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Music School Question

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by pedro, Apr 26, 2004.


  1. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    This question is directed at those of you who attended music school.

    How did you choose the school? How did you evaluate the teacher? If so, did you use some objective form to calculate the effectiveness of the instructor? The program? The facilities? How much weight did you give to the teacher vs. the courses or facilities?
     
  2. The best way to find the best music school is come up with at least 5 possible schools that place well in orchestra auditions ( Curtis, Rice, IU, NEC and Manhattan) Then you go visit and take lessons from the teachers and see where you like the most. Then do your auditions and just see where you get in.

    As of late IU and Boston University are doing well in auditions with Jeff Kail a student at IU and Ira Gold a student from Boston University who studied with Ed Barker. I go to IU and I think you can not go wrong coming here. The facilities are great the teachers and ensambles are good, and its cheap. The only place beter than here is Curtis. Rice is good for grad school, becuase as an undergrad you have to take too many academics to get a BM. IU is easy and Hurst and Bransby are really good. :)
     
  3. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    JGGBassPlya, thanks for responding.

    [The best way to find the best music school is come up with at least 5 possible schools that place well in orchestra auditions ( Curtis, Rice, IU, NEC and Manhattan)

    Well I should probably preface my response by saying that I'm not the student - my son is. He's a junior in high school and studies with Larry Gray in Chicago. Originally, we figured he'd probably study jazz but Larry has suggested classical performance instead. Figuring that he'd be studying jazz affected our original choices of schools to visit. Accoringly, of the places you've mentioned we've only visited Manhattan so far and liked it quite a lot. We tried to arrange a visit of IU during spring break but were unable to coordinate our schedules with Bransby. We have visited DePaul, City College of NY, New School, U of M and Lawrence. We will visit San Francisco Conservatory in May and probably add Eastman and Mannes College to the list of schools to visit.

    My son took a lesson with Rob Kassinger at DePaul and we liked him quite a bit. He studied with Homer Mensch at MSM and at Julliard, is with the CSO and has a strong jazz background too. He also played for Mark Urness at Lawrence and he's a nice fellow but the program seems rather young.

    [As of late IU and Boston University are doing well in auditions with Jeff Kail a student at IU and Ira Gold a student from Boston University who studied with Ed Barker.

    I did a rather quick search of major U.S. orchestras and didn't notice a clear trend of school placements. Certainly various names came up frequently but no clear winners and a lot of surprising names too.

    [I go to IU and I think you can not go wrong coming here. The facilities are great the teachers and ensambles are good, and its cheap.

    Relatively speaking its cheap. However, its my understanding that they don't hand out much in the way of scholarship money.

    [The only place beter than here is Curtis.

    What is your basis for saying that?

    [IU is easy and Hurst and Bransby are really good.

    Why easy? Do you study with Bransby or Hurst? What are their teaching styles like? What are their pet peeves, etc.?
     
