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Bass Fest

UW-Whitewater Bass Fest Clinic

Check back for 2021 details!

For the health and safety of our community, this event has been cancelled. If you have already registered for this event, you will be contacted by email with further information as it becomes known. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we navigate this situation. If you have any immediate questions, please contact

The UW-Whitewater 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.

Bassists and bass enthusiasts of all ages from beginners through collegiate and adult levels are welcome.

Date: Saturday, May 2, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

(Make up from January)

Limited to the first 60 registrants.



Register Online closed

Registrations accepted online until noon on 5/1/20. We do accept walk up registrations at event check-in, if space is available.  Walk-up registration details available here after the online registration closes.

Fee:  $60

T-shirt* (optional):  $12.66 - $14.77

*T-Shirts guaranteed if ordered by 4/17/20.

Bring-A-Friend Discount: Returning attendees can receive a $10 discount off their fee by bringing one new attendee with them this year to Bass Fest. Both the returning attendee and the new attendee will receive the discount when they list each other's name on the registration. Check "Bring-a-friend Discount" in the registration if you believe you qualify.  Discount cannot be applied after you register and pay.  You will be charged $10 if listed friend does not attend.

Group Discount: Receive $10 off each registration when six (6) or more register to attend Bass Fest from the same school.  Make sure to check "Group Discount" in the registration if you believe you qualify.    Discounts cannot be applied after you register and pay.  You will be charged $10 if less than six (6) do not attend event from the school.

Fees Include

The event fee includes instruction and insurance.


All registrant accounts must be paid in full three weeks (21 days) prior to the start of event. Registrants with outstanding balances after payment is due in full are subject to being removed from the event roster without refund. Please contact Continuing Education Services at prior to this deadline if extenuating circumstances prevent you from completing a payment.

In the event of a cancellation, Continuing Education Services should be notified no later than 21 days before the start of the event session in order to receive a refund, less 20% administrative fee. Cancellation request received less than 21 days from the start of camp will receive a refund minus 50% late cancellation fee of event cost. Cancellations due to medical reasons will receive a full refund, less the 20% administrative fee, if the cancellation is requested and medical documentation is provided prior to the start of event. Valid medical cancellations must include a signed letter from a licensed physician to qualify. NO REFUNDS will be given for withdrawal due to early departures, disciplinary reasons or no show after the event has started.

All cancellation requests must be submitted to; provide registrant’s name, camp and medical documentation, if applicable. Refunds will be returned to name an address of payer.

We reserve the right to cancel any event due to low enrollment; in such as case, all fees paid will be refunded.

Received an Award, Sponsorship or Discount?

For those participants who will be receiving a sponsorship to attend this event: Register and use the promo code your sponsor gave you. The sponsorship will be deducted from your invoice.  Any remaining balance remains the participant's responsibility. Any cancellations will result in the sponsorship funds being returned to the supporting organization.

Any qualifying discounts given by the event will not be applied after you have paid in full. Be sure to use the promo code at check out to receive your discount. You will be charged if you do not qualify for requested discount at the start of event.

A processing fee will be assessed if a refund is issued due to overpayment on your account.

Questions, received an award/scholarship without a promo code or want to use two promo codes? Please call Continuing Education Services at 262-472-3165 or email

Want to Sponsor a Registrant?

You can sponsor a registrant and cover all or partial fees. We have received requests in the past from schools, companies, organizations, friends and family members that would like to send their chosen registrant to a specific event. If you would like to sponsor a registrant, you can request a promo code that you may give to your chosen registrant. Click here for more details.

What to Bring

  • Bass
  • Bow
  • Rockstop
  • Rosin
  • Stool
  • Bag lunch or money.  Restaurants are within walking distance.

Check In

Registrants may check-in at 8:00 a.m. at the Greenhill Center of the Arts.

Confirmation Emails

Once you register a confirmation email will be sent to your email account. Contact if you do not receive this confirmation email. Historically email accounts used from and are blocked from receiving notifications from us or may end up in your spam folder. You are able to register using these accounts; however, you will not receive emails from us. Please make sure you have a working email address on file with us to be able to receive important announcements and updates about this event.

Driving Directions

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


Parking permits are required on all vehicles parked on campus at all times, with the exception of 5 p.m. Fridays to 11:00 p.m. Sundays. You can park in lot 1 on the corner of Main Street and Prince Street.  More information on parking can be found on the Visitor Center website.

Registration Terms & Conditions

By registering for an event, you agree to our Registration Terms and Conditions. Please review the Registration Terms and Conditions for more details.

Be aware that we advise you to leave all non-essential, portable electronic devices at home (iPod, Fitbit, cell phones, etc), but ultimately it is your decision.  We will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items.

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. 


8:50 a.m. Welcome
9:00 a.m. Technique Classes
10:00 a.m. Bass Ensemble Rehearsal
11:30 a.m. Lunch (on your own)
12:30 p.m. Jazz 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

*All times are subject to change

Masterclass Participants

Students 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 Level

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).


Bradley Townsend

Bradley Townsend

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.

Mark Urness

Mark Urness

Mark is currently an Assistant Professor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. 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.

Katie Ernst

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.  More informaiton at


Registrants are encouraged to have their own health insurance as accident insurance provided by the University is limited. Each registrant will be covered by a limited accident insurance policy. The insurance includes primary coverage up to $10,000. 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.

Registering for this event you understand that the University may take photographs and or videos of event participants and activities. You will  be required to agree at the time of registration 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.  You will relinquish all rights that you may claim in relation to use of said photographs and/or videos.