The Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists, Inc. seeks to develop rising generations of musicians by ensuring talented young bassists access to the best and most inspiring teachers and bass masters. Exposure to the most prestigious teachers in the world in all fields of music expands the horizon of the student in terms of how they perceive their own potential and that of the bass itself. Additionally, young bassists have the potential for developing personally as well as musically through the development of peer networks and mentoring relationships with teachers and bass masters. Thus these young people may approach college age better prepared to take advantage of scholarships and maximize their talents and abilities.
Of course, at the same time the youngsters are being developed and challenged, awareness of the bass itself is being raised to a higher level as there is a continued development of its melodic solo image.
To meet the needs of young bassists, the Foundation is committed to ensuring that the tools for success are made available to students. Among these are:
- AFFORDABLE, HIGH QUALITY TRAINING: To meet this goal the Foundation sponsors an annual bass conference that allows students to receive intensive training from bass masters and clinicians as well as opportunities for performance and networking with other students. The third annual conference was held in April 1996 near Madison, Wisconsin and was attended by 85 students from the Midwest and beyond plus their parents. The students ranged in age from 3 to 18 years of age. Clinicians and bass masters from the United States and Europe were on hand to provide training and encouragement to the students. The event was covered extensively by the local public television network and a feature was aired following the conclusion of the event (copy of the broadcast is available). The cost assessed to each student was a nominal charge for only room and board and the event was funded largely by Mr. Davis himself, as well as through contributions from various attendees and other fund raising efforts. In addition, Mr. Davis passes on his wealth of knowledge throughout the year by holding free weekly group sessions in Madison (open to all who wish to attend), and providing long-distance correspondence and free teaching to students who do not have adequate resources and/or money available to them. Through these activities Mr. Davis hopes to continue his positive impact on the musical lives of his students throughout the year, enhancing their commitment and motivation to master bass music performance.
- INSTRUMENT FUND: The Foundation wishes to purchase several additional instruments of various sizes in order to provide these at a nominal rental fee to students who would otherwise be unable to study the bass. The Foundation is also examining implementation of a ‘loaner’ program for promising students who cannot afford rental fees.
- SCHOLARSHIP FUND: Mr. Davis’ long commitment to assisting fellow African Americans and others who are financially disadvantaged will be realized through the establishment of a scholarship fund. The fund will be established to allow attendance at the annual bass conference for students who would otherwise be unable to afford the opportunity.