Double Bassists at Wells Cathedral School

A New Generation

The double bass department at Wells has included chamber music as part of the timetable for over 25 years. The skills required to play in small ensembles include listening, playing as an ensemble, balancing chords, being a soloist or accompanist and collaborating with other musicians, alongside studying new and exciting music and musical enjoyment! At Wells the Senior Double Bass Ensemble has given many world and UK premieres and we have always had a positive and pro-active policy of commissioning new repertoire for our students from leading bass composers across the world. In recent years our bassists have also started to compose for the double bass, which we greatly encourage, and we have been pleased to organise both national and international performances of their works. The Senior Double Bass Ensemble is well established and flourishing at Wells and it’s wonderful to now have an Intermediate Double Bass Ensemble in the department. Made up of four young bassists – Miles, Alex, Raphael and James, all 12 years or under – the first rehearsal took place during half-term. Although only three-quarters of the ensemble were there, the bassists quickly gained in confidence playing The Great Wall of China and All the Fun of the Fair. The quartet will make their debut at ‘Basses Eleven’ in the Quilter Hall on Friday 27th April 2018 at 7.00pm. Miles and Alex have played in bass quartets before but this was a first for Raphael and James and both rose to the challenge magnificently. The Senior and Intermediate Double Bass Ensembles will be featured in ‘Basses Eleven’ in April and will also play independently and collectively during the Wells Double Bass Weekend on Saturday 22nd September 2018. New repertoire is being composed for each bass quartet at the moment and the premieres and performances will continue for many years to come.

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