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Fredonia opens signups for annual Bass Fest
Sunday, December 04, 2016

Fredonia opens signups for  annual Bass Fest

Kieran Hanlon

Registration is underway for the second annual Fredonia Bass Fest, a day devoted to performances and classes for double bass players of all levels – professional, college, high school, teacher and adult learner – at the Fredonia School of Music.

Also part of the event, to be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, in Rosch Recital Hall, is a double bass solo competition that will provide performance opportunities, cash prizes, scholarship money and additional prizes to high school players.

     Brett Shurtiffe
    Marco Panascia

Class lessons and performances will be led by Kieran Hanlon, assistant professor of String Bass and Jazz at Fredonia, and guest artists Brett Shurtliffe, associate principal double bassist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Marco Panascia, adjunct faculty member at The New School in New York City. Prospective attendees can also indicate their interest in performing in a master class on their Bass Fest application.

In the double bass solo competition, high school students will perform in front of Bass Fest faculty and vie for first, second and third place prizes and also receive comments and feedback. The competition winner will be invited to perform his/her solo piece alongside faculty performers in the Bass Fest evening concert.

The first round of the competition is a recorded round, with applicants submitting an online competition application (with a $10 fee) and a recording by Jan. 15, 2017. Finalists will be notified if they are invited to the final round of the competition, a 10-minute live performance with piano during the morning of Bass Fest in Rosch Recital Hall. A Fredonia accompanist will be available.

The first place award is $250, performance of a piece at the evening Bass Fest concert, a full set of strings and a $1,000 scholarship to attend the Fredonia School of Music. The winner must apply, audition and be accepted to the university and the School of Music. The scholarship award is to be used during the winner’s first-year of undergraduate studies as a Music major. It has no cash value, is non-renewable and non-transferable.

Second place is $100 and a full set of strings; third place is $50 and a full set of strings.

Bass Fest sponsors include D’Addario Strings, which is providing the full sets of strings to all competition winners, and Luthier’s Care. Vendors from around the region who specialize in double bass instruments, music and accessories will also attend the event.

Mr. Hanlon, who completed a Master of Music degree in Double Bass Performance and the Orchestral Studies Program, both at the Eastman School of Music, is an active orchestral performer. He is Principal Bass of the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and a regular sub with the Chautauqua Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic and Rochester Philharmonic orchestras. A “first-call” jazz performer in the area, he has performed with jazz greats, such as Sal Andolina, George Caldwell and Bobby Militello, and has worked with Celtic artist Cathie Ryan.

Mr. Panascia, who has a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music, has performed with many jazz luminaries, such as Kenny Barron, Natalie Cole and Eric Reed, appeared in some of the world’s top music festivals and venues, such as the Hollywood Bowl and Kennedy Center, and was mentored by Los Angeles studio legend Carol Kaye, formerly of “The Wrecking Crew.” He teaches clinics and master classes in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Shurtliffe received his Bachelor in Music and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and his Master in Music degree from Duquesne University. He was the top American prize winner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition in 2003 and took first-place honors two years later. He has performed numerous times as a soloist with the BPO, Amherst Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra and the orchestra of SUNY Cortland.

For more information, including registration information and fees, see online. Questions may be emailed to Hanlon.

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