This says it all – Received from a parent of a young bassist April 26, 2019. (This letter was edited to remove students names.)
Dear Richard Davis Bass Conference Clinicians, Organizers and Participants,
We are completely humbled and honored by our experience at the 26th Richard Davis Bass Conference. Our kids, the youngest bassist and cellist in the siblings band, have no idea how lucky they were to be able to taught and mentored by such talented musicians! As parents, our hearts grew ten fold, while we listened all of the thoughtful advice that our kids received. What a lucky draw that we stumbled upon this conference on the internet! Richard’s vision of a supportive community shone through each and every minute of the conference. What an honor to have been able to be part of it!
Our experience started with an intimate conversation with Victor Wooten. As parents, we want to be just like Victor’s mom. She told her sons that the world is already full of great musicians, but that what the world really needs is more nice people! Victor, Steve and Dave talked at length how important it is to be a team player and have a good personality and how those can be the determining factors when bands and groups are looking for new musicians. Another great advice from Victor was that in life you will have a disadvantage if you do not know how to read and write. The same goes for musicians, if you do not know how to read and write music, you will be at a disadvantage.
When Peter opened the Faculty Concert with O Cantador, we got goose bumps all over. Paul’s Patrick Henry blew our minds! Paul has such a unique, almost lyrical way of playing the bass. He is a great addition to the faculty and we hope to see one of his groups play soon! The Faculty concert was one of the best we’ve ever heard. So many talented musicians. So many styles of music and ways of playing the bass. The last song, Misterioso, with all of the Clinicians was the highlight of the concert. Thank you for such a wonderful treat!
Our son had the opportunity to play in the Chamber Ensemble with Dan Chmielinksi. Dan was so good with the students! He prompted and guided the students to create the bass line, melody and the counter melody. Then the ensemble arranged the piece, practiced it and performed it at the student concert. This was our son’s favorite part of the conference. We think that Dan has everything going for himself and look forward to following his career!
Ah, how lucky are all of Ben Ferris’s students! He shone on stage with the Bass Orchestra! Thank you Ben for uplifting the students. They sounded great! We loved the varied songs of the Bass Orchestra. It was so much fun to listen to jazz, classical and tango music at the student’s concert!
We loved the bass conference and can’t wait to come back next year! Let’s stay in touch! And what will we ask our kids to do until we see you, we will ask them to do as Richard tells us to do… PRACTICE!
The Family of a Young Bassist