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Gaelen McCormick

Gaelen McCormick
Gaelen McCormick

Joined the RPO in 1995

Gaelen McCormick has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic’s bass section since 1995. Before joining the RPO, she held positions with regional orchestras such as the Erie (PA) Philharmonic, the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Albany Symphony. She performs regularly with other major orchestras, including the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Syracuse Symphony. 

Teaching the double bass to students of all ages has become a significant part of McCormick’s life. She is on the faculty at Nazareth College and she is also a bass instructor at Eastman Community Music School and Roberts Wesleyan College. In 2003, she was invited to teach for the year at Duquesne University’s City Music Center, a program for talented, pre-college students. She has given recitals and master classes at Ithaca College, Williams College, and St. Rose College. She holds degrees from the Eastman School and Carnegie Mellon University.
Playing chamber music is also a passion for McCormick. She performed as the sole bassist in the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra in Albany and is the founding bassist of the Pittsburgh Live Music Chamber Orchestra. In recent summers, she has performed with the Music in the Mountains chamber orchestra, a festival based in Durango, Colorado. She is frequently invited to play chamber music with musicians from around the country in festivals such as the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival and the Syracuse New Music Ensemble. She recently ended her tenure as the founding bassist of the Rochester-based quintet Gibbs & Main, with whom she recorded a CD and commissioned a trio from Judd Greenstein.

Gaelen's transcriptions of the Wohlfahrt violin studies, titled  “Mastering the Bow”,  was published by Carl Fischer in 2013, and a second volume of  bowing etudes will come out later in 2014. In her spare time, Gaelen enjoys kayaking, Argentine tango, west coast swing and Irish set dancing, and spending time with her husband and toddler daughter.

Photo credit: Michael Hanlon

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