Thursday, November 12, 2009

Peabody '09-'10: Catching Up Report

OK, so as always with my blogging goals, I have failed utterly.... In this case I’ve dropped the ball on my efforts to create a weekly report on what’s going on at school. Life events intervened and kept me from keeping up with my pledge. So, in time-honored fashion, I’m gonna play catch-up by doing a catchall midterm report now and then try to get back on the horse next week with regular updates.

Things are certainly busy these days at school. Lots of things instrument-related are happening. We’ve had visits from two top bass makers this month - first came Chris Threlkeld-Weigand, followed soon after by Kai Arvi. They each brought instruments for our students to try out. We have several folks here who are currently on the hunt for a new bass, and it’s wonderful that these excellent luthiers are able to make time in their schedules to drop by school and bring their instruments right to us. I certainly recommend that anyone looking for a top-quality modern bass check these two makers out.

Another exciting bass-related event here at Peabody happened last week with the delivery of our new school bass. About a year and a half ago, a generous donor offered to give the school an old instrument for our use. The bass was in need of a total restoration to be physically sound and playable. Tom Wolf, an excellent bass maker and restorer, agreed to take on the job. Tom was a recent prize winner at the ISB convention for one of his bass and is a fantastic luthier and repairperson. Besides his excellent work on basses, he is also a world-renowned maker of harpsichords and fortepianos. He did a complete restoration of the bass, fit it with a new extension, and drilled a Laborie-style angled endpin hole into the bass. It finally arrived at school on Thursday and it sounds fantastic! We’re so grateful to the donor and the the school for helping make this possible; having an instrument of this quality available for students that can’t currently afford one is a huge benefit for our program. Here’s a photo of current Peabody graduate student Minh Duc Tranh with the bass. He’ll be using it for the upcoming Nashville Symphony bass audition.

Finally, we are preparing for our second visit from Artist in Residence Hal Robinson this Sunday. This time around, there will be no public events scheduled so that Hal and the students can stay focused and maximize their time together. The theme of this visit is bowstrokes; Hal will be demonstrating the various types of bowstrokes that he uses and then working with the students in three groups on their own bowstroke work. Hal’s first visit had a “get-acquainted” quality as he met and heard the students for the first time. In this class I feel like everyone’s going to really focus and get down to work absorbing all the information and examples that Hal can dish out on this critical topic.

1 comment:

Nick Browne said...

It's about time Peabody got a new studio bass. Hope it sounds as nice as it looks!