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Bass Department celebrate busy year WCS Wells Cathedral School Independent Prep Somerset England

Bassists celebrate busy year

What a year for our bassists! We are delighted that the 2023-2024 academic year has seen a surge in double bass playing.

Last year Claire Whitson joined the team to develop a mini bass project for our Prep School, and in September she took the full bass section of our String Department under her wing. With four Prep aged double bassists embarking on a new musical journey, collaboration began between the Prep and seven of our Senior bassists. This has since grown to six Prep and nine Senior bassists!

Throughout the academic year, audiences have enjoyed many Lunchtime Concerts, Prep School Concerts in Ritchie Hall (with bass spinning aplenty), and a fantastic ‘All about that Bass’ celebration in May this year which saw all of our bassists take to the stage in Cedars Hall, including Teddy (Year 2) who had only had two lessons! Bravo, Teddy!

Leon Bosch kickstarted the bassists’ masterclasses in October, giving our Prep pupils the opportunity to perform as well as Senior pupils George and Desarie (Year 9), Izzy (Year 11) and Sean (Upper Sixth) playing pieces ranging from the Baroque era to contemporary styles. Leon himself held a concert at the end of the two days, before returning in May to work with our Senior specialists. Performing in chamber settings, Leon’s visit included a Jazz trio with Juri (Year 10) at the helm, an orchestral masterclass and solo pieces from Desarie, George (Year 9) and Izzy (Year 11).

The Wells bassists warmly welcomed short stay pupils from Germany, including Luisa (Year 10) for one term and Juri (Year 10) for two, and are especially pleased that Juri will be staying at Wells into the next academic year.

Over the past Term, they have also had the pleasure of welcoming a new bass teacher, Josie Jobbins. Josie is an Old Wellensian (2014) and, working closely with Claire, is particularly excited about the future of bass playing at Wells.

Moving forward, plans are afoot for collaborations with other bass departments in the area for the next academic year, and the Wells team are actively seeking to expand the number of visiting professors coming to our Specialist Music School so that each and every musician gets an abundance of musicianship and knowledge to enhance their learning.

To learn more about Strings Studies at Wells, click here.