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Chicago Area Teachers

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Kam, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'm looking at grad schools in the Chicago area. Over the weekend I toured Roosevelt (Chicago College of Performing Arts) and I have plans to look at Northwestern as well. Roosevelt has Steve Lester and Michael Hovnanian on staff, and apparently you can choose to study with either. DaXun Zhang teaches at Northwestern. I've heard some good things about DaXun, some bad/luke-warm about Hovnanian, and almost nothing about Lester.

    I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with any of these bassists as teachers, and for that matter as people. I guess I'm interested in their approaches and how they relate to their students. Any info would help, thanks!
  2. Machina


    Aug 1, 2005
    My teacher studied with Michael Hovnanian back in the early 1990s and still does take lessons with him once in awhile. I don't know him personally, but I am very satisfied with one of his students!

    I have heard that Roosevelt University was the place for jazz bass in Chicago. Their classical program seems to on or off, depending on what year it is. As far as their teachers, I have only heard of Mike Hovnanian, but I don't ever hear about Lester.

    Have you looked into Depaul University? Rob from CSO (German bow) teachers there and I have only heard good things about him.
  3. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks for the info. I haven't really looked into DePaul, I think mainly because I'm not a fan of Catholic institutions (the members I can get along with for the most part), though I probably shouldn't discriminate when it comes to a good education.

    I'm also looking at Michigan State, so if anyone has any information that would enlighten me regarding Jack Budrow...though I have only heard good things and as of right now, it is my top choice.

    I also realize that I may have placed this query in the wrong section of the forum..even though I was following the Bransby/Hurst thread, I apologize to anyone who views this thread as being a square peg bashed through a circular hole.:hyper:
  4. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Budrow is great, but the orchestra at MSU was not very good when I was there. The bass section was the star section in the orchestra.
  5. Hey Kam,
    I grew up in Chicago and have worked with all of the guys mentioned so far in this post.
    I studied with the Kass master (Rob Kassinnger) for 4 years before I went to college here at Rice. He's a great teacher, an awsome player, and a cool guy. About the whole catholic thing, I knew a bunch of people from Depaul, and had no idea that it was a catholic institute. I guess that says how in-you-face catholic the people and the facilities AREN'T.
    As for the rest of the Chicago guys, they are all great players and teachers. I have only worked with them in sectional rehearsals from the days of youth orchestras.
    Someone you didn't mention was Brad Opland. I thought he taught at one of those schools, but mabe I'm wrong. I have heard great things about him too.
    I'd suggest taking a trip there and organizing lessons with as man people as you can. Usually, they'll do it for free if it's a college exploratory lesson.
    Good luck with your studies and searching,
  6. I can't comment on the Chicago teachers, because I have never encountered any of them. I did my masters with Mr. Budrow for 2 years, and would recommend him to anyone with the highest regard. He teaches his students on a very personal level, and expects as much out of you in orchestra rep class as he does in lessons. I would by no means call the orchestra bad...and they played pretty standard rep when I was there, so it was good for learning a lot of the standard stuff. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.
  7. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    I love Jack Budrow as well, I owe him a lot.
  8. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    the Chicago teachers are all supposed to be great players and pedagogues, but somehow one hears very little from them. Correct me if I am wrong, but they seem to be a "meat and potatoes" kind of group, no flashy websites, little international exposure, little work in the famous music camps. I kind of like that, no BS, just play great. Having said that, one knows very little about them.

    it would be nice to know if any of them is effective in audition prep?

    I know they can teach you how to play, there is no doubt about that, I am talking students that make it to the second round or win the audition.
  9. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I know Roosevelt has an Orchestral studies performance masters program which is basically a more specific and less customizable curriculum. It involves more rep training and a jury audition in addition to the recital.
  10. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Hey man, i'm at Roosevelt right now. Except, i'm a jazz major-i'm studying with Scott Mason.

    I can't speak of the classical DB teachers, but speaking about some of the other DB players here-[in general] are killer yet nice people. Jazz Bass Wise [yeah-i know we're in Orhcestral Auditions] we've got: Scott Mason, Rob Amster, and Marlene Rosenberg. Scott is a truly killer teacher, i've spent the past year relearning new technique/unlearning band technique, and he's made it enjoyable and not well-depressing. Rob Amster is a killer player, and from what i've heard is a good teacher, Marlene is a killer player too, yet i have no idea how she is as a teacher.

    Speaking about the jazz bassists-we have at least 1 guy [i think more do] who double in the orchestra.

    I'd advise you to try and take lessons or at least talk to the teachers at the different schools. I find it's a lot easier to study with someone when we "click" vs. if it i'm dreading lessons.

    If you have any quesitons about Roosevelt feel free to hit me up on here or on AIM @ Ray5Cam [yeah-i play slab as my main bass]. There's also another RU/CCPA jazz major on the boards except i don't think he posts much. I don't remember his user handle, i think it's RedFenderJ or something like that. Nice guy though.

    take it easy.

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