The MASTA East West Bass Festʼs were held on Saturday, April 25th, at Eastern Michigan University and Saturday, May 2, at North Pointe Christian Academy in the Grand Rapids Area.
The festivals included a tremendous lineup of clinicians which included:
Derek Weller- Principal bassist of the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra, Professor of Bass at Eastern Michigan University and the Interlochen Arts Academy.
Larry Hutchinson- Detroit Symphony Orchestra Bassist, has received numerous awards for his work as a performer, teacher and clinician.
Maggie Hasspacher- Bassist/Vocalist, DMA student at University of Michigan, studied in Vienna, released solo singer/songwriter album (We Shall Overcome).
John Kennedy- Past President of the International Society of Bassists, clinician at bass workshops around the country, teacher in the Farmington Public Schools.
Students were introduced to warm-ups, shifting and bowing exercises and then participated in a large bass ensemble. Break out sessions with the clinicians were determined by student level. Clinicians rotated providing students with different insights into bass technique.
Workshop participants were treated to a performance by Maggie Hasspacher. She is a singer-songwriter in the folk song tradition that uses her bass to accompany her songs. It was great to see the bass in this role. Students were excited and had many great questions for Maggie.
Aaron Reiley (bass maker and owner of Aaronʼs Instruments) provided students with ways to troubleshoot and fix problems with their double basses.
A large bass ensemble performance finished out the day.
Isabelle La Framboise and Hunter Bigelow from Caledonia stated, “we really enjoyed being with other bassists and learning about the bass as well as musical concepts”.
Maddie Foslien, a student from Clarkston, said she felt ,“the instruction was invaluable and the ability to play with other bassists is a really good learning experience.”
Congratulations to Bryan Kolk and Aaron Tenney for their work in organizing the West Bass Fest and to Larry Hutchinson and Derek Weller for their organization of the East Festival along with all the clinicians for presenting a fine day for our Double Bassists.