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Stanford's Symphony Orchestra

DLBasSerDLBasSer Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
edited January 2010 in Stanford University
Hi, I'm a student in Canada, with Stanford as my dream school,
and I just had one question about its Symphony Orchestra, (and possibly every other music ensembles).
I found out that the orchestra accepts a few bass players, but I'm wondering if this is referring only to that of the violin family (i.e. doublebass, contrabass) or including all bass instruments, such as the electric bass guitar.

Also, are there any other ensembles I could join (if I get in xD) as a bass guitarist?
Preferably in the Jazz Orchestra, (cause i'm particularly interested in jazz...)?

I looked at the drop menu in the audition page to find the minimum proficiency requirements, but found nothing for the sort of a bass guitar...

(Apparently, I'm hoping to get in as a bass guitarist xD)

Post edited by DLBasSer on

Replies to: Stanford's Symphony Orchestra

  • walkyuwalkyu Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    The orchestra does not have a position for a bass guitarist. We're talking upright bass.

    There are a good deal of ensembles you could join as a bass guitarist, especially smaller jazz ensembles. Most of these will be informal auditions, if any at all. Of course, you could always make your own ensemble as well.

    Be aware that unless you are an exceptional national talent in bass guitar, it is not likely to be a major deciding factor in your admission to Stanford.
  • pyrospherepyrosphere Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Have u played in an orchestra before? They don't use electric bass guitars, even concert band rarely uses it.

    And their members page dosen't show percussion members, but there are percussionists there right? I'm a percussionist too and I MUST join some sort of ensemble in college haha...
  • DLBasSerDLBasSer Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Thanks Walkyu,

    And Pyrosphere, my school and many other schools around my area do have one or two bass guitarists in their jazz bands/orchestras, and I have indeed seen one of them use the bass guitar in a concert band too. Besides, just because an orchestra or a band doesn't regularly accept some instruments doesn't mean that they shouldn't, right? (Unless, of course, the ensemble is specifically intended for some instruments. i.e. a flute would definitely not fit into a strings ensemble...) I believe it is a matter of whether you can blend in the instrument into the ensemble or not that determines whether it should be accepted into the ensemble; and, the bass guitar, usually blends in well with many ensembles as well, provided one has a thorough understanding on how to manipulate the EQ of his/her bass guitar and amp. :D
  • 112358112358 Registered User Posts: 1,944 Senior Member
    How difficult is it to make the symphony orchestra? [I'm a violinist.]
  • oceanviewoceanview Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    I have observed, with my own child, and many other truly fine musicians that came out of his exceptional high school music program, that being a truly fine musician did not count for much at all when applying to Stanford. Being a top athlete trumps all there. Sorry.
  • DLBasSerDLBasSer Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    ok, first of all, I want to set somethings straight. I did NOT intend to employ my musical talent (if I even have any :D) as an advantage, nor did I come out of an exceptional musical program or any sort, either. I simply love music (and playing music!), and intend to participate in as many musical programs, ensembles, etc. as possible throughout my life. This includes middle school, high school, undergraduate university, graduate university, work, etc, whatever comes up in my life. Same goes for atheletic activities such as sports.

    I'm really sorry if I might offend anyone with what I will next say.

    I think it is really stupid to participate in such extracurricular activities during high school, in some cases actually spending a lot of money (or, as I like to call it, wasting money), just to write them down in a university application form and to expect an acceptance letter from Harvard or any sort. Besides, one does not have to be a fine musician or a well-built athelete to get into a good university. There is no such thing as "being a top athlete trumps all there" (I'm really sorry if you're offended, oceanview). If one is a top athelete, Perfect! But that doesn't guarantee you a spot for the best universities or whatever. You need other qualities. Or, even if you don't have qualities, you need "passion".

    What I believe is that, (I'm sure tons of people say this as well), you must be able to pursue what you "TRULY" want to pursue. OR, you must be "PASSIONATE" about what you are pursuing.

    Oceanview, allow me to assume that you were saying that high school students should rather pursue athletic activities rather than musical activities, so as to get into Stanford. Personally, I think you are wrong. (please understand that I am trying my best not to employ an ad hominem arguement here). If those truly fine musicians, as you've said, have really not been able to succeed in applying to Stanford, whereas the top athletes were successful, may I suggest that you consider other factors (otherwise known as the "confunding variables") before you come to the (possibly hasty) conclusion that "being a top athlete trumps all there".

    Have you considered their GPAs, Standardized test scores, recommendation letters, Personal Statements, Supplementary Essays? How much passion did they show for their respective activities? Did any of those have a legacy at Stanford? What were their financial status? Were they all citizens? were some of them immigrants? Besides these, there are many more factors to consider when dealing with applications.

    I do not want to be stereotypical or racist, but I kind of noticed that many students fresh from Asia tend to have amazing musical abilities such as the piano, the violin, the clarinet, etc. whereas many Caucasians tend to have a more well-built body, experience with sports etc. I could also look upon cultural issues related to this, but I won't go that far. Now, the asian students would most likely be considered as "international applicants" unless they have been living in America or California for a significant amount of time. Moreover, you would normally expect caucasians to be domestic applicants (I hope this is obvious and makes sense). Isn't it obvious that the domestic applicants have an enormous advantage over the international applicants? Thus, the athletes may seem to have an advantage over the musicians.

    What I've just said may not be true, but what I am trying to say is that you cannot make a hasty decision based on just a few factors, particularly when you're dealing with a complicated issue such as an admissions process.

    This is all I have to say. I'm sorry if I've been ranting, but I just wanted to make my opinion clear, (I can't believe how I digressed from the fact that I simply wanted to pursue more music... hahaha).


  • walkyuwalkyu Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    112358, the orchestra as a whole has a lot of coming and going, and it is actually more of a community orchestra. I can't say much about the wind ensemble or any other large groups, but the symphony orchestra is not very competitive to get into. There is a decent spread in talent. You do have some really exceptional players, but you also have those who played a bit in high school and try to squeeze in one rehearsal every 2 weeks. The organization is quite flexible, provided you get used to having only a few rehearsals before the concert.

    You can also get scholarships to subsidize private lessons--these are easier to get if you have the support of ensemble directors. Somewhat competitive over all.
  • pyrospherepyrosphere Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Yes I know it's possible for the orchestra to use a bass guitar, but it's very very rare, and at the most you'll probably play 1 song per season or even less.. bands in my country usually engage guest players for like bass guitar, or other instruments that we don't really use. otherwise, you're just a member that sits around all day doing nothing except for maybe 1 song...
  • Sly SiSly Si Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    pyrosphere: The reason the SSO's page doesn't list any percussionists is because they've been having trouble finding them for a couple of years now. Both the wind ensemble and orchestra have percussion sections (although in the latter case they sometimes only have to come to the last couple of rehearsals), and there is also sometimes a percussion ensemble when there's enough enthusiasm. Feel free to PM me with any percussion questions (I was section leader for the wind ensemble last year).
This discussion has been closed.