Double Down on the Double Bass

Rusty White joins TCCP for November series

Besides being a great musician and bass player, Rusty White is an avid biker, along with his wife, Di.

Besides being a great musician and bass player, Rusty White is an avid biker, along with his wife, Di.

TCCP is stretching the boundaries of chamber music for this concert series. Russell (“Rusty”) White, Professor Emeritus of Double Bass at UNL and equally well known for his jazz improvisations with guitarist Peter Bouffard, joins the Third Chair Chamber Players for the November 5th and 7th performances.

Spotlighting a double bass within the chamber ensemble began as the brainchild of TCCP clarinetist Ed Love. Ed had heard Fancies and Goodnights, a trio for clarinet, flute and double bass written by UNL graduate Eugene O’Brien, and wanted to program it this year.

Ed e-mailed O’Brien, who is on the faculty of Indiana University’s School of Music, and asked why the double bass player had so much more solo voice material in the piece than the clarinet or flute. O’Brien replied that there were so few small chamber ensemble works which included double bass, and his idea was to create a work that thoroughly explored how the double bass could integrate into a chamber ensemble, in a role that was greater than just a basso voice.

This work is a tour de force for double bass, and its energy and palette of sounds are enthralling. There is the usual pitch range and bowing, but then there are the snaps, plucks, knuckle hits, harmonics, and sounds that are so low you can count the pulses. The effect is amazing and will be a treat for all.

Composer Eugene O’Brien was a student of Robert Beadell while at UNL in the ’60s. He then went on to have an incredible career, receiving the Rome Priz of the American Academy and awards from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Fulbright and NEA Foundations.


TCCP partners with OLLI for upcoming events

This year TCCP is excited to partner with OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. OLLI at UNL is one of 120 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes across the United States, promoting lifelong learning for adults 50 years and older.

As part of this affiliation, TCCP musicians will present talks related to this season’s concert programs. The September talk was “All About Third Chair” and was a great success! Get out your pen and mark your calendar so you won't miss these upcoming programs:

  • November 3, 2–4 pm—“Double Down on the Double Bass” or everything you want to know about this extraordinary instrument, presented by Rusty White and friends.
  • January 28, 2–4 pm—“How to get to Heaven on a Harp” presented by Katie Wychulis and friends
  • April 12, 2–4 pm—“Things You Hit” featuring a huge variety of percussion instruments, presented by Joe Holmquist

All talks take place at NET Studios, 1800 N. 33rd Street in Lincoln. They are free and open to the public. The talks are partially funded by a grant from the Nebraska Humanities Council, and we thank them for their support.

Also on the November program...

Rusty White will play Failing—a very difficult piece for String Bass by Tom Johnson; Becky Van de Bogart (flute) and Katie Wychulis-Snyder (harp) will perform Serenade No. 10 by Vincent Persichetti; and a special set of Latin tunes with a splash of Charlie Parker, performed by Rusty White (bass), Ed Love (clarinet) and Joe Holmquist (percussion) will finish the evening.

Friday, November 5 • 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:30)
Sunday, November 7 • 3:00 pm (doors open at 2:30)

Performances are at NET Studios, 1800 N. 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.