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HELP ME with choosing a college please!

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Masturbassist, Jun 8, 2012.


  1. Masturbassist

    Masturbassist

    Oct 24, 2010
    hey guys, :help:
    i'm looking at some colleges that might be a good fit for me and i'm not very good at this sort of research haha :p. I'm definitely looking for a university rather than a conservatory. I have heard some colleges say you have to be either JUST CLASSICAL or JUST JAZZ, and i'm right in the middle, i started playing classical for almost 6 years and than i started jazz and i LOVE IT! so a school that is well-rounded in both jazz and classical teachers or ensembles would be awesome too. I'm near Chicago but location is less of an issue... i'm on a pretty low budget so anywhere thats generous with their financial aid and scholarships would pretty much be a must!

    also, i've been planning on auditioning with the Dragonetti, mostly because i feel like it's style is soo me, but now i'm hearing its not as impressive as some of the other pieces? should I look more into some of the other standard repertoire?

    a few colleges i have been looking into are Oberlin, Berklee, U of Cincinnati, Indiana, UNT a couple in Michigan, and of course northwestern, but unfortunatley haven't visited any yet...

    i guess i side tracked here, sorry for the whole life story :smug:! so basically i just need the usual college help: a list of places to look into and visit *preferably with good financial aid*, or take sample lessons over the summer, would be FANTASTIC! as you can see i'm FULL of questions! and THANKS SO MUCH!:D

    -P.S. this is my first post so have mercy!:bag:
     
  2. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Dragonetti is fine. Just play it very well. Spend the majority of your time on the difficult sections, record yourself often, and you'll be fine. Do you have a contrasting piece as well? Baroque? Excerpts?

    A word regarding value- you'll get far more financial aid from a classical department unless they're in dire need of a jazzer. Practice accordingly. Also, state schools like IU allow you to declare residency and get in-state tuition if you live in-state and work for a year. There's no shame in taking a year off, working and taking lessons, and then auditioning with more experience, and getting a more or less free ride to a fantastic school. My typical advice- get a job in the restaurant industry, like other starving musicians do. It's a great way to meet a ton of (non pro-musician) people, and you can pursue both careers while your playing grows, making more money than you would just about anywhere else without a degree. Managing a nice bar or restaurant pays far more than the VAST majority of entry level orchestral jobs.

    As an alumn, I'm rather partial, but IU is a phenomenal school with strong departments for both jazz and legit, and with in-state residency it's by far the best bargain in the pedagogy world. The competition is fierce, but that's part of what makes it awesome.

    Young guys- when you look around at schools, do the math on how long it will take you to pay off the student loans as a bassist in a lower tier orchestra. $400 a month in loan payments is a serious drag when you're freelancing per-service, and landing a 1st tier job right out of college is like winning the lottery.
     
  3. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    It's been a number of years since I helped my son with the same research but I'll give my $.02 on the subject.

    We visited a lot of schools and finally narrowed it down to UNT, Berklee, NEC and Manhattan School of Music. After auditioning and being accepted at all the schools we looked closely at the scholarship offers and then 'he' decided which school felt right to him. He decided on UNT and went in as a jazz performance major. He did study with Jeff Bradetich (sp?) one semester and I assume that classical majors might also be given the opportunity to study with Lynn Seaton or one of his TA's.

    In your own backyard, DePaul has an awesome classical bass professor Robert Kassinger who is with the CSO and one helluva jazz bassist as well. We were introduced to Mr. Kassinger by my sons teacher Larry Gray. If you're interested in both classical and jazz you should visit Mr. Kassinger.

    You might also check out Larry Gray my son's bass teacher. He is far and away the most musical person I've ever met and he is a brilliant teacher. Larry Gray is Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Larry has both classical and jazz chops to spare. Here is a link to his bio.

    http://www.larrygraymusic.com/biography

    P.S. I could be wrong but I don't think Berklee offers a classical program. And at the time we visited IU did not have a 'jazz bass professor' so you might want to check on that if you remain interested.
     
  4. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    http://info.music.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/1343.html

    Jeremy is a mod here, and would be happy to answer questions regarding the current state of things at Indiana.

    Last I checked, Berklee offers lessons in legit through one of the conservatories in Boston. The school produces fantastic jazz bassists, but doesn't really fit the criteria of the OP in regards to affordability or the chance to be immersed in both worlds.

    North Texas is a great school for both, as mentioned above. Bradetich is one of the greatest living pedagogues, and Mr. Seaton's work speaks for itself.
     
  5. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Yep. UNT is pretty affordable (relatively speaking). But don't forget University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Larry. He has both items covered real well and while I don't know the 'cost to attend' I'm guessing that by MSM or NEC or Berklee standards its gotta be a bargain.
     
  6. Masturbassist

    Masturbassist

    Oct 24, 2010
    thanks so much you guys,
    ChicagoDoubler asked about any excerpts i'm playing too, my teacher has given me one from Mozart 1st mov. 4th symphony, and one more which i think is Brahms (I need to get my music more organized!) and the contrasting piece from the Dragonetti i was planning on doing was just the second movement of the Dragonetti.
     
