Position: Coordinator of Strings; Professor, Bass
Location: Armstrong Hall, Room 33
Phone: (540) 665-5478
Employed Since: 2007
Classical and Jazz Double Bass, Electric Bass
B.M., Vanderbilt University; M.M., D.M., Indiana University
Fields of Expertise:
String Pedagogy, Bass History, Bass Ensemble, Jazz and Classical Bass
Donovan Stokes enjoys a varied career of performing, composing, writing and teaching and has given classes and performed as soloist throughout the United States, in Mexico, Norway, Italy, England, France and the Czech Republic. His solo recording Gadaha garnered two JPF Music Award rankings for Best Album and Best Instrumental Song. Described as a musician who “paints primary colours and subtle shades to considerable effect” (The Double Bassist), Stokes is also noted for his “eye-popping display of technical wizardry and showmanship” (Madison Jazz).
A full professor at Shenandoah Conservatory, he teaches jazz and classical bass. He offers a range of online instruction and has created an Upright Slap Bass Instructional Video available exclusively online. As a composer he has enjoyed commissions from Barry Green, Blanka Bednarz, the International Society of Bassists Young Bass Division, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and Jerry Fuller, among others. He is also and expert in the life and work of bassist Rodion Azarkhin.
Dr. Stokes earned degrees from Vanderbilt University (B.M.) and Indiana University (M.M. and D.M.), where his major instructors were Lawrence Hurst and Edgar Meyer. He studied fiddle styles with Crystal Ploughman and Mark O’Connor, string pedagogy with Lawrence Hurst, Helga Winold, Inez Wyrick and Mimi Zweig, and composition with Michael Alec Rose, Michael Kurek and Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn.
Stokes is also a board member for the International Society of Bassists, and artistic director of the Bass Coalition and their Annual Bass Workshop where he head a highly selective a one-week intensive program for advanced bassists. Visit www.donovanstokes.com or find him on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Periscope to learn more.