I went to see the Panama City POPS Orchestra 9 years ago. I was reminded of my years of taking violin lessons from my grandfather, Eugene Goldflies, when I was four years old. As a child through high school I played in the school orchestra. But after I graduated I only played electric bass. Flash forward to the early 2000’s… I picked up a Zeta Crossover EUB (Electric Upright Bass) in Pasadena CA. The fretless sound and the comfortable scaling of the neck made for great playing experiences and an easy transition from the fretted bass.
So I went to see the Panama City POPS orchestra and the music sounded great. I knew that as great as the sound was, the Zeta EUB just wasn’t going to cut it on that gig. On a trip to a theatrical magic store in Tallahassee to buy stage blood and a gun that shot blanks, I stopped in a music store and saw an ad for an Upright Bass for sale. When I got home I called the gentleman and he drove the bass all the way to Panama City. I bought the bass at an affordable price, opened up F. Simandl bass method book and started practicing. That was in the Spring of 2006. I approached the music director Eddie Rackley about playing in the next season with the POPS and he graciously accepted (thanks for putting up with my playing at the time Eddie!). Perhaps their only having one bassist at the time helped out. In any case the first piece we played at that first rehearsal was Stars and Stripes Forever. I was amazed at the demands of the piece! It was a nice wake up call and I redoubled my practicing.
Playing with the Panama City POPS has been a great challenge for me musically. I have had the chance to get to know many of the area’s finest musicians. The music of Lizst, Beethoven, Grieg, John Williams, Strauss, Hanson, Copland, Bernstein and others have brought my understanding of music, starting with lessons in my grandfather’s music store, full circle.
Here are a few Youtube.com links of a some of the performances.