With a focus on technical mastery and flexibility in both performance and pedagogy, the bass program produces musicians ready to tackle any musical challenge.

Grow your artistry, build your technical facility, and expand your musical possibilities in a community of empowerment, collaboration, and support. Hone and challenge your performance skills with a diverse array of solo, chamber, and ensemble experiences. Dig into the transformational power of music through community outreach. Become the versatile and entrepreneurial musician the world needs. Where will your musical journey take you?

From orchestras to jazz to contemporary music, ensemble opportunities abound.

The bass program is led by Mark Urness, Associate Professor of Music.

Discover the many paths open to Conservatory graduates. 

Bass Studio with faculty and student playing

Studio Culture

As a key part of most ensembles on campus, the bass program is a cohesive and collaborative community developing musical skills across styles and genres. You'll gain knowledge of repertoire, etudes, and solos, chamber playing, and be exposed to a range of genres and styles. You'll find a supportive and encouraging environment where you'll push each other to be your best. The studio emphasizes inquiry, where you'll explore not just the how but the why. You'll benefit from focused attention from faculty while selecting repertoire that resonates with your interests and passions.

Close up of someone playing bass

Specialty Strings

The bass program has several special instruments for you to use, including a bass in Viennese tuning with period gut strings and a Kay bass with the “Charlie Haden” two gut, two steel string set up.

reflected light shining on sheet music

The Power of Collaboration

What happens when you combine a world-class conservatory with a world-class college? An unmatched undergraduate musical education. At Lawrence, the Conservatory and College experiences are intertwined. Multiple degree options let you be your own muse by connecting your musical passions with your academic interests. 

Ian Harvey, with Highcliff Jumpers, performs during LUaroo 2021

Here, There, Everywhere

The bass program is defined by its range, from symphony to jazz, bluegrass to mariachi, from Memorial Chapel to house party jam sessions.

The Lawrence Jazz Ensemble performs on the stage of Memorial Chapel.


Downbeat Awards for Jazz Ensemble

Lawrence's musicians have been consistently recognized by the prestigious Downbeat Awards.

Aerial drone shot of Bjorklunden in Door County, Wisconsin

Sound the Retreat

Bond with your fellow musicians, focus on your craft, and immerse yourself in natural beauty during retreat weekends at Björklunden, a 441-acre estate on the shores of Lake Michigan.

On Any Given Day...

...discover an array of opportunities that await you at Lawrence University.

Music & Arts

Music Tour with a Mission | This is Lawrence

Presto went to Houston! Lawrence visited high schools, worked with community organizations, and performed a one-night-only concert.

Image of a person playing the drums

Music outdoors

Music is woven into life at Lawrence. Wander campus and you'll hear students practicing piano in lounges, violins in Warch, and horns outside.

A musical life awaits. Take the next steps by applying and auditioning.

The best way to find out if Lawrence is the university for you is by visiting.

Your virtual tour starts at the Arch but be sure to check out Conservatory, to explore learning and performance spaces.