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Utah State University Bass Festival

April 20 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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About the Event

The USU Bass Festival will occur on Saturday, April 20th, 2024, at the Utah State University Fine Arts Center. The festival is an annual event that provides bassists a chance to work with performers and educators from around the world and is open to bassists of any age and experience level.

Festival activities include masterclasses, technique workshops, guest artist performances, and the opportunity to perform in a bass choir.

Cost

$25-Early Registration
$40-Beginning April 1st

Lunch is included in the registration cost.

Registration

Students desiring to participate in the activities throughout the day must register by paying the registration fee. The performance at 4:00 pm is free and open to the public. Participation in all aspects of the festival is free for full-time USU students. Register here.

Guest Artist

This year’s guest artist is Lauren Pierce.

Lauren Pierce is a ‘once in a generation’ instrumentalist with the kind of technique, flair, and presentation that leaves any audience lucky enough to see her wield her double bass in awe.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren began her studies with the late Douglas Sommer before continuing under the tutelage of Dr. Craig Butterfield at the University of South Carolina. There, Lauren was given the Presser Scholar Award, named a Magellan Scholar, and in 2010, performed a concerto with the University of South Carolina Symphony. After graduating from USC Lauren moved to Denton, Texas to study with Jeffrey Bradetich. In 2016, she was named a Pirastro Strings Artist, sponsored by the largest bowed string company in the world, Pirastro Strings.

Lauren brings an impressive and formidable repertoire to the table, taking many a risk playing works often designed for more versatile and manageable smaller instruments. Most critics find her flair and presentation almost magical. She has prompted glowing praise from audiences and respected colleagues, including Catalin Rotaru (“She is among the very few bass players in her generation who is using her brilliant virtuosity and mature musicianship to bring out the most subtle and refined emotions in any musical work performed on bass.”), Roman Patkolo (“She is one of the best bass players I have ever heard in my life.”), and Edicson Ruiz (“She is simply an exception.”).

Lauren has garnered an extensive international following through her performance videos on her YouTube channel, where she is famous for playing works written for other instruments on her double bass with ease and virtuosity. She has been featured in many major publications and podcasts, including Classic FMContrabass Conversations, and more.

Lauren has worked across many different genres and artistic mediums. In 2008, she became the youngest member of the South Carolina Philharmonic and has since worked with prestigious orchestras around the world, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Symphony, the Austin Lyric Opera, and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra. Lauren performed Cesar Franck’s Violin Sonata for the 2011 film “Luz” by Los Angeles filmmaker Ellie Ann Fenton. She has recorded as a soloist on multiple albums, including singer-songwriter Collin Hauser’s debut album with Grammy-award winning recording engineer Tim Kimsey, Fall River ‘Footman’s Mullen Road’, and R&B artist Mikaela Kahn’s ‘Milk And Honey’.

Also a passionate and dedicated educator, Lauren has devoted much of her energy to furthering the accessibility of double bass education worldwide through her work with the online school, Discover Double Bass. She has published several full-length courses and countless individual video lessons and has reached thousands of students of all ages and career paths.

Lauren is a frequent clinician at workshops of all levels, including the University of North Texas Summer Strings Institute, the Bavarian Bass Days in Mühldorf, the Bradetich Summer Bass Camps, the Austin Bass Workshop, and Bassmania at Columbus State University.

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