music-noteBass Fest

On Saturday, January 13, 2018, UW-Whitewater will host its tenth annual Bass Fest from 8:50 a.m.–5:30 p.m. at the Light Recital Hall in the Center of the Arts Building. This event is a fun and exciting way to learn more about the bass. Bassists and bass enthusiasts of all ages from beginners through collegiate and adult levels are welcome.

Bass Fest will feature technique classes of varying ability levels, classical master classes, jazz master class and discussions/ classes on varying aspects of double bass playing. The day will culminate with a recital featuring the Bass Ensemble made up of the day’s participants and teachers.

Vince Jesse from the Double Bass Workshop in Madison will be on hand to do small repairs (new string installation, sound post/ bridge adjustments, endpin work, etc.). Vince will also have new and used basses as well as bass accessories available for sale.


Master Class Participants

imgStudents of any ability level are welcome to perform a solo piece during the master class at 2:30 p.m. Students who wish to play should bring solo music they know or are currently working on. There will be a sign-up sheet when you arrive.


Skill Levels

Classes will be held and participants will be placed with others based on their level of ability (i.e. middle/high school or college, adult-amateur or adult-teacher).


What Should You Bring?


  • Bring your own bass, bow, rockstop, rosin and stool.
  • Bring friends and family to the concert.
  • Wear something bright for the concert.
  • Registrants under 18: Please bring a completed Clinic Health Information Form to check-in. Form can be found online by clicking here.
  • Bring a bag lunch or money to purchase lunch. Restaurants are within walking distance.



8:50 a.m. Welcome
9:00 a.m. Technique Classes
10:00 a.m. Bass Ensemble Rehearsal
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Jazz Techniques & Classical Techniques
1:30 p.m. Technique Classes
2:30 p.m. Master Class (student performances)
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. Bass Ensemble Rehearsal
4:30 p.m. Bass Ensemble Recital


Cost Information

imgThe $60.00 fee covers instruction and materials.

T-shirt (optional): $12.66

Limited sizes  will also be available at check-in for $15.00.

Please register by Wednesday, January 10, 2018.


Driving Directions

Directions to the campus can be found online by clicking here. A campus map can be found here. 

Parking Information

You can park in lot 1 on the corner of Main St. and Prince St.  Directions to the campus and a map can be found by clicking here.   More information on parking can be found on the Visitor Center website.  


Cancellations made 7 days prior to the training will receive payment back minus 6%. NO REFUNDS will be given for no shows.

To request a cancellation, email your request to Provide registrant's name and event title. 

Performers and Clinicians

Bradley Townsend

StaffBradley Townsend holds a Master of Music in Improvisation from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Iowa where he studied with Diana Gannett. Brad teaches string bass, improvisation, and conducts jazz combos as well as the alternative styles ensemble at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to playing with many notable artists, Brad performs with area ensembles such as the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Oakwood Chamber Players, Rountree Ensemble, Executive Tea Set, and Arp of the Covenant. His recordings have been reviewed in All About Jazz and the All Music Guide.

Mark Urness


Mark Urness is a versatile bassist, composer, and educator. His diverse performance experience encompasses orchestral, chamber, jazz, salsa, and solo playing. Recent performances include appearances with Jazz greats Art Lande, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, Howard Levy, Russ Johnson, and Joe Locke. He is heard frequently on Wisconsin Public Radio as a chamber musician and soloist. He was awarded First Prize in the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition and performed with Bill Mays and Tim Froncek at the 2001 ISB Convention. Mark is currently an Assistant Professor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Mark 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.

Katie Ernst


Katie Ernst is a musician, composer, and educator in Chicago, IL. As a bassist and vocalist, she has performed at jazz festivals throughout the country, and has received critical acclaim for her "Little Words" project, and original song cycle inspired by the poetry of Dorothy Parker. She studied double bass under James VanDemark and Jeff Campbell at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.


Each camper will be covered by a limited accident insurance policy. The insurance includes primary coverage up to $7,500 and $300 maximum dental insurance. Insurance does not cover pre-existing injuries and is for accidents only. The cost of insurance is included in the registration fee.


Special Notice

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to equal opportunity in its educational programs, activities and employment policies, for all persons, regardless of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status and pregnancy.

If you have any disabling condition that requires special accommodations or attention, please advise us well in advance. We will make every effort to accommodate your special needs.

I understand that the University may take photographs and or videos of event participants and activities. I agree that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shall be the owner of and may use such photographs and or videos relating to the promotion of future events. I relinquish all rights that I may claim in relation to use of said photographs and/or videos.