Paul Sharpe, bass faculty
- In-State Tuition & Fees 2016-17: $9,139
- Out-of-State Tuition & Fees 2016-17: $24,609
- Room & Board 2016-17: $8,779
- Total Enrollment: 970
- Acceptance Rate (from 2015): 34%
- Student – Faculty Ratio: 6:1
- 4 year graduation rate: 67%
- % of undergrads receiving Financial aid: 63%
- Average Financial Aid: $8,182
Double Bass Statistics
- Average number of undergraduate bass students: 8
- Average number of graduate bass students: 1-2
- Studio Class, Orchestral Repertoire Class, Bass Ensembles
What Alumni Are Doing
- Robert Widlowski – now a member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan
- Christian Gray – the newest member of the Washington National Opera Double Bass section
Perspectives from the Bass Faculty
Q: What are some of your favorite experiences teaching at your school?
A: UNCSA is a small campus, with just under 1500 students studying in our Schools of Dance, Film, Design and Production, Drama. Most of these schools are considered in the top five or ten in the nation, and a few in the world. This makes this a vibrant arts campus, with students drawing great inspiration across the schools. We also have the nationally known Fletcher Opera Institute – which has produced several current stars of the Met, Lyric Opera, and opera houses in Europe. Any musical production is a wonder – visually and aurally. I routinely leave a production thinking, “”this was better than Broadway.”” I continue to be in awe of our recent productions of “”The Drowsy Chaperone”” and Strauss’ “”Ariadne auf Naxos.””
Our school is also famous for its high school program. We are unique in the nation for having high school students working alongside graduate and undergraduate students. As a result, I have produced some of the finest high school bassists in the nation who have gone on to great things. With the high school program included, my studio usually has between 10-13 bassists. Two of my high schoolers have been recent semi-finalists in the ISB Solo Competition, and my school has been represented in the bass section of the NYO-USA double bass section for the past two years.
A recent graduate of my high school program is now an undergraduate freshman at UNCSA and this year he won positions in two fellowship programs – the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Institute and the Texas Music Festival. Last year, a junior high school bassist from my studio won first prize in the NC-ASTA Competition. Double bass graduates from my school in recent years have gone on to Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, University of North Texas, New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Michigan, Northwestern, and more.
I value technique greatly, and have a thoroughly codified method for practicing scales of every mode, arpeggios, and technical exercises. Because it is a conservatory, the bass studio has a staff pianist, who plays with my students at every weekly master class. Each master class is video recorded and uploaded to the internet (privately). My studio will meet for master class even when I am gone performing – they want to play for each other and hear each other each week regardless of my presence. They are a very close-knit group and very supportive of each other. There are many regional orchestras in the area, and my students play in many of them – Winston-Salem Symphony, Union Symphony, Salisbury Symphony, Fayetteville Symphony, Charleston (SC) Symphony, and more.
About The Bass Faculty
Paul Sharpe says:
I grew up in Alaska, went to Interlochen Arts Camp one summer, and was hooked on the double bass. I went on to study with Jeff Bradetich at Northwestern University and Diana Gannett at the University of Iowa. I earned fellowships at Aspen (where I won the double bass concerto competition), Tanglewood (where I played in Bernstein’s second to last concert), Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. My first job, other than gigs, was playing in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and teaching at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.
My next teaching job was as a professor at Texas Tech University, and as principal bass of the Lubbock Symphony and I performed regularly with the Fort Worth Symphony and San Antonio Symphony. Currently, I teach at UNCSA and play principal bass of the Winston-Salem Symphony and perform with Arizona MusicFest (an all-star winter orchestra festival with faculty from major universities and orchestras all over the world) and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
I am the founding member of two innovative ensembles – Low and Lower, with cellist Brooks Whitehouse and the Bad Boyz of Bass, with Anthony Stoops, David Murray, and Volkan Orhon. I teach and perform at several summer festivals, and two of my favorite are in Alaska – the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival. Both have extremely gifted faculty from all over the world and are remarkably inexpensive. It is always a treat to show bassists my home state after making great music with them!
Hear the Bad Boyz of Double Bass on Contrabass Conversations: