYO Bass Section 2012-2013
We are trying to raise funds to start a beginner bass class. Often younger youth orchestras have a surplus of young violinists, but have few beginner violas and basses. While BYO has a thriving introductory viola program, there is nothing yet for nurturing young bassists in this somewhat uncommon but wholly awesome instrument. It is often difficult for young musicians interested in learning to play the bass to even find out how to learn this instrument which is often played by the “bigger kids,” and this is an opportunity to teach kids about the grandfather of the string instrument family.
Our aim is to make the double bass accessible to younger musicians. What we are raising funding for is to purchase a few double basses that are sized for smaller hands and bodies, and give students the opportunity to try the bass out in a class to be held this fall before regular BYO rehearsals on Saturday mornings. Each student would be able to keep and make use of the bass for the duration of the BYO season, provided they play in the bass section all year.
To do this, we need funding! Specifically, we are looking to raise $9,010 to purchase four child-sized orchestral double basses, pay for expert coaching including a beginner bass class this fall, and to fund incidental costs such as repairs and new strings.
Join us in helping to fund this exciting new program for budding East Bay double bass players!
One of my favorite people from the NEC faculty, here is John Heiss talking about the Rite of Spring. I played in his Contemporary Ensemble and took a few other classes with him. I learned the word “apotheosis” in his class; a word I still use today in a sparing but hopefully appropriate way. His descriptions are so thoughtful and insightful, and you’ll get a flavor of that here:
Over on @necmusic‘s Twitter feed I discovered there was a recording of the Verdi Requiem that I performed on from way back in 1992. I remember this performance well. I remember the rehearsals, the chorus, wanting to play the bass drum on the Kyrie – just once.
In agreement with the Conservatory’s tweet, I feel this music is apropos of yesterday’s tragic Patriot Day bombing:
What just happened in Boston is heartbreaking to me. Boston is like a second home. I walked down Boylston Street almost every day, right past where it happened. I lived just a few blocks from there, and remember just about every building and landmark I see in those horrific pictures coming across the news. I miss that place and wish I could be there during this time.
To me this piece is not just a requiem, but evocative of a particular place in time. A nostalgia. And yet today, it is ever so more a requiem mass. I hear this today in sadness. My thoughts are in Boston.
Really worth watching. Key points on where creativity is critical in the 21st century. The guy doing announcements at the beginning is a bit long-winded so skip ahead until Yo-Yo Ma gets introduced. Don’t miss this.
Drawing on his training as a musician and what he has learned traveling the world for more than 30 years as a touring performer, Yo-Yo Ma will discuss where in nature, society, and human interactions we can find the greatest creativity, and what we can all do to help students grow up to be contributing and committed citizens.
I made this double bass part for John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” to help out the Berkeley Youth Orchestra’s bass section. Could come in handy for young bass players who might be having a bit of trouble transposing tuba parts. Since this is a common piece of music that often winds up on student bassist’s stands, I’m making this freely available: