Fredonia Bass Fest 2017

Fredonia Bass Fest Faculty

Kieran Hanlon

Kieran Hanlon
Assistant Professor, double bass
Fredonia School of Music

Brett Shurtliffe
Associate Principal Double Bassist,
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Marco Panascia
Freelance Bassist
New York City

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Mason Hall


Fredonia Bass Fest
Registration Fee: $30.00
Register Online

Double Bass Solo Competition
Registration Fee: $10.00
Registration Deadline: February 1, 2017
Register Online

Students must register for the whole day in order to participate in the Double Bass Solo Competition


Professor Hanlon and the Fredonia Bass Studio invite you to be a part of Fredonia Bass Fest 2017! Held on February 11th in the School of Music at The State University of New York at Fredonia, we will welcome professional players, college students, high school students, teachers, and adult learners to join us for a day of performances and classes presented by Professor Hanlon and our world-class guests. We look forward to hosting our second annual high school solo competition in the morning and providing the opportunity for networking and bass player fellowship.

The Double Bass Solo Competition aims to offer an opportunity for young players from the region and beyond to compete in front of our panel of Bass Fest faculty. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, and competitors will have the opportunity to obtain comments and feedback from the panel. The competition winner will be invited to perform his or her solo piece in the evening concert at Bass Fest alongside the faculty performers. The competition is open to all high school students.

The first round of the competition is a recorded round. Applicants must submit the online competition application (with $10 fee) with a recording by January 1, 2017. Finalists will be notified if they will be invited to the final round of the competition, a 10-minute live performance with piano (a Fredonia accompanist will be available) on the morning of Fredonia Bass Fest (Saturday, February 11, 2017) in Rosch Recital Hall at the State University of New York at Fredonia.


1st place: $250 cash, a full set of strings from D'Addario, $1,000 scholarship to attend the Fredonia School of Music (Winner must apply, audition and be accepted to the university and the School of Music. Award to be used during winner's Freshman year of undergraduate studies as a music major. Award has no cash value, is non-renewable and non-transferable.)

2nd place: $100 cash, a full set of strings from D'Addario

3rd place: $50 cash, a full set of strings from D'Addario

Please note that this schedule is from 2016 and is likely to change for 2017

9:00 a.m. Double Bass Competition: finalist rehearsals with Fredonia accompanists, if needed
10:00 a.m. Double Bass Competition: finalist registration & more rehearsals/practice time
11:00 a.m. Double Bass Competition: Final Round (live performance, open to the public)

Lunch Break

12:45 p.m. Fredonia Bass Fest: Registration for non-competition participants
1:15 p.m. Double Bass Competition: Winner Announced
1:30 p.m. Bass Fest: master classes, lectures, clinics
3:30 p.m. Bass Fest: exhibit hour/ Bass ensemble/ workshop
4:30 p.m. Bass Fest: master class & lecture
5:30 p.m. Bass Fest: dinner
7:00 p.m. Bass Fest: Final Concert (all)



Once you have registered and paid your entry fee and have prepared your Double Bass recording for round one of the competition, email a link to your video (to Kieran Hanlon at Please keep recordings to a limit of 5 minutes. (Your video recordings may be shared as unlisted videos, so only viewers with your video link may view them. For more information on settings for unlisted media on YouTube, click here.

Deadline is January 1, 2017. Finalists will be notified by January 18 if they will be invited to the final round of the competition, a 10-minute live performance with piano on the morning of Fredonia Bass Fest (Saturday, February 11, 2017) in Rosch Recital Hall at the State University of New York at Fredonia.


Interested in performing in a master class during the Fedonia Bass Fest afternoon? Register for the Bass Fest and indicate your interest in the registration process. You may also submit a performance recording (optional) to Kieran Hanlon at Please keep recordings to a limit of 5 minutes. (Your video recordings may be shared as unlisted videos, so only viewers with your video link may view them. For more information on settings for unlisted media on YouTube, click here.

Deadline for master class consideration is February 3, 2017.

For more information, please contact Kieran Hanlon (

Fredonia Bass Fest will have vendors from around the region on site who specialize in double bass instruments, music, and accessories.


Luthier's Care        


Kieran Hanlon

Kieran J. Hanlon is Assistant Professor of String Bass and Jazz at The State University of New York at Fredonia. In addition to his teaching, Kieran is a first call performer in both the classical and jazz idioms, and enjoys a diverse performing career in both genres (among others) across Upstate New York and Pennsylvania.

