December 1, 2009

Undergrad to tour across China with World Orchestra

Third-year double bass player Kirsten Paige will tour with the World Orchestra in China over winter break. Paige, a music major at the University, will join 99 other musicians between 18 and 28 years old from more than 40 countries to rehearse and tour China for almost a month.

“It is definitely challenging to manage everything, but I’m really excited that I have this opportunity to travel around 10 different cities and meet a lot of people,” Paige said.

Since the age of 10, Paige has played double bass. Her father, who plays jazz piano, encouraged her to take up an instrument. “My sister plays guitar, so we sometimes play as a family, which is really cool. We don’t really play classical music together, but it’s really fun,” Paige said.

Before attending the U of C, Paige attended a program for high school students at Juilliard School of Music. This experience provided her with opportunities to work with students and professors from all over the country, she said. Paige's former bass teacher at Juilliard, Homer Mensch of the New York Philharmonic, first mentioned the World Orchestra to her, and she was coached on her audition for the orchestra by teachers both at Juilliard and in Chicago.

In January 2009, Paige auditioned by video and received an acceptance letter in March. “I like collaborating with people, and I think the idea of producing something together is really awesome,” she said. “I have talked to a few bass players who are from Serbia and Spain. I really hope that we get 10 basses from 10 different countries,” Paige said.

Paige will rehearse in China with the World Orchestra from December 6 to December 15, and tour until January 3, 2010.