  7. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    It sounds like you intend to go classical. I'm not sure how much interplay there is between the jazz programs and the classical programs at any of the schools. I seem to recall many of the programs really pushing for their applicants to go one way or another. That said, you might also want to take a look at NEC. It's expensive but IIRC they did seem to allow a fair amount of exchange between the two disciplines.
     
  8. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Mastur-

    You should have a second piece that is quite different. I recommend the Bourrees from the 3rd suite (in the key of G) or one of the short easy 20th pieces, like the Chanson Triste by Koussevitzky... Even the Bottesini Elegy. Something stylistically quite different. I'm not sure of current audition requirements, but you should have some of the big orchestral licks under your fingers too, like Beethoven 9 rec, etc...
     
  9. irbassist

    irbassist

    Jun 17, 2009
    Having just gone through this whole process last year, I'll try and help ya out. (no promises of this being of any help at all).

    If you are looking to do both Jazz and Classical seriously, I'd say UNT. I live in Dallas so I've had a decent amount of contact with the university over the years. I studied with Bradetich this past year and he is a fantastic teacher. He can really shed new light on some usually over-played solos. They bring in Brian Perry (went to UNT and the BU for grad i think) from the Fort Worth Symphony to teach orch rep classes. The Jazz department is one of the best you'll find. They have produced some scary good players and Lynn Seaton is a boss. The only downside to the school (music wise) is that they have a TON of bass players and you could get lost in the crowd. The school itself is pretty easy to get into academically. I got some academic money but the school of music had almost no money available for bass scholarships this year from what I Was told so almost no one got big scholarships (1k was the most they could give). This should be changing in the next few years apparently though.

    Now since I'm going to Boston University I have to brag about them a little. You have basically the whole boston symphony bass section teaching there. Bass rep classes are taught by Ed Barker. After a little negotiating I was able to get a pretty reasonable scholarship from them. They can be very accommodating. They also have pretty much the coolest practice rooms Ive ever seen hahaha there's a video of them somewhere on the internet...On top of that it's a great school academically and Boston is a freaking awesome college city. Okay I'm done.

    In terms of rep, I played (through all of my auditions) Kouss 1st and 2nd mov, bourrees from the 3rd suite, Mozart 39 1st mov, and Beethoven 5 scherzo and trio. At my BU audition I only played the bourrees and 1st mov of kouss. I played relatively standard stuff and most of it was pretty simple. What really matters is how you play. Choosing a harder piece does you no good at all. On the same note, you don't want to show up playing Capuzzi. Pick a standard. It's standard for a reason.

    Good luck with everything!!! It's really tough getting through all the applications and auditions but you'll survive.
     
  10. irbassist

    irbassist

    Jun 17, 2009
    .
     
  11. Masturbassist

    Masturbassist

    Oct 24, 2010
    Thanks alot guys! So far i'm looking into visiting Oberlin for sure, and since I'm already in Illinois I can go visit IU and northwestern! Id love to visit California too, I heard there are a few good schools there, but that would definately not be easy! Maybe I can visit UNT if we feel like going on a roadtrip...
     
  12. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I could be wrong but I don't recall Oberlin as having a strong jazz program. Northwestern is very tough school to get into academically. If you truly want to study both I would concentrate on NEC UNT and UI.

    I would suggest that you call ahead before visiting the schools so that you are sure you can meet the bass professor you are interested in studying with.
     
  13. Adam Attard

    Adam Attard

    Feb 9, 2009
    I auditioned at Northwestern this last year and was accepted- they care about your academics to a certain point (I had a 3.6 and a 32 on the ACT, their average GPA is something like a 4.4), but your audition is always more important, which it seems is a near-universal thing.
    I can't speak to their jazz department, but NU does have a very good classical program- their professor is great.
     
  14. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Outside of the music department the buzz I recall when my daughter was looking for schools (she was not a music major) that NW was tougher to get into than Harvard.

    And yea, I've heard they have good classical program. I really do encourage the original poster to check out 'UI' and 'DePaul' is he's truly interested in jazz and classical. Rob Kassinger was super nice guy and not only a member of the CSO but also some serious jazz background.

    http://music.depaul.edu/FacultyAndStaff/K/rkassinger.asp

    Larry Gray at IU also has some serious classical chops and is a top jazz bassist and sensational teacher.

    There was also a guy at NEC whose name currently escapes that also had serious jazz and classical chops. Anyway, it was an impressive school IMO.

    Question for the OP. I've seen you post regarding your classical auditions are you also planning to audition for the jazz programs?
     
  15. Masturbassist

    Masturbassist

    Oct 24, 2010
    Yeah I am, I'm just mostly unsure about my classical auditions though because I feel like when I play jazz, It just flows... I don't worry as much when I play jazz i love the improvisational aspect of it and the audition requirements are generally much more straightforward. Classical is so much more precise so I tend to worry about it more.
     
  16. Masturbassist

    Masturbassist

    Oct 24, 2010
    And I'll definately do some research into IU, depaul, and NEC. I honestly don't think I can get into northwestern though, my academics are not that great...
     
  17. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Please give Larry my regards.
     

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