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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When and where is the festival?
A: The festival is on Sunday, March 4, 2018, from 9:00am - 5:00pm. It will be held at Bennett Gordon Hall in Ravinia Festival, located north of Chicago in Highland Park, IL.

Q: Should I bring a bass?
A: You should bring your bass, bow, stool, and any music you are currently working on if you would like to play in the group activities and master classes. Having a bass is certainly not required, however. You are more than welcome to come without a bass and listen to performances, sit in on clinics, and try out instruments from our vendors. 

Q: Can my mother/father/sibling come?
A: Family members of registered participants (parents, brothers and sisters) are invited to attend any session and performance throughout the day at no charge. Students in elementary school are encouraged to have a parent attend sessions with them.

Q: What is the format for the Chicago Bass Festival?
A: The Chicago Bass Festival is set up like a convention, with multiple sessions being offered every hour covering a wide variety of topics, including:
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Young Bassist
  • Audition Preparation
  • Music School and Career Advice
  • Early Music Sessions
These topics will be explored through four different kinds of sessions:
  • Group Playing - classes where everyone plays through exercises and music together 
  • Clinics - sessions based around a particular topic (excerpts, solo repertoire, jazz bass lines, auditions, etc.)
  • Master Classes - like public lessons; a clinician works one-on-one with a bassist in front of an audience
  • Performances - live bass playing throughout the day for your enjoyment

Q: How do I participate in a clinic?
A: Head over to the room in which the clinic you'd like to attend will be held. Be sure to bring your bass if you'd like to play.
Q: Do I have to stay until the end of a session?
A: No. In fact, you are encouraged to check out as many sessions as you can, so please feel free to come in late or leave in the middle of an ongoing session. The goal of the festival is to provide more than you can possibly take in!

Q: How do I sign-up to play in a master class?
A: A few weeks prior to the clinic, we will send out a sign up sheet to all who are enrolled to attend, where you can sign up to play at master classes. There will be a limited number of slots, and slots are first come, first serve. Clinicians will do their best to work with as many students as possible, but masterclass playing will be determined by the flow of the class. 

Q: Who are the clinicians?
A: A complete listing with clinician information is available on our clinicians page.

Q: Where is the event?
A: At Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall in Highland Park, Illinois. Directions (including a downloadable PDF) available on the Directions page.

Q: Do I have to pay to park?
A: Nope! Parking is free and the load-in for your bass is easy. Please see Directions Page

Q: How young are “young bassists?”
A: When we say “young bassists,” we typically mean bassists in elementary and middle school. Any students in this age range are welcome to participate in the classes for older bassists (and vice versa), but classes designated as being tailored for young bassists are designed to be most helpful to beginning bassists. If you’re an adult but are a beginner (or just want a refresher course), you may want to check out one of these classes as well!

Q: Who plays on the “Faculty Recital” at 4 pm?
A: Clinicians will begin the faculty recital with solo or chamber performances, and the recital will end with a performance of bass ensemble music that includes faculty and participants. There will be a bass ensemble rehearsal at 9:30am to prepare the music for the recital, and all participants are welcome to play. Parts will be available and emailed to participants prior to the festival. 

Q: Can I observe the festival without actively participating in any of the sessions?
A: Yes - on the day of the festival, people who wish to observe (but not participate) in any sessions can pay a $15 Observer Fee. Observers will not be able to participate in Master Classes or Technique sessions, for example, but may watch classes and performances.

Q: Do the students play a lot in the classes, or do they mostly just watch others play?
A: There are a wide variety of classes, some with group playing and some with individuals playing, but there will be group classes all day, so one could play the entire day (or just listen the entire day) if one were so inclined.

Any additional questions? Contact Midwest Young Artists Conservatory at mya@mya.org or lizclawson@mya.org, or call (847) 926-9898.