Double Bass

Jim's Website
Dr. Jim Bates is Director of Orchestral Activities at Otterbein University and since 1999 has been on the conducting staff of the Interlochen Arts Camp where he co-directs the Junior Orchestra program and Junior String Institute. As a music educator, performer, and conductor Jim Bates is able to draw upon a broad and varied background of musical experiences. A native of Springfield, Ohio, Dr. Bates earned a Bachelor degree in Music Education from the University of Louisville in 1983 and taught as a string educator in the Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville, KY) from 1983-1989. He received a Master of Double Bass Performance from Indiana University in 1992. During his studies at Indiana he studied double bass with Lawrence Hurst and baroque string performance with Stanley Ritchie. In 2002 Dr. Bates completed his PhD in musicology conferred jointly by the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. His dissertation explored aspects of historical performance connected to the viola da gamba in Italy. While a member of the faculty of the University of Louisville School of Music (1992-2001), Dr. Bates was honored with a distinguished teaching award.

For eighteen years Dr. Bates was a conductor for the Louisville Youth Orchestra and in 1996 became the music director of the LYO. Under his leadership the LYO was selected by the League of American Orchestras to participate in their youth orchestra festival (2001). While music director he created the Presto! Stings program which continues to provide after-school, group string instruction to under-served areas and districts unable to offer string education resulted. While in Louisville Dr. Bates was music director of the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra from its founding in 1988 until 2002, and helped build that group’s international reputation, culminating in acclaimed tours in Germany, France and Spain, as well as a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1997. He served as the president of Kentucky ASTA (2000-01), was string coordinator for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts (1995-99) and also taught in the Suzuki program there.

Currently, Jim Bates is Director of Orchestral Activities at Otterbein University in Columbus (OH) and serves as an assistant conductor for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras. His eclectic background is a good match for a liberal arts college as it enables him to teach courses in music education, music history and conducting. The Otterbein University String Orchestra, which he directs, is the main performing ensemble for string players at Otterbein. The String Orchestra’s breadth of repertoire reflects his feeling that a 21st century string player must be a versatile player, capable of playing the standard repertoire from Handel to Holst, as well as popular styles, and should also be familiar with Baroque performance practice. Included among his duties at Otterbein are serving as principal bass and assistant conductor for the Westerville Symphony, which provides Otterbein students with their full orchestra experience.

Dr. Bates has served as a clinician or guest conductor in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Washington, Maryland and Colorado. He has served as the conductor for OMEA regional orchestras (‘01, ‘07) and numerous festival orchestras and continues to pursue his passion for string education through active involvement with school orchestra programs and private studio teaching. In 2011 Dr. Bates was appointed to chair the Coda Bows for America Community Outreach Program for ASTA. HE also serves as an elected board member of OSTA (Ohio String Teachers Association). His interest in mandolin performance finds its outlet through his involvement with the Classical Mandolin Society of America. He serves on the national board of directors of the CMSA and is committed to raising the awareness for classical mandolin performance in this country and expanding string pedagogy to include the mandolin. His interest in historically informed performance continues through playing viola da gamba, medieval vielle and various historic wind instruments. He is a member of The Early Interval, a long-standing professional early music ensemble in Columbus and serves on the board of The Friends of Early Music in Columbus.

His wife, Jena Huebner, is a bassist in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and they have two sons, Ethan and Gideon.