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Cleveland Sound/Style

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Dr Rod, Apr 23, 2006.


  1. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    This is a split from another thread.

    I was wondering about the Cleveland sound/Style.

    What do they actually want in an auditionee or substitute?
     
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    The same things that most orchestras want. Besides all of the notes in tune and in rhythm with good articulation they look for all of the dynamics and musicality. A clean sound is a plus. As for the agressive sound questions - be musically agressive when appropriate; just stay away from extra noise in your sound.
     
  3. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Thank you for your input Jallenbass, I really don't mean to be unpleasant, please don't take it the wrong way.

    What I am asking about is the peculiar things that Cleveland listens for.Obviously a person without intonation, rhythm, good articulation, dinamics, musicality, clean sound etc....will never get hired in any top orchestra. I have never had a doubt in my mind about that.
     
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Dr Rod - Don't worry. I'm taking your inquiry at face value. Sounds like a normal question to me. I hope my response didn't come off as sarcastic.

    I thought it might be interesting to look at current and previous members of the Cleveland bass section to understand what they are looking for.

    Max Dimoff - Jeff Bradetich student.
    Kevin Switalski - Curtis/Roger Scott
    Scott Haigh - Northwestern/Warren Benfield
    Mark Atherton - Henry Portnoi student
    Tom Sperl - Eastman/Vandermark
    Charles Barr - Curtis?
    Henry Peyrebrune - NEC/Ed Barker
    Charles Carleton - Julliard/Curtis?
    Tim Pitts - NEC/Larry Wolf and Ed Barker
    Ethan Connor - Julliard/John Schaeffer

    I don't see anything that would point to a style of playing that would catch the ear of the audition committee. Tim Pitts is a very musical player and incredibly consistent. He told me that he didn't miss a note in his audition. To me that's what it comes down to. Sound musically interesting and solid. I have heard a lot of those guys as well as enough players in other big orchestras and I don't really hear a style difference. They all play cleanly and are interesting to listen to. Hope that's helpful.
     
  5. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I thought it would be fun to theoretically show that the styles of the bass sections in all of the American full time orchestras are the same.

    Ed Barker played in NY, Chicago and Boston. Theoretically those 3 orchestras were looking for the same things.
    Tim Pitts - connects Boston, Cleveland and Houston.
    Hal Robinson - Houston, National and Philly
    Peter Lloyd - Philly and Minnesota
    Rob Kesselman - Pittsburgh and Philly
    Jeff Grubbs - Atlanta and Pittsburgh
    Duane Rosengard - connects Philly with Cleveland (even though he turned Cleveland down).
    Chris Hanulik - L.A. and Cleveland
    Tom Sperl - Rochester and Cleveland
    Kevin Switalski - Buffalo and Cleveland
    Max Dimoff - Seattle and Cleveland
    Nick Solinas - Boston and Dallas
    Mark Atherton - Boston, Indianapolis and Cleveland
    Eric Harris - St Louis and Cleveland (turned down Cleveland's offer)

    I can't figure out how to connect Detroit, Utah, San Fransico with this grouping. Anyone?
     
  6. Oh, I get it. All the bassists you just listed are really freaking good. That must be the "sound" all those orchestras want.
     
  7. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York

    Wait? Are you saying that to win a job, all you have to do is be really really really really really good?
     
  8. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    I think I get your point John.

    However, aside from the fact that these players are incredible, don't you think that the same bassist could sound differently depending on where he/she is auditioning?

    For example, if one were to audition for Chicago, one would put an extra thought into sounding big, whereas for Boston, where the hall is very responsive , and the bass tradition supposedly into very clean articulation, one would aim for shorter more articulate playing. We know that Levinson likes continuous "vibrata", so we would probably cater to that as well.

    It's just a thought.
     
  9. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005
    If you're as good as Hal Robinson, Ed Barker, Chris Hanulik or anyone who is (or isn't) on that list the "sound" of an orchestra really isn't an issue. I'm sure any of those guys could blend with another bass section if they needed to.
     
  10. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    B-I-N-G-O
     
  11. wallydoesbass

    wallydoesbass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2002
    Menlo Park, CA
    jallenbass - Thanks for the thoughful posts. It is great to hear such solid insight from central Oregon (I lived in Ellensburg for a number of years). Wally
     
  12. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I suppose that if we wanted to make this thread really useful we could ask those who have won multiple big auditions if they changed how they played or prepared for each audition. I've lost touch with anyone like that. Perhaps some the younger players who are studying with the bigshots could find out.
     
  13. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    no doubt
     
  14. applevermouth

    applevermouth

    May 4, 2006
    The Big Chaz went to Juilliard for undergrad and did a semester at NEC for grad school with Ed Barker.
     
  15. Yes, that's likely. Audition committees immediately gravitate towards The Best Player they can find, but some traditions and/or committees have one or two specific LIKES and DISLIKES, if you don't want to call it "style".
    E.G.: the "style" that helped me be directly UN-invited to one audition is what helped me Win the very next audition!
     

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