  4. Pedro

    There was a list made of the auditions in the past four years that had all the winners and the schools they attened -1997:
    Minnesota Orchestra: no winner
    -1998:
    Cincinntai Symhpony: Boris Astafiev (Columbus Sym)
    Oregon Symphony: Jason Schooler (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music)
    Minnesota Orchestra: Matthew Frischman (Curtis Institute)
    Utah Symphony, Asst. Principal: Student of principal won
    -1999
    Los Angeles Philharmonic: David Moore (Houston Sym)
    Louisville Orchestra: Kingsley Wood (Peabody Conservatory)
    Houston Symphony: Ali Yazdanfar (Peabody, Rice)
    New York Philharmonic: David Grossman (Student of principal/Juiliard)
    Colorado Symphony: Jonathan Burnstein (Rice U.)
    Charleston Symphony, Principal: Charles Barr (Curtis)
    National Symphony: Ali Yazdanfar (Houston sym.)
    New Mexico Symphony: Kathy Olszowka (Indiana University)
    San Antonio Symphony: Zlatan Redzic (I.U.)
    -2000
    Kansas City Symphony, 1-year spot: Ju-Fang Liu (I.U.)
    President's Own Marine Band: Eric Sabo (Arizona State U.)
    Seattle Symphony: Jonathan Burnstein (Rice, Colorado Sym.)
    Buffalo Philharmonic: Edmond Gnekow (I.U.)
    Tulsa Phil, principal: Dan Johnson (Iowa?)
    Dallas Symphony, principal: no winner?
    Columbus Symphony: Jena Huebner (Peabody)
    Houston Symphony: Burke Shaw
    Cleveland Orchestra: Charles Carleton (Juilliard/Curtis)
    San Francisco Sym., principal: Ali Yazdanfar (not retained?@#$!)
    -2001
    Metropolitan Opera Orchestra: Kingsley Wood (Peabody, Louisville Orchestra)
    Alabama Symphony: Long Luo (Juilliard)
    Oregon Symphony: no winner (for 2 spots!)
    Florida Philharmonic, principal: Shigeru Ishikawa (member of section )
    Louisville Orchestra: Karl Olsen (I.U.)
    Cleveland orchestra: Eric Harris (principal St Louis) won, then left for SanFran;
    runner up Charles Barr (Curtis) got in.
    Montreal Sym., principal: Ali Yazdanfar (now going back to National)
    -2002
    Charleston Symphony, principal: Scott Pingle (Manhattan)
    National Symphony: cancelled; they welcome Ali Yazdanfar back
    Baltimore Symphony: Mark Huang (Nashville Symphony)
    Oregon Symphony: Paul DeNola (I.U., U.S.C.)
    San Francisco Sym., principal: Eric Harris (not retained?!@#!?)
    -2003
    Indianapolis Sym., principal: Ju-Fang Liu (I.U.)
    Boston Symphony: Ben Levy (Rice U., New England Conservatory)
    Calgary Philharmonic: Jeff White (I.U.)
    Grant Park Orchestra: Andy Anderson (I.U.)
    Nashville Symphony, principal: Joel Reist (member of section)
    resulting section spot was offered to runner-up, Ryan Kamm (I.U., Boston)
    Louisianna Philharmonic: Colin Corner (I.U.)
    Naples Philharmonic: Matt Medlock (Boston, Rice)
    New York Philharmonic: Satoshi Okamoto (San Antonio, Juilliard; student of principal)
    Louisville Orchestra, principal: CANCELLED!@#$!
    San Francisco Sym., principal: Hired noone again!@#$??
    San Diego, Principal and Asst.Principal: Jeremy Kurtz, principal(Curtis, Rice), Susan Wulff, Asst. (member of section)

    Here you will see the Trend of schools
     
  5. Well it all depends with the scholarship at IU. It depends on on your audition and current level of bass playing. They can be very generous if the audition is good.

    I study with Mr. Hurst and I am very happy with him. He is very musically and technical(which I fell are my weak points) And he is a very good teacher. He has not realy quirks but is kind of "old school" BUt I like that. Bransby is also a very fine teacher but he and I do not think alike and have different musical ideals so I do not study with him. But he works great for some people and knows more about jazz and frequently plays in jazz programs here.

    The only reason I said I would rather be at Curtis is because its completly free. But it is the hardest school in the country to get accepted to and has no jazz oppertunities.

    Hope this all helps you :cool:
     
  6. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    JGGBassPlya, once again many thanks for your reply. I had seen the list but did my own investigation. Here is what I found:

    Chicago Symphony Orchestra:
    Bass

    Joseph Guastafeste

    Principal - Studied at Julliard on scholarship.

    Daniel Armstrong

    Degree from the University of British Columbia followed by studies in NYC.

    Roger Cline

    Studied at the University of Michigan w/ Lawrence Hurst. He continued his studies w/ Homer Mensch at Julliard.

    Joseph DiBello - No bio available.

    Michael Hovnanian - No bio available.

    Robert Kassinger

    Manhattan School of Music w/ Homer Mensch and Julliard with the same.

    Mark Kraemer - No bio available.

    Stephen Lester - No bio available

    Bradley Opland

    Attended Curtis Music Conservatory.



    *****************************************

    New York Symphony Orchestra:

    Orin O'Brien - Studied at Julliard.


    *********************

    Boston Symphony Orchestra

    Edwin Barker Principal - New England Conservatory.

    Lawrence Wolfe - Assistant Principal. New England Conservatory.

    Joseph Hearne - Julliard. Here is a link to more information.

    *****************
    Los Angelos Symphony Orchestra

    Dennis Trembly Principal Bassist - Julliard.

    Christopher Hanulik Bass Prinicpal

    Mr. Hanulik attended The Juilliard School where he studied with Homer R. Mensch.


    ***********************

    San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - Here is a link to their bass section.

    Larry Epstein - University of Miami

    Stephen Tramontozzi - Eastman School of Music and New England Conservatory

    William Ritchen - Eastman and Julliard w/ Homer Mensch.

    Charles Chandler - Julliard.

    Lee Ann Crocker - Eastman, Oberlin and University of Miami.

    Brian Marcus - Cal State-Northridge

    S. Mark Wright - University of Michigan w/ Larry Hurst.

    I see lots of the same names over and over, Homer, Larry Hurst, Indiana, Curtis, Eastman and Julliard. And I have to wonder whether its so much the school or the teacher.

    Please tell me more about Larry Hurst.
     
  7. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [Well it all depends with the scholarship at IU. It depends on on your audition and current level of bass playing. They can be very generous if the audition is good.

    Story 'round the campfire here is that a local kid we know auditioned at both Indiana and Curtis. Got no scholarship offer at Indiana and was accepted at Curtis. Go figure.
     
  8. Well that is strange because I know the person they accepted to curtis this year and he was from Cleveland? Do you know the name of that kid your speaking of?
     
  9. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Yep I know the name but he doesn't start until the fall.
     
  10. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [He has not realy quirks but is kind of "old school"

    What do you mean by 'old school'?

    [Bransby is also a very fine teacher but he and I do not think alike and have different musical ideals

    Can you elaborate?

    [so I do not study with him.

    Were you able to choose your teacher?

    JGGBassPlya how many bass students at IU altogether?
     
  11. I ment for the last audition which was this year. My friend does not start until fall either. Who does this kid study with? Is his name Gabe?
     
  12. What do you mean by 'old school'?
    Hurst is one of the last of his time. He uses the same methods he has been teaching since the 70;s he has been teaching now for 40 years


    Can you elaborate?
    With this I do not feel that comfortable elaborating on this subject. Just not to burn any bridges or make any current of past bransby upset. Bransby and I are just like oil and water that is all I can say


    Were you able to choose your teacher?
    Yes you can choose your teacher.....just email them and see if they will accept you

    JGGBassPlya how many bass students at IU altogether?
    [/QUOTE]
    Now there are 46 bassist here including Undergrad, Grad and Doctoral
     
  13. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [With this I do not feel that comfortable elaborating on this subject.

    I was really just trying to develop a sense of his teaching style and philosophy in order to determine which of the two teachers best suites my son.

    [He uses the same methods he has been teaching since the 70;s

    What are some of those methods? What are you currently working on? If you could go back to your senior year what would you have spent more time working on?
     
  14. Well Mr. Bransbys teaching style if very direct. He does not focus on technique very much. And he does not teach the fundamentals of bass. He works well with students who come in already set in their technique. In my opinion he works very well with grad students.


    What are some of those methods? What are you currently working on? If you could go back to your senior year what would you have spent more time working on?

    He uses the same etude and scale books i.e. Storch-Harabe, Findisen, Nanny etudes. He also has his hour scale routine which is very helpful......I'm currently working on Technique(with the scales and etudes) Bottesini Concerto No 2 for a competition this fall, Moses Fantasy on a theme my Rossini, and Bach 3rd Suite.

    If I could go back to my senior year I would work more on intonation, and musicality and solo work. When it comes to undergrad auditions no of days solos make the biggest difference. A good college audition would consist of Koussevitsky Concerto, a Mvt of Bach from 1st or 3rd Suite and some basic excerpts like Beethoven 5 and Mozart 40
     
  15. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [He also has his hour scale routine which is very helpful......

    What is that?

    [If I could go back to my senior year I would work more on intonation, and musicality and solo work.

    Thanks, that is very helpful.

    [When it comes to undergrad auditions no of days solos make the biggest difference.

    Huh? 'no of days solos make the biggest difference'? I don't understand.

    [A good college audition would consist of Koussevitsky Concerto, a Mvt of Bach from 1st or 3rd Suite and some basic excerpts like Beethoven 5 and Mozart 40

    Thanks again. You've been very patient w/ an old man trying to help his son. Perhaps if we are able to arrange a visit to IU I'll drop you a line and see if we can hook up.
     
  16. What is that?
    The Larry Hurst Sclae Routine
    Long tones at Metrenome Marking(MM) 60 1 Beat to a bow, 2 beats to a boat and so on until it is 6 beats per note
    Division 8th Triplets and 16th notes with whatever slurs you want
    Double Stops of thirds, 4ths, and 5ths
    and Arpeggios Major, Minor and b7

    Huh? 'no of days solos make the biggest difference'? I don't understand.
    Well it used to be to be a bass player you would only have to know a few solos and excerpts and that would be fine. But now of days Orchestras are expecting an exelent soloist and orchestra player. So when doing college auditions they figure Solos are the most important and excerpts can be learned at school

    [A good college audition would consist of Koussevitsky Concerto, a Mvt of Bach from 1st or 3rd Suite and some basic excerpts like Beethoven 5 and Mozart 40

    I Personally don;t think Bottesini is a good undergrad audition piece. Too many places for mistakes and is hard for most High schoolers. Koussevitsky is standard and shows a lot.
     
  17. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Thanks again.


    [I Personally don;t think Bottesini is a good undergrad audition piece. Too many places for mistakes and is hard for most High schoolers. Koussevitsky is standard and shows a lot.

    I don't know everything that he's worked on with his teacher but I do know he's worked on the Bach Cello Suites and some Marcello. I've recently been asked to get the Dittersdorf Concerto #2 in D, the Kousseveitsky concerto, the Sevcik 40 Variations for Cello, the Complete Double Bass Parts for Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Weber along w/ 'Strauss Tone Poems'.
     
  18. dragonetti11

    dragonetti11

    Jun 20, 2002
    What do you guys think of the University of Minnesota? Do you know what the academics are like there?
     
  19. I actually really think that is a good school. I applied there for my undergrad and I know a few players there. I think Jim Clute and Pete Lloyd are wonderful teachers. You coudn't go wrong if you did two years with Mr. Clute and then finished your undergrad with Peter Lloyd. They have a strong bass program there and the school is a liberal arts school so academics are well rounded. But I would have gone there in a heartbeat if I didn't get accepted to Indiana. I am actually considerign Univ of Minnesota for graduate studies.
     
  20. Eric_J

    Eric_J Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Flower Mound, TX. USA
    For my freshman year, I followed my girl friend, at the time, to a small private school w/ a small program. 2nd semester I was the top bass player, as a doubler. Tuba was my main instrument.

    I transfered to a larger state school, with a significantly larger music program, where I studied bass with a TA (Teaching Assistant), but on Tuba with the main professor.

    Find a school with a good teacher, that your parents can afford. In very large music schools, you may study with a TA the first year, in smaller schools, you will usually study the the main professor.

    Are you the kind of person that responds to presure well, than a larger school with more competition might be OK. If you prefer more individual attention, a smaller school may be better.

    Regardless of where you go, you will get out of it what you put in it.