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Joshua DeScherer
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Joshua DeScherer

What I teach

double bass
bass guitar
music appreciation
music theory
ear training
sight singing

I accept children as students.


$35/half hour; $55/hour

My bio

“DeScherer gets more exhilarating sounds out of a bass than most full orchestras.��?

-Christopher Hyde, the Portland Press-Herald

Joshua has been fascinated with sound from an early age: many of his earliest memories involve making a lot of noise, as well as seeing and hearing loud things such as cannons, foghorns, and jackhammers. To this day, he continues to find music in unexpected places, enjoying both the sounds of a cityscape (droning engines, rhythmic hammering) and that of a mountain path (distant humming bee tree, rhythmic walking).

Joshua has played the contrabass for two decades now, the product of an excellent public school music program in Tenafly, NJ, and supplemented by studies in the preparatory division at the Manhattan School of Music. His primary bass teachers have been Linda McKnight, Lou Kosma, Lynn Hannings, and Pascale Delache-Feldman. Over the years Joshua has performed extensively with both professional and amateur ensembles throughout the northeastern United States. Studying bass as a youth allowed Joshua to experience both classical and jazz playing at a young age. As a result, Joshua is comfortable playing in improvising ensembles that incorporate aspects of both of these styles.

While a student at Colby College (Waterville, ME), Joshua began his work as a composer. After earning a BA in Music from Colby, he continued on to Tufts University (Medford, MA) earning a MA in Music Composition in 2001. During these years, Joshua studied composition with Jonathan Hallstrom, Steve Nuss, Phil Carlsen, and John McDonald. After earning his MA, Joshua taught Aural Skills and Music Literacy (Intro to Theory) at Bennington College. While at Bennington, Joshua was frequently called upon to conduct or coach ensembles. In addition to coaching small ensembles for premiere performances of student work, Joshua conducted the college’s 2003 performance of Monteverdi’s l’Orfeo. Many of his pieces from this time, such as For the Wild Forests (2003) draw their inspiration from Joshua's love of the New England wilderness. As a composer, Joshua is especially fond of writing for chamber ensembles, and with few exceptions, his pieces are for small ensembles. Among his works are numerous settings of poetry from the Beat Generation, particularly settings of the work of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Much of his work over the past several years has been for contrabass solo, or for small ensembles including contrabass. Among these works are Sonata for Contrabass and Piano (2001), Incantation - Canon - Purification (Cycle for Imbolc) (2003), and Contra (2004).

In 2004, Joshua left Bennington to study at The University at Buffalo, where his primary composition teacher is Cort Lippe. In the past several years, Joshua has been beginning to incorporate improvisation by single players or groups into the structure of his pieces. Joshua’s most recent pieces, such as Two Pianos (2006) and Piecemaker I (2006) incorporate aspects of both traditional and graphic notations to create pieces containing both fixed and improvised elements. Joshua’s studies at Buffalo culminate in 2009 with the performance of Labyrinthine Trilogy, a large composition incorporating a “choose your own adventure��? approach to musical form and paying homage to adventure novels and role-playing games.

Joshua currently lives in Brunswick, Maine where he continues to compose and perform. He teaches Musicianship at the Portland Conservatory of Music and contrabass at the University of New England.


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Greater Portland, ME

I am willing to teach at the student's residence.



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