Ken Harper


Kenneth Harper, Assistant Principal Bass of the Colorado Symphony, was a tubist until his freshman year at James Madison University, where he began study with Sam Cross and graduated with a Bachelor of Music. While there, he won the Virginia Music Teacher's Association Concerto Competition, and the State and Regional divisions of the MTNA/Wurlitzer Young Artist's Competition. He then studied with Paul Ellison at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, earning a Master's degree. Along with his formal education, Mr. Harper has worked with Francois Rabbath, Hal Robinson and Ed Barker. After graduating from Rice, he joined the Houston Ballet Orchestra, played for a year with the New Orleans Philharmonic and performed, toured and recorded with the Houston Symphony. He has also played with the San Antonio Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera. He regularly performs with the CSO groups "Up Close and Musical" and "Once Upon a Time" and enjoys playing chamber music with his colleagues from the CSO. He has participated in many summer festivals including the Colorado Music Festival as principal, National Repertory Orchestra, Tanglewood, National Orchestral Institute and The Solti Orchestral Project at Carnegie Hall. He likes to stay fit by hiking and practicing Astanga Yoga. He is married to Amy Harr, a 'cellist whom he met at NRO in Keystone. Mr. Harper's instrument is a Mirecourt bass, ca. 1870.


Price$$--I charge $30/hr. With students who are really motivated, I charge $40 for a lesson and teach until they've had enough. That was how I was taught and I think if one is really working hard there's a whole lot to talk about and explore.

Availibility--I have some time to spare.

Main styles, concepts taught--I studied with Paul Ellison and some with Rabbath so I'm a strong advocate of multiple scale fingerings, bowings and string crossings. Use of natural arm weight, with an open approach to the instrument is also a big thing for me. I also have alot to show about body use and posture with the bass. I've studied yoga for some years and it has improved my playing significantly.


Specify upright, electric, fretless--I only teach and play the double bass although I began on electric and have played jazz. I think that the left hand of the Rabbath system would be of value to any upright bassist.

Levels taught--I've taught from beginners (using Washington Bass Project books), advanced students preparing recitals to professionals preparing auditions.


Required texts--I use the Rabbath third book for scale fingerings and the Strokin' Sevcik for bass by Hal Robinson.


Experience--in the Bio, I also teach at the Round Top Festival-Institute in Texas, the month of June.


Main influences--Paul Ellison, Hal Robinson, Ed Barker, Francois Rabbath


Venue--home studio

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