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Sean Casey

A Progressive Guide to Orchestral Excerpts for Double Bass, Volume 1 by Sean Casey

A Progressive Guide to Orchestral Excerpts for Double Bass, Volume 1 by Sean Casey

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About the Guide

This book teaches students how to play orchestral excerpts for bass auditions in middle and high school and scaffolding techniques needed to advance to the next excerpt. Excerpts will introduce students to a variety of bow strokes and styles through different composers.

Table of Contents

Guide to Bowing
Guide to Dynamics

Chapter 1: Beethoven - Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy Theme
Chapter 2: Tchaikovsky - Serenade for Strings, Fourth Movement
Chapter 3: Berlioz - Symphony Fantastique, Fourth Movement
Chapter 4: Mahler - Symphony No. 1, Third Movement solo
Chapter 5: Brahms - Symphony No. 2, First Movement
Chapter 6: Beethoven - Symphony No. 7, Second Movement
Chapter 7: Wagner - Overture to Die Meistersinger
Chapter 8: Dvorak - Symphony No. 8, Fourth Movement
Chapter 9: Dvorak - Symphony No. 9, Fourth Movement
Chapter 10: Beethoven - Symphony No. 4, First Movement
Chapter 11: Beethoven - Symphony No. 4, Fourth Movement
Chapter 12: Mozart - The Magic Flute Overture
Chapter 13: Dukas - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Chapter 14: Sibelius - Symphony No. 2, Second Movement
Chapter 15: J.S. Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, First Movement
Chapter 16: Berlioz - Symphony Fantastique, Fifth Movement

About the Author

Sean is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM, Local 72-147), and the International Society of Bassists (ISB), and was the adjunct Professor of Double Bass at Brookhaven College in Dallas from 2017-2020. He is also a member of the Allen Philharmonic, and gives occasional solo recitals with his wife, Marla Nelson. Sean operates a large teaching studio in Allen, Tx, with many of Sean’s students making All-Region in Regions 24 and 25, and has had several students selected to TMEA’s All-State orchestras. His students have gone on to prestigious music schools such as Baylor and Julliard. Additionally, Sean was awarded the Foundation award by the Foundation for Music Education in the summer of 2021. In 2024, Sean released a new book - A Progressive Guide to Orchestral Excerpts for Double Bass, Volume 1.

Sean Casey began Double Bass at age 10 in Katy, Texas, under the direction of Dixie Addington at Beck Junior High School. While there, Sean participated in the Beck Junior High School Orchestra, which was selected as the Texas Honor Orchestra in the Spring of 2003. Starting in 8th Grade, he began lessons with Andy Moritz, a Houston native who studied under Dennis Whittaker at the University of Houston. Under Mr. Moritz’s tutelage, Sean earned Texas Region and All-State orchestra chairs from 2003 to 2007, including seats in the TMEA All-State Symphony orchestra in 2006 and 2007. Throughout high school, Sean participated in several youth orchestra programs, including Virtuosi of Houston, the Houston Youth Symphony, and the Cinco Ranch High School Orchestra. In Sean's senior year of high school, he began supplemental lessons with Eric Larson of the Houston Symphony as he undertook the college school of music audition process. Additionally, he performed with the Rice University Non-Music Majors Orchestra during his senior year of high school.

In addition to his studies in high school, Sean remained an active member of the community, passing on knowledge to younger students and peers. As part of a National Honor Society Project, Sean began giving masterclasses to double bass students at Beckendorff Junior High and Morton Ranch Junior High in Katy ISD his Junior year of high school. In addition, he attended many masterclasses and summer programs during this time, including Interlochen and Tanglewood, requiring him to critique his peers and learn to share different bass techniques and ideas.

Sean enrolled at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2008, studying with Jeffery Bradetich (University of North Texas) and Max Dimoff (Principal Double Bass, Cleveland Orchestra), where he earned a Bachelors of Music with a minor in Economics, from Case Western Reserve University, in only 3 1/2 years. While at CIM, he was an active member of the Case/CIM Baroque Orchestra, specializing in period performance, culminating in concerts at the Boston Early Music Festival in the Summer of 2011, including a radio broadcast of the ensemble. In addition, Sean acted as a substitute bassist for the Fireland's Symphony in Sandusky, OH, and participated many concerts with the CIM Orchestra each semester. In addition to his school work, Sean also participated in the Texas Music Festival (Summer 2009) and the Round Top Music Festival (Summer 2010), furthering his orchestral studies and earning the opportunity to work under the baton of several great conductors.

After an early graduation from CIM in January of 2012, Sean relocated to Northwest Florida, where he began interning in the front office for the Gulf Coast Sinfonia, as well as playing with the orchestra come concert time. During this time, he took auditions for graduate school, and eventually selected Arizona State University.

Starting in the Fall of 2012, Sean began studies with Catalin Rotaru at Arizona State University. During his time there, Sean performed with the Arizona State University Orchestra, as well as the Arizona Contemporary Music Society, performing major symphonic works and several smaller but newer chamber works. In the Fall of 2013, his professor selected him as the Teaching Assistant for the underclassmen at ASU, and in the Spring of 2014, Sean graduated with a Masters of Music in Performance. In addition to his school work, Sean attended the Festival de Musica de Catarina (FEMUSC) in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, where he performed in an orchestra of mostly South American musicians, participated in masterclasses with Catalin Rotaru and Brazilian professor Tibault Delor, and did some jazz work in the evenings. Sean also performed for church services and weddings, subbed in as a bassist with local ensemble Simply Three, taught sectionals and summer camps at local high schools, and recorded several songs for various musicians around the East Valley.

After graduating from ASU, Sean moved to DFW to start a private teaching studio in the North Dallas area. He began in Plano, before moving up to Allen, teaching in Plano ISD, Allen ISD, McKinney ISD, and Frisco ISD while building a private studio. He has also taught numerous sectionals and masterclasses, and taught for two years at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas from 2017-2019. As a performer, Sean has been a finalist for the TCU Double Bass Festival Orchestra Audition in 2018, a semi-finalist for the San Antonio Symphony audition in 2018, and a semi-finalist in the PRISMA Concerto Competition in Powell River, Canada, in 2019. In 2021, he was awarded the Foundation Award by the Foundation for Music Education.

Due to the variety of teachers and experience, Sean actively teaches music in many styles, mainly emphasizing good tone and relaxed technique that makes playing music enjoyable. He works with students of all ages, and currently has a studio operating in the Plano-Allen-McKinney-Frisco area.

Sean plays a bass made in 2011 by Andrew Carruthers, modeled after the Cavani double bass made in Italy circa 1892, and plays a Rodney Mohr French bow, a Raffin French bow, and a Carvalho german bow.

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