- US News Ranking: #53 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
- US News Overall Score (out of 100): 67
- Tuition & Fees 2016-17: $44,180
- Room & Board 2016-17: $10,080
- Total Enrollment: 3,046
- Acceptance Rate (from 2015): 36%
- Student – Faculty Ratio: 12:1
- 4 year graduation rate: 84%
- % of undergrads receiving Financial aid: 68%
- Average Financial Aid: $30,182
- Music School Central 10 Best Hidden Gem Music School for 2017 (#6)
Double Bass Statistics
- Average number of undergraduate bass students: 10
- Studio Class, Orchestral Repertoire Class, chamber music including bass repertoire
What Alumni Are Doing
- Two recent bass performance grads have enrolled in graduate school at DePaul University in Chicago
- One music ed grad is teaching in Guyana, in a school for string players set up by another St. Olaf grad several years ago
Perspectives from Students and Alumni
Q: What are some favorite memories about studying at this school?
A: Playing in orchestra for three years while getting a fantastic liberal arts education was such a blessing for me. I wanted an incredible music program without the intensity and competitiveness of conservatories, and St. Olaf provided that and more.
A: an engrossing orchestra, brilliant bass instructors, and an environment that fosters ALL growth
A: There is a lot of camaraderie within the orchestra, which led to many really incredible performances. Many members of the orchestra were not music majors, either, and everyone at the college is very inquisitive with a wide range of interests. This led to many great conversations over meals and late nights and to many great friendships.
Q: How did this school help prepare you for your future endeavors?
A: I was trained very well musically and how to teach, but even more so through my liberal arts education was taught to think critically, write clearly, and dialogue respectfully.
A: by telling me that I was wrong not through exposition but through experience
A: St. Olaf taught me how important relationships are to music making, and it taught me to think critically about music and the world.
Q: What advice would you offer others thinking about studying at this school?
A: If you’re looking for the perfect combination of great academics and conservatory-caliber music, this is your place. Just as long as you’re ok with the cold winters (which really aren’t that bad!)!
A: you must break out, either at Olaf or immediately after, or you’ll enveloped by Minnesota
A: Keep yourself busy. Take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you. That includes all of the people you will meet. Get to know them, stay up late having engaging conversations or playing around, and be open to the ways they will change you and your thinking.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about this school?
A: Paul and Connie are the best. SMA also knows what he’s doing.
Tiller M, Micah S, Daniel M
Perspectives from the Bass Faculty
Q: What are some of your favorite experiences teaching at your school?
A: I have really enjoyed the high levels of commitment and musicality of St. Olaf’s non-music major bassists. The opportunity to teach double majors (music plus another major) has also been enlightening; it keeps our students well-rounded in many subject areas.
Both Paul and I believe in strong technical skills, and place high emphasis on participation in orchestra or other ensembles.
About The Bass Faculty
Connie Martin performs and teaches in Minnesota, where she has lived since 1982. She is a core member of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and also performs with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra and as substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra. She is currently on the faculties of Saint Olaf and Carleton Colleges.
Ms. Martin earned the Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois, and Bachelor of Arts from Whitworth College (Spokane, Washington). She also serves as Associate Editor for Bass World, the journal of the International Society of Bassists.In addition to her musical career, Ms. Martin also does grant research and writing for nonprofit organizations.
Bass instructor Paul Ousley has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Audubon String Quartet and a host of jazz greats. His former teachers include James Clute, Stuart Sankey, Gary Karr, and James Van Demark.
He has served on seven college faculties including the University of Iowa and the Eastman School of Music. His pupils include professional players, teachers, scholarship recipients at major music schools and festivals, as well as winners of the Schubert Club and Minnesota Idol solo competitions. Jonathan Van Dyke, class of 1996, won first place at the 2001 Orchestral Competition of the International Society of Bassists.
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