Sound of Charlotte Blog

Welcome New Musician: Jason McNeel

Jason McNeel, section bass, began playing bass as a junior in high school. Mr. McNeel has since played with some of the best orchestras in the country, including the Cincinnati Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Rochester Philharmonic. As a regular performer with the Cincinnati Sympony, he was able to participate in international tours to Asia and Europe. As a student. Mr McNeel has studied at the University of Cincinnati (Bachelor of Music) with Albert Laszlo and Carnegie Mellon (Master of Music) with Micah Howard. Additionally, he has studied regularly with Solen Dikener, Jeff Turner, and Owen Lee.
 
Hometown: Winfield, WV
 
Why did you select your instrument?
The bass is very versitale instrument that can be played in several different genres of music. Early on and still I've had an interest in playing jazz, classical, and many other styles.

Does your instrument have a special story?
My first instrument was made my my father. He is a very dedicated amateur woodworker and took a year of his free time to make a bass that I still love playing to this day.
 
What would most surprise people about you?
I have spent most of my childhood summers working on the family farm in eastern West Virginia. One of my favorite chores was milking the cow.
 
If you could meet one composer, who would it be and what would you ask him/her?
Haydn, I'd ask him for another copy of the Concerto for Violone that has been lost.
 
What's your funniest/most compelling on-stage moment?
The time when I was playing an outdoor barge concert in West Virginia and a beaver ran from backstage, through the orchestra, and into the audience!
 
Any pre-performance rituals?
I have a good, light meal.

Other than your instrument, what would we find in your instrument case?
Whatever book I'm reading.
 
What do you love most about being a professional musician?
It's one of the great professions in the world. In studying music, you gain knowledge of culture, science, psychology, physical, and emotional well being, history, and the list could go on forever. I can honestly say that being interested in music has had a direct positive effect on my health and happiness.

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