Dear Friends and Family,
As most of you know, I fell in love with music at age five when I started voice and piano lessons. I then fell in love with the bass at ten and while developing my skills in high school, my mentor, Jim Sowards, and an anonymous donor who called himself "Claus" found me an old Kay bass, just the body, and had it souped up at Robertson's in Albuquerque. The Kay has a beautiful solo sound considering its laminate construction and the rough condition it began with. It's been a challenge working so hard to get a big sound out of a little instrument. I was recently in a traumatic rollover car accident on the way to rehearsal with the Helena Symphony and my bass was badly damaged in the wreck as well. Since then it has been repaired and this has significantly affected its sound. However, it has served me well and led me to my current principal bass position with the Helena Symphony and a recent production on CBS with Steve Martin for the Queen Latifah show.
I recently had the opportunity to visit California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and decided it was time to seriously consider purchasing a bass. I spent many hours in appointments with shop owners and luthiers and played instruments ranging from $1,500 to $600,000. The last stop on my epic journey was Upton Bass, owned by Gary Upton in rural Mystic, Connecticut. There, luthiers carefully handcraft instruments winning gold medals at International Society of Basses competitions and surpassed instruments priced double and quadruple Upton list prices. Alec and I tested dozens of instruments and carefully considered varying timbres, volumes, and personalities. I settled on a contract with Gary for almost $15,000. When I asked Gary why he doesn't charge more for his basses if he does so well competitively and he simply replied that he wants to provide instruments to fine musicians at affordable prices so they can play, and not just pine away. His instruments are so responsive they almost play themselves. I'm so excited to meet my new love!
I know this is a lot to ask of my friends and family and it's felt awkward and difficult to ask. Times are difficult for everyone right know and I understand that this is a large amount of money to come up with in a short amount of time. The sooner I get my bass, the more performance opportunities I'll be able to say yes to, instead of hanging my head. I just made a $5,000 deposit and for the remaining balance, I'm working on loans from my credit union and from family members, and I am asking for donations from friends as well. Please consider any contribution to help me get my bass on the way! If 200 loved ones donate $10 or $20 dollars I'll be well on my way! My new bass won't be started until I complete my payment and will take 4-6 months to complete.
I'm working on a collaborative science and art project with Alec and some new friends in LA and will make the CD/performance available to everyone who donates, and also a video of some solo work when I play it! Hopefully this new bass will start a new chapter in my life!
Simple thanks is not enough, but please know how much this means to me, my music, and my future.
All the best,
"You are the music while the music lasts." - T.S. Eliot
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