Third, fourth and fifth grade orchestra bass players at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School recently enjoyed a special bass presentation by bass expert Glen Saunders. Mr. Saunders, a parent in the district, has a Masters in Music (MM) from The Juilliard School, and a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) from Manhattan School of Music. He has studied bass extensively and has performed professionally on the bass.
Mr. Saunders’ son Aidan was among the fifth grade bassists. Aidan followed in his dad’s footsteps by having chosen to play the instrument and has been instructed privately on the instrument by his own father. Mr. Saunders’ presentation involved playing for the students with and without accompaniment, coaching them on their own playing, and talking about the role of the bass in the orchestra. 

The students’ eyes lit up when he played, seeing the musical potential of this very large, low instrument that they had chosen to play. Bass player participants included fifth graders Gregory Bohk, Aidan Saunders, and Morgan Vallen, fourth graders Brooke Brown, Shea Flynn, Elizabeth Michalopoulos, and Zoe Sanders, and third graders Nathan Riegler, Elizabeth Sabino, Callan Steel, and Orion Yberg. 

The young bassists had a reaction that could be summarized by one student’s comment: “That was awesome!” TJL orchestra teacher Cathy Ferraro hopes to have Mr. Saunders back for another great bass workshop next year.