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IU grad auditions

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by a. meyer, Jan 4, 2005.


  1. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    I'll be taking the grad entrance audition next week, playing the Bach 1st suite prelude, Koussevitsky, M40 (1st) and B5 (3rd). Any advice? What do they want to hear?
     
  2. prelims222

    prelims222

    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    Good playing.. Thats it. If you overthink it you're wasting your energy, so just focus on playing with a good sound and musicality.
     
  3. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    I aims to please!
     
  4. Mr. Hurst and Bransby want to hear you have a good sense of orchestral bass playing and know the different strokes. They also want to hear solid solo playing with good phrasing and musicality
     
  5. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    How did it go?
     
  6. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    it went well enough. nerves... I also auditioned at CCM in Cincinnati; that went much better.
     
  7. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    What kind of vibe did you get from the two schools? Which one did you like better?
     
  8. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    I liked IU very much, but I thought that Al Laszlo had a better program. He has put together a rather comprehensive book covering his teaching techniques, which I rather liked. He has weekly videotaped mock auditions and weekly sectionals.
    He also some ideas during a lesson that I'll be working on for years, even if I don't end up studying with him.
    IU was pretty cool, though. Just being there and seeing every practice room filled on a Saturday morning is a rush (not just with auditioners, either).
     
  9. I am glad you had a great time at IU. Just to let you know Mr. Hurst records all of his lessons everyweek (minidisc or video) and we have bass rep class every week. It would be kinda hard to have sectionals here every week when there are five different orchestra's and 46 differennt bass players.
     
  10. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    yeah, it's a big place. Great place to get some work done, though.
     
  11. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Maybe one of you I.U. guys can tell me what the deal is for jazz bass students?
     
  12. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    The deal at IU for jazz bassists is that there is no jazz bass teacher, but that the jazz bass majors usually get to study with Bruce Bransby, one of the two bass profs. Bransby is actually an excellent jazz player on the side (he plays with the faculty group when they perform publicly), but I believe that he mainly offers "legit" (as the term, wretchedly, is used) instruction to the jazz bassists--getting your technique together and such--and he is probably not known in wider circles as being a jazz player.

    There has been talk off and on about getting someone in to teach the jazz bassists (Tyrone Wheeler has come up from Louisville to do this in the past, and maybe he will again in the future), but it has not been a priority. It could be construed that the director of the program seems to believe that this is an OK situation, since Todd Coolman and John Clayton and Robert Hurst are all products of IU. Others are not so certain--all of the major (and most minor) jazz programs have a dedicated bass teacher these days.

    Since coming back to the school in August as a doctoral student, I've been working at the rhythm section master classes with Steve Houghton (the jazz drum teacher and a repository of jazz knowledge and experience) and Luke Gillespie (the jazz piano teacher), and we've had a lot of success. I also give some lessons to those jazz bass majors who are interested--there seems to be a great demand, and the students are, well, kind of desperate for anyone who's been around a little more than they (I've been hearing this a lot from amazingly talented young jazz bassists--"hey, can I have a lesson sometime? I've never had a jazz lesson before." Which is fine, because neither did a lot of great players, but tuition is being paid for a degree in "jazz performance" here.) While I'm not anybody in particular, I've played with some "big names" (as many of us here on TB have) and I seem to have a fair amount of musical rapport with Houghton (I play with his quintet which gigs here and there locally), and good things happen at the master classes. So, although there may not be someone on the faculty as the "jazz bass professor," bassists can continue to learn some really good things at IU from the other rhythm section teachers and, maybe, from people like me who pass through the school bringing experience from other places.

    There may in fact be a concerted effort to get a full-time jazz bass teacher in the near future, and there are always interesting players coming through town and offering lessons (Rufus Reid just gave a nice master class this week), and there is much to be learned from a drummer with as long a C.V. as Steve Houghton, so don't let the lack of a jazz bass professor in the catalog scare you away: IU can be a very good place for jazz bassists.

    PS Although I am not one of them, this school seems to be an amazing place for classical bassists. I saw a recital by DaXun Zhang last week--the bassist who won the Young Concert Artist's Guild thing recently, the ISB solo competition, and loads of other awards, and he is simply stunning. This guy plays the bass with the ease of drawing a breath; as much of a fan as I am of the whole pantheon of bass virtuosi, this young guy seems to have set the bar higher.
     
  13. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Thanks so much for the informative reply. I've sent you an e mail and private message with follow ups.
     
  14. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    Johono, I agree with what you say about Daxun Zhang. Saw him nearly two years ago at the Richmond ISB. Though I've seen Karr and Meyer and some other pretty impressive bass soloists, I've never seen anyone like Daxun.
     
  15. contrabajisimo

    contrabajisimo

    Feb 9, 2004
    Chicago
    Hey, guys, I don't mean to steer away a topic conversation, but for someone wanting to enter a grad school around Indiana/Illionois how much useful would it be to first study privately with a double bass teacher who is on the faculty of that particular school? And, do these professors offer any private classes? I'm in the process of getting my Bachelors in Music (one term left), and am thinking of continuing this on a grad level. Thanks.
     
  16. Hey there, A. Meyer,

    I see you know Paul DeNola... he was at IU about the same time I was, and several of the responders in this thread also know him.

    FWIW, IU was a great atmosphere. Lessons with B. Bransby are both video taped and audio taped, awesome German Bow playing, and BB is a good teacher; the more you put in, the more you get out. Your fellow students will be driven and generally encouraging; no Prima Donnas.

    Mr Laszlo also does great things, but the huge resources of IU were perfect for me, a "late-blooming" grad student at the time.
     
  17. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Just an update: you may now disregard my post above about the jazz-bass-teacherless situation at IU.

    Tyrone Wheeler has agreed to teach the jazz bass majors (I believe on a part-time basis--he also teaches at the University of Louisville and maybe another college as well), and it seems that he will be starting next fall. So come to IU, all you budding jazzers! We have a good time.
     
  18. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Thats good to hear. I great school like Indiana should have someone to help the jazz students.
     
  19. MysteryKay

    MysteryKay

    Jan 20, 2005
    Great news. Now if they could only get a similarly talented jazz guitar teacher...