Press Releases Index

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2003
CONTACT: Jette Englund
Office of University Relations
908-737-NEWS (6397)

Kean University’s Anthony Scelba to Perform at
International Society of Bassists’ Convention in Virginia

UNION, N.J. – "Sweet and Lowdown" may well become an adage at the University of Richmond, Va., when some of the world's most renowned double bassists gather there from June 2 to 9, for the International Society of Bassists’ (ISB) 2003 Convention. Dr. Anthony Scelba, associate professor of music at Kean University, is one of the invited guests. He will speak about his work in building a double-bass chamber-music repertory and will perform works written for his ensemble, The Yardarm Trio. Workshops, lectures and performances by clinicians from Europe, Asia, South America and North America will show the art of double-bass playing, teaching and making.

"Although I have performed at gatherings of bassists before, this is the first time that I have been invited by the ISB to present a program. It's quite an honor," said Scelba.

The Dallas-based International Society of Bassists was established in 1965 to stimulate interest in the instrument. It has grown to have an international membership in the thousands and continually works to improve performance standards.

Joining Scelba for his performance in Richmond will be his wife, Victoria Stewart, violinist of The Yardarm Trio. The couple has been performing music together since they met as principal players of the New Jersey Symphony. They both perform and teach internationally.

Scelba has taught at Kean since 1996 and is director of its Affiliate Artist Program. He was the first to be awarded a doctorate in his instrument from the Juilliard School. A frequent performer in New York and New Jersey orchestras, he is a Fulbright Scholar and has given master classes in Beijing and Shanghai, China. In 1998, he was named Musician of the Year by the Musicians Guild of Essex and Morris Counties, N.J. In November 2002, he judged Brazil's first National Double Bass Competition.

Stewart is an affiliate artist in chamber music at Kean. She performs regularly with the New York City Opera, the Westfield (N.J.) Symphony, and the Colonial Symphony, where she is principal second violin. She is a winner of a Fulbright Performing Artist Award and has appeared in festivals around the world. In summer, she performs as a member of the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra.

The Yardarm Trio, founded by Scelba in 1982, is an unusual classical-music ensemble that combines piano and violin with double bass instead of the more customary cello. Scelba's interest in chamber music is rare among double bassists, and he has done much to build a double-bass repertory in this type of music. Although the ensemble is a musical rarity, the repertoire includes arrangements of chamber-music masterpieces by familiar composers, as well as original works by contemporary composers. The group chose their name because they specialize in playing tran-scriptions of literature from the era of the sailing ship. The yardarm is a piece of nautical rigging.

In June 2003, the couple will perform works that Scelba created under a grant from Kean University. They include a Fantasie based on Verdi's opera Rigoletto and a Brazilian work that Scelba discovered during his recent trip there.

The Yardarm Trio will appear in September 2003 in Kean's Affiliate Artist Program Concert Series. Later in the year, the couple has been invited to perform by the University of Colorado-Boulder.