“Dan Carson is an unusually talented musician and an excellent soloist,” said Bransby, professor of double bass. “I never doubted that he would be successful, but to win a principal bass position in a major orchestra at his age — on his first audition and at the end of his junior year — is a fantastic opportunity that can’t be ignored. It will change his life.”
Four out of the six finalists are either current or recently graduated Jacobs School students.
Bransby made a special trip back to Bloomington to give his students a lesson and mock auditions to help them prepare for the Alabama auditions.
Carson’s stand partner will be Richard Cassarino, who left Jacobs a year ago after winning the audition for assistant principal.
“Looking back on the last three years, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to study at Indiana University,” said Carson. “The Jacobs School has provided so many opportunities to help me become a well-rounded musician, from orchestral playing to historically informed performance, choral work with the Pro Arte Singers, as well as a thorough grounding in musicology and theory. Most significantly, I received unmatched instruction in my instrument from Lawrence Hurst and Bruce Bransby. Their steady encouragement helped me grow and mature, both musically and personally.”
Carson took up double bass in his fourth-grade music class. Beginning in fifth grade, he studied with Jamie Chen for four years.
In high school, he studied with Andrew Anderson, bassist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Grant Park Symphony, as well as with Jason Heath of the Elgin Symphony.
Throughout high school, Carson participated in the youth music organization Midwest Young Artists (MYA), under orchestra director Allan Dennis. Carson was principal bassist in the MYA symphony orchestra in 2009 and 2010.
A participant in the Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra in high school, he won the orchestra’s concerto competition in 2010. He was selected for the IMEA All State Honors Orchestra from 2007 to 2010, playing principal in 2010.
After high school, Carson studied for two years with Lawrence Hurst and is currently a student of Bruce Bransby at Indiana University.
He has attended numerous summer music festivals, including Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in 2009 on an Emerson Scholarship, Brevard Music Center and New York String Orchestra Seminar in 2011, and Aspen Music Festival and School in 2012. He was selected as a fellow to attend the Music Academy of the West for the 2013 season.
Also a jazz player, Carson was the bassist in the MYA Big Band and the GBS Big Band throughout high school. Singing is another passion for him; he participated in choral music and a capella groups throughout high school and was a baritone in IU’s Pro Arte Singers in 2010-11.