Bass at Arts Academy

Why Study Bass at Interlochen

If percussion is an ensemble's heartbeat, the bass is its soul. At Interlochen, with your study of acoustic and/or electric bass, you will expand your musical style and approach, from classical to jazz, to rock, funk, gospel, Latin, and more. Unlock the versatility of your instrument as you practice and perform with other passionate artists at.

What You’ll Learn

Our bass players are some of our most versatile students on campus and our six music programs allow you to play with that versatility. 

Our combination of private lessons, studio classes, and ensemble work is designed to meet your needs and develop your abilities. Master instructors help you gain the fundamentals, develop your technique, and create your own style.

Interlochen Arts Academy is the top-rated boarding school for bass. You will learn repertoire and develop the discipline required if you're considering college and conservatory studies, or a professional career in music.

How to Apply

Double Bass Audition Requirements

Electric Bass Audition Requirements

Meet the Faculty

Derek Weller

Instructor of Double Bass

All Faculty

Guest Artists

  • Andy Anderson, Professor of Bass, Roosevelt University
  • Steve Bailey, Chair, Bass Department, Berklee College of Music
  • Lawrence Hurst, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University
  • Kurt Muroki, Professor of Bass, Indiana University
  • Andrew Raciti, Professor of Bass, Northwestern University
  • Jeffery Turner, Professor of Bass, Indiana University
  • Yung-Chiao Wie, Professor of Bass, Louisiana State University
  • Victor Wooten, record producer, educator, and five-time Grammy award winner

Program Highlights

Performance Opportunities

Bass students have multiple performance opportunities with our classical and contemporary music ensembles. Learn more in our Explore Ensembles section below. Furthermore, we also showcase solo engagements and you will have the opportunity to participate in Interlochen Arts Academy's concerto competition.

Awards & Recognition

Academy bassists regularly receive accolades in competitions in the United States and around the world. In 2019, student Yue Zhang won first place in the 18-and-under division of the International Society of Bassists solo competition. Other recent graduates, including Ju-Fang Liu, Emily Honeyman, and DaXun Zhang, have placed highly in recent years.

The Music Center

Our state-of-the-art 60,000 square-foot music facility has two 3,500 square-foot rehearsal halls, two recording studios which allow for rehearsal and performance recordings in multiple venues on campus with multiple ensemble and practice rooms, and individual faculty teaching studios. Learn more about The Music Center.

Explore Ensembles


A recipient of the American Prize, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra performs an advanced repertoire that includes symphonies, concerti, contemporary works, and original compositions.


Wind Symphony

The American Prize-winning Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony presents a diverse and challenging repertoire in regular live, prerecorded, and public radio performances.



The Interlochen Arts Academy Jazz Ensemble boasts a storied history as one of the nation's most elite high school ensembles. Members develop as soloists and ensemble performers through rehearsals and performances of jazz standards and contemporary works.


Jazz Combos

Interlochen Arts Academy's jazz combos are select groups of five to eight of the jazz program's most experienced improvisers. Members flex their skills as improvisers, while practicing collaboration and ensemble communication.


Popular Music

Named for iconic backing bands of the 21st century, the Popular Music Ensembles provide hands-on learning opportunities for aspiring contemporary musicians.


Interlochen is everything I look for in a school, and so much more. I have made friends I know I will see down the line working in orchestras across the world. Playing the double bass, I get the chance to be part of the jazz and classical programs. Both are truly phenomenal, and they are helping me become a well-rounded musician and thrive in all aspects of my instrument.

Camilla, Music

Michael Thurber

Michael Thurber (IAA 03-05) discusses his entrepreneurial spirit
Learn how double bass alumnus, composer, and entrepreneur Michael Thurber founded his musical video experience organization, CDZA.

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Nick Myers

Nick Myers (IAA 10-12) returns to his Interlochen roots
Learn how Nick Myers went from Interlochen Arts Academy to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and back to Interlochen. 

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College Matriculation

Recent Interlochen Arts Academy Music Division students have continued their education at the following institutions and beyond.

    • Berklee College of Music
    • Boston Conservatory at Berklee
    • California Institute of the Arts
    • Carnegie Mellon University
    • Cleveland Institute of Music
    • Curtis Institute of Music
    • Indiana University
    • The Juilliard School
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Manhattan School of Music
    • New England Conservatory
    • New York University
    • Northwestern University
    • Oberlin College and Conservatory
    • Rice University
    • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
    • University of Miami
    • University of Michigan
    • University of Rochester
    • University of Southern California
    • Vanderbilt University