Robert Black, bass faculty
- US News Ranking: #188 (tie) in National Universities
- US News Overall Score (out of 100): 30
- Tuition & Fees 2016-17: $37,790
- Room & Board 2016-17: $11,986
- Total Enrollment: 6,912
- Acceptance Rate (from 2015): 64%
- Student – Faculty Ratio: 9:1
- 4 year graduation rate: 49%
Double Bass Statistics
- Average number of undergraduate bass students: 8-9
- Average number of graduate bass students: 2-4
- Studio Class, Orchestral Repertoire Class, Bass Ensembles, Studio Recitals, Techniques Class, Bass Repertoire Class, Free Improvisation Class
What Alumni Are Doing
- Solo bassist with the Connecticut Virtuosi – Connecticut’s premiere chamber ensemble
- Successful free lance career in NYC performing with ensemble mise-en, Signal, etc.
- bassist with Postmodern Jukebox
- full time college teaching position
- Tom Zera (Utah Symphony, 1999)
Perspectives from Students and Alumni
Q: What are some favorite memories about studying at this school?
A: I enjoyed both the number of ensembles I participated in, the amount of performing that was possible, and the amount of time I was able to study with my primary instructor Robert Black.
While studying at Hartt, I was in the orchestra, the contemporary ensemble (large group), the Baroque ensemble, the double bass ensemble, studied chamber music as a class with a coach, and took several semesters in an improvisation class in which we performed free and guided improvisations. There is also a program called Performance 20/20 which offered scholarships to students in return for a more rigorous performance schedule.
I decided on the Hartt School because of the amount of direct teaching that was afforded to me by my double bass instructor Robert Black. Every week, I saw Robert for a one hour private lesson, a one hour orchestra repertoire class, a one hour bass technique class, three hours of bass ensemble rehearsal, and an academic studio class in which the double bass history, repertoire, and function is studied.
A: Iceland tour, lessons, Robert Wilson duo show with Robert.
Q: How did this school help prepare you for your future endeavors?
A: The Hartt School was invaluable in teaching me about performance, but it was also where I made connections with other musicians throughout New England.
A: The school not so much but Robert did. From talking him about booking shows to playing concerts together to thinking about a multi-faceted career it allowed me to have a wider scope on how to deal with getting out into the “real world.”
Q: What advice would you offer others thinking about studying at this school?
A: Meet with several of the instructors that you would be studying with before you choose the Hartt School. They are the most valuable resource, and your happiness and success at the school depends on them.
A: Go in with a plan of what you’d like to do. Have fun. Love what you do. You’re in school yes but you need to create a community outside of Hartt. Don’t be afraid to fight for what you want from the administration.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about this school?
A: The Hartt School has a fringe benefit of being located two hours away from Boston, and two hours away from NYC.
A: Robert Black is the main and only reason why bass players should attend this school. He is a brilliant mind with a wealth of knowledge and openness that will allow you to explore the things that make you pick up your instrument.
Ryan F, Zach R
Perspectives from the Bass Faculty
Q: What are some of your favorite experiences teaching at your school?
A: Helping students make discoveries about themselves, their abilities, what the double bass is capable of, how vast and varied the world of music is, the unlimited opportunities that accompany hard work, self discipline, a positive attitude and deeply curious and adventurous spirit.
If a student participates in all of the offerings in our bass program (listed above), I have about 7 hours of contact with them per week.
About The Bass Faculty
Robert Black tours the world creating unheard of music for the solo double bass. He collaborates with the most adventurous composers, musicians, dancers, artists, actors, and technophiles from all walks of life. He is a founding and current member of the Bang On A Can All Stars. Current projects include a Philip Glass commission for a 7-movement solo Partita that includes recited poetry by 7 of downtown New York’s most illustrious musician/poets, and Possessed, – a series of solo improvisatory outdoor performances in Utah’s rugged canyon/desert landscape. He has recorded solo CD’s for New World Records (Modern American Bass), Mode Records (The Complete Bass Music of Christian Wolff and The Bass Music of Giacinto Scelsi), O.O. Discs (State of the Bass), and his 16 Bang On A Can All Stars recordings on Cantaloupe Records. Robert teaches at the Hartt School/University of Hartford, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Brazil.