Raegan Fisher is the featured string bass soloist for All Creatures Great and Small, the Manassas Symphony's Concert on December 8, 2018. She is playing The Elephant and The Swan, two movements from Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals.
When Raegan Fisher began playing the cello and tenor saxophone in the sixth grade at age eleven, few people that age take music performance as seriously as she did. Ms. Fisher immediately developed a love for classical music, and her supportive orchestra director, Mr. Joel Ross, spotted her strong talent early and switched her to the double bass in the middle of her sixth-grade year. She progressed very quickly on the instrument, and so Mr. Ross invited her to join the high school select string ensemble starting in the seventh grade to keep her challenged. In almost four more short years Ms. Fisher has achieved top honors in her performing endeavors, is already playing gigs professionally in her home area in the northern Shenandoah Valley mostly with her string quintet, and with the kind support of music director James Villani has been enjoying performing with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra now in her second season.
Very shortly after switching Ms. Fisher to double bass, Mr. Ross recommended that she pursue private advanced training. She then began studying under Mrs. Inez Wyrick of Winchester, Virginia, an internationally sought-after double bass pedagogist and adjudicator. Mrs. Wyrick, among her many accomplishments, built a summer strings offering from nothing and grew it for fourteen years into a robust summer music program at Texas Tech University and served as the executive director and double bass professor of the String Academy at Indiana University. She has trained some very fine bassists as young as age five all the way up to adulthood. Her vast knowledge has taught Ms. Fisher the finer points of double bass technique, exposed her to many different genres of classical music, and helped Ms. Fisher shape her own personal style. Mrs. Wyrick was instrumental in arranging for Ms. Fisher to perform with the Shenandoah Valley Youth Chamber Orchestra at Shenandoah University under the direction of Mrs. Catherine Nelson, for which she served as principal double bassist for two seasons. Ms. Fisher has simultaneously studied under Dr. Donovan Stokes, a double bass professor and performer at Shenandoah University, who has helped further clarify her technique and has helped her find her strength and inner passion. Both Mrs. Wyrick and Dr. Stokes have served on the board of directors for the International Society of Bassists. Under their combined tutelage, Ms. Fisher has excelled with some of the most difficult music in the standard repertoire for the double bass. She has also had the privilege of receiving specialized training under world-renowned double bassists Andres Martin, Adam Booker, and Zach Rowden. Her many influences have resulted in a very rich musical journey.
Raegan Fisher has been very competitive in auditions for regional performing ensembles. In the seventh grade, Ms. Fisher successfully auditioned for the Shenandoah All-County High School Orchestra, and in the last three years since the eighth grade has been the principal bassist for the top chamber orchestra in that annual event. She has also been the principal bassist for the last two years in the top performing group of the Shenandoah All-County Band. After playing double bass for less than a year, Ms. Fisher successfully auditioned for the Virginia Junior Regional Orchestra, and then ascended to first chair Virginia JRO in the eighth grade. She decided to audition for Virginia Senior Regional Orchestra in the ninth grade and made principal and in the same year went on to audition for Virginia All-State Band & Orchestra and participated in that event, as well. Ms. Fisher is now in the tenth grade, and this fall, she just finished up with the Virginia SRO and is eligible to audition for Virginia All-State Band & Orchestra again this spring.
During the summers, Raegan Fisher is fully engaged in music camps and workshops on the double bass. Ms. Fisher has received advanced intensive training from some of the best college-level music educators at the Bass Coalition event in Winchester, Virginia for the last three summers, organized by Mrs. Wyrick and Dr. Stokes. Last summer, she expanded her knowledge beyond classical music by studying jazz performance at the Shenandoah Summer Arts Academy under Ms. Megan Hendrix, and she has also performed in the Shenandoah Summer Strings every year, a fun annual event for grade-school children of all ages. Ms. Fisher performs regularly with a string quintet formed from the top string players from her school, and they have performed for many VIPs in and around her home area in the northern Shenandoah Valley. For a different flavor and change of pace, Ms. Fisher plays an electric double bass in the Strasburg High School Purple Regiment marching band, under the direction of Mr. Christopher Szuba.
By invitation, Raegan Fisher played with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra in the 2017 Summer Pops Concert at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas, Virginia. She enjoyed it immensely, and since then she has remained a faithful member and has so far performed with the MSO throughout the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons. Aspiring to pursue a professional career in double bass performance, Raegan Fisher is certain that her experiences with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra will provide her with invaluable knowledge, unforgettable memories, and long-lasting friendships.