Contrabass Conversations double bass life

536: South African Double Bass Course

Nov. 5, 2018

I spoke with South African double bassist Zanelle Britz about her launching of the first ever double bass course in South Africa, which will take place December 9-12, 2018 in Cape Town.  Learn more about the event and donate to support it at


More about the South African Double Bass Course (from their website):

The National Youth Orchestra is hosting our first ever course exclusively for the Double Bass! We are so excited - there are very few opportunities for bassists here and we want this to be the start of a wonderful bass community for South Africa.

Wonderful teachers Roxane Steffen (principal bass at the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra), Nick Scales from the School of Music at West Texas A&M University, and Jeff Bradetich and Gudrun Raschen from the University of North Texas College of Music will be on this year's faculty.

Every What It Takes course is designed specifically to cater to the needs of the participants. The course covers many aspects of professional musicianship including audition preparation, marketing of yourself as a musician, posture/injury prevention, performing with an orchestra, music history related to your instrument and individual master classes from top professionals. It gives insight into solo, chamber and orchestral playing as well as teaching and other career options. Each course also has an aspect of music education advocacy, and we will make sure to include people new to the bass in our audiences for our concerts, specially children.


Bursaries for the What It Takes: Double Bass Course

We have young double bass players from across South Africa that would love to attend - but more than half are not able to do so without financial assistance. With your help we can provide transport, accommodation and catering for their time in Cape Town for the duration of the course 9-12 December 2018.

It costs roughly ZAR2000 for transport and ZAR2000 for the course - so each bursary candidate would need USD265 to be able to attend. All of our financial assistance applications are means tested and we make sure they go to the young musicians that really deserve the opportunity.


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