Young Bassists and Classical Faculty
Founder and Artistic Coordinator of the Rochester Bass Retreat, Gaelen McCormick has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic’s double bass section since 1995. Before joining the RPO, she held positions with regional orchestras such as the Erie (PA) Philharmonic, the Binghamton Philharmonic, and the Albany Symphony. McCormick has performed regularly with other major orchestras, including the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Syracuse Symphony. She holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School and Carnegie Mellon University.
Teaching the double bass to students of all ages has become a significant part of McCormick’s life. She joined the faculty of Nazareth College in 2010, and has been the bass instructor for the Eastman Community Music School since 2001. She enjoys working with talented high school aged string players in the summer at Eastman’s Music Horizons program, where she teaches chamber music and gives bass lessons. McCormick has given masterclasses and recitals at Ithaca College, Williams College, the College of St. Rose, and Roberts Wesleyan College. During the summer of 2015, Gaelen taught at four bass workshops and was able to study with the renowned pedagogue and artist François Rabbath. Recently she has been a frequent clinician at both the International Society of Bassists convention and the NYSSMA Winter Conference. Mastering the Bow part 2 (of a three book series) on double bass bow technique has been published by Carl Fischer in 2016. The third will be published during the 2016-17 season.
Playing chamber music has always been a passion for McCormick. Before moving to Rochester, she often performed with the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra (Albany, NY) as their sole bassist. During her tenure in Pittsburgh, she became the founding bassist of the Pittsburgh Live Music Chamber Orchestra. She was the founding member of the innovative string quintet “Gibbs and Main” recorded a CD of tango standards with them, and commissioned a new work for the ensemble by Judd Greenstein. In recent summers, she has been performing with the Music in the Mountains chamber orchestra, a festival based in Durango, Colorado.