An active orchestral performer, Kieran is Principal Bass of the Erie Philharmonic, and is a regular sub with the Chautauqua Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Rochester Philharmonic. He has toured to Carnegie Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic, and recorded Reinhold Gliere’s Symphony No. 3 “Il’ya Muromets” with the orchestra for the Naxos label.

In May 2014, Kieran completed a Master of Music Degree in Double Bass Performance at the Eastman School of Music with Professor of Double Bass James VanDemark. He also completed Eastman’s Orchestral Studies Program, in which he worked as a playing intern for two seasons with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Kieran’s undergraduate studies were completed at The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance in April of 2012, where he studied classical repertoire with Professors Diana Gannett and Stephen Molina and jazz with Professor Robert Hurst. He holds a B.M. in Double Bass Performance and a B.F.A. in Jazz Studies, Bass from Michigan. He also won third place in the Orchestral Competition at the International Society of Bassists 2013 Convention in Rochester, NY.

Kieran has performed by invitation with the Canandaigua Lake Chamber Music Festival, the Lake George Music Festival, and the Gateways Music Festival. He also spent the summer of 2011 as a Rotating Principal Bassist with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO. In 2013, Kieran worked extensively with the chamber choir Madrigalia in Rochester, NY on cross-genre compositions and arrangements for choir and chamber ensemble by composers John Rutter and Cary Ratcliff among others.

In addition to frequent engagements as a freelance classical musician in upstate New York, Kieran is a first call jazz performer in the area, and is the bassist for the Buffalo Philharmonic Big Band.  Additional freelance playing includes work with jazz greats such as Sal Andolina, Bobby Militello, John Bacon, Dave Mancini, George Caldwell, Lisa Hasselback, Alec Dube, John Nyerges, Andy Calabrese, Chris Azzara, Bob Sneider, Rich Thompson, Chet Catallo and Bill Tiberio. He also works with Celtic artist Cathie Ryan in performances of traditional Irish music with professional symphony orchestras. Kieran performs on both acoustic and electric basses, and is a D’Addario Artist.

Brett Shurtliffe is the Associate Principal Double Bassist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Brett received his Bachelor in Music and the prestigious Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with James VanDemark and his Master in Music from Duquesne University, where he studied with Jeffrey Turner. In 2003 he was the Top American Prize winner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, and two years later took 1st Prize at the ISB Orchestral Competition. Since joining Buffalo in 2007, Brett has appeared numerous times as a soloist with the BPO, as well as with the Amherst Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the orchestra of SUNY Cortland.

Brett's playing has been described as "immaculate" in a 2012 Bass World review, and "Not even Johann Sebastian shredded as hard as this guy" were the accolades from an imaginative recital at a downtown Buffalo night club. His recital engagements have taken him across the U.S. and Canada, and before joining the BPO, he performed with the Wheeling, Erie, Detroit and Pittsburgh Symphonies. Apart from performing, Mr. Shurtliffe has commissioned new works for the double bass, as well as creating numerous transcriptions of his own including Monte's Czardas, Kabalevsky's 1st Cello Concerto, and Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen among many others. Brett serves as Adjunct Professor of Double Bass at Canisius and Houghton Colleges, and is on faculty at the International Festival Institute in Round Top, Texas.

Marco Panascia is an Italian-born bassist and educator living in New York City. Panascia has made a name for himself by being featured in the groups of several jazz luminaries, such as Kenny Barron, Natalie Cole, Andy Bey, Kevin Mahogany, Eric Reed, Alvin Queen, Peter Bernstein, Tamir Hendelman and Claudio Roditi, and by regularly appearing in some of the world's top music festivals and venues, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Kennedy Center. Panascia is also known for his tenure with jazz piano sensation Eldar, which culminated in two celebrated CD releases: "Live at the Blue Note", and "re-imagination", which received a 2008 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Panascia has recently released his debut album "Bass Duo Live", featuring fellow Italian bassist Dario Deidda. 
Mentored by Los Angeles studio legend Carol Kaye, Panascia was the first prize winner of the 1998 Edinburgh International Double Bass competition in Scotland, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, as a full tuition scholarship recipient. Currently an adjunct faculty member at the New School University in New York City, he often gets invited to teach clinics and masterclasses, in the United States and abroad. 
Panascia uses and endorses Markbass amplifiers, Mike Lull Custom Electric Basses, Kala U-Bass, Alter Ego Basso, Thomastik-Infeld Double Bass Strings, IQS Electric Bass Strings, and the Czech-Ease Acoustic Road Bass by David Gage. For more information, visit


School of Music Office

Mason Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3151
(716) 673-3154 fax