- State: Wisconsin
- Private School
- School Website
Mark Urness, bass faculty
- US News Ranking: #60 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
- US News Overall Score (out of 100): 65
- Tuition & Fees 2016-17: $44,844
- Room & Board 2016-17: $9,654
- Total Enrollment: 1,561
- Acceptance Rate (from 2015): 68%
- Student – Faculty Ratio: 9:1
- 4 year graduation rate: 63%
- % of undergrads receiving Financial aid: 62%
- Average Financial Aid: $29,622
Double Bass Statistics
- Average number of undergraduate bass students: 15
- Studio Class, Bass Ensembles, Technique Class
What Alumni Are Doing
- Freelancing in NYC, Chicago, and Minneapolis
Perspectives from Students and Alumni
Q: What are some favorite memories about studying at this school?
A: So far my favorite memories are from orchestra with my studio mates. We always have a great time together whether it’s rehearsing, getting ready for our concert or having “studio dinner” after rehearsals. Playing and connecting together while performing outstanding music is such an amazing feeling.
A: Being able to study religious philosophy and music and devote time and energy into both. Playing in the jazz combo here has been amazing, being able to work on improvisation and group dynamic in a small setting.
A: Suffering through the theory sequence with my friends
A: I was able to play with some fantastic musicians who pushed me to practice and get better. Also I was able to participate in a lot of cool projects with my friends and peers.
Q: How did this school help prepare you for your future endeavors?
A: I am currently still a student, but I’m assuming I will have a wider world view and be able to have conversations (musical and verbal) with people from any background.
A: Helped me mature and develop not only my mind but myself
A: I was able to play in a wide variety of situations, and was taught an aural approach towards playing jazz.
Q: What advice would you offer others thinking about studying at this school?
A: Lawrence University may seem like a small school with not much to offer but that is the complete opposite of what Lawrence is. If you are looking for a school that has small class sizes, a conservatory that offers an amazing array of ensembles and some amazing people, Lawrence is the place for you!
A: It’s hard but it’s worth it and the music faculty is incredibly talented, and are great educators.
A: Work hard in everything you do.
A: It is a small program, so there’s only a handful of really good players at any one time, which had both positive and negative impacts on me. I got to work closely with my professors, but didn’t feel pushed by the other bassists in the studio and also didn’t have any other motivated jazz bass players to talk to besides my professor
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about this school?
A: It’s fricken awesome.
A: The jazz faculty here are incredible, some of the best musicians/educators in the country.
A: Great faculty.
A: Mark Urness is one of the best bass players I’ve ever seen, also he’s an amazing pedagogue for technique.
Sarah K, Christian R, Raleigh H, Jakob H
Perspectives from the Bass Faculty
Q: What are some of your favorite experiences teaching at your school?
A: Working with a diverse studio and teaching bright motivated students. Classical and jazz, and even some electric, all from the same professor.
About The Bass Faculty
Mark Urness is a versatile bassist, composer, and educator. His diverse performance experience encompasses orchestral, chamber, solo, jazz playing. He was awarded first prize in the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition. His unaccompanied jazz CD, Foreground, was released in 2009. Bass World magazine described his playing as “completely in command of the instrument and the tunes, rife with good ideas, melodic instinct, and groove, not to mention killer intonation on the double stops and chords.” Recent performances include chamber music broadcasts on Wisconsin Public Radio, and jazz performances with Bill Carrothers, Danilo Perez, Peter Erskine, and Joe Locke.
Prior to his appointment to the faculty of Lawrence University, Mr. Urness taught at the University of Iowa, Coe College, and the University of Northern Iowa. He received a Master of Music in double bass performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Northern Iowa, and studied music and computer science at the University of Iowa.
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