Friday, June 3, 2016

Bass retires after 18 years as Band Director

Mason band was and will remain all about that Bass.
As of June 1, band director Bob Bass is officially retired. Bass served as Band Director at Mason High School for the past 18 years. His decision to retire as a teacher from the Mason City School District was based on personal reasons.
Public Information Officer Tracey Carson released in a media statement that every season has its time and they accept Bass’ decision to go. Carson said Mason City Schools is truly grateful for what Bass has contributed to the program.
“We appreciate all that Bob Bass has accomplished while leading our Mason Band Program for the last 18 years,” Carson said. “More than the national recognition (consistently ranking as one of the top marching band programs in the US, being the only Sousa Flag and Sousa Shield band in the state, and most recently marching in the 2016 Rose Parade) we appreciate the pride he cultivated in his students, staff and community.”
According to Field Commander Katy Byerly, Mason’s band program would not be at the level it is today without the incredible leadership of Bass.
“Mr. Bass has really transformed the band program,” Byerly said. “In his time here we’ve gone from 50 members to 350. We’ve become nationally ranked both in concert and marching band. Under his direction, we got accepted into the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. He’s changed the values and goals of the program.”
Byerly said the news of his retirement came with a great deal of shock and questions.
“He’s talked of retirement for a while, but it came up as kind of a surprise,” Byerly said. “Normally he tells us what’s going on, so it was kind of a shock to hear that it was his last day. Once you have a nationally ranked band, with the hours we put in and how influential he was, there are a lot of questions. Who is going to take over? Are they going to be as good?”
Mason Middle School Band Director Susan Bass will take over as interim MHS marching band director. Bass joined the instrumental team at Mason City Schools in 2000. A nationwide search will soon ensue to find the right fit for the award-winning program.
One of Bass’ recent accomplishments was helping take the MHS Marching Band to the Rose Parade in January 2016–only 20 high schools nationwide are invited each year. In 2014, Bass was elected into membership of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA). The current ABA membership is comprised of approximately 300 American and Canadian band conductors and composers who are elected into the organization through a selective, rigorous nomination process.
Senior marching band member Jenna Montes said Bass won’t be remembered solely for his accomplishments, but as a genuinely caring individual.
“Mr. Bass was the kind of teacher that taught you how to be a good person first, and how to be a good player second,” Montes said. “I’ll always remember his passion for music and our school. Even though there are over 300 kids in the program, it was always clear how much he cared for each one of us.”


1: Number of times Mason band has taken part in the Rose Parade.
4: Mason’s rank out of 95 bands at the 2015 BOA Grand Nationals. Mason has placed higher each year since initially making finals in 2011.
18: The number of years Bass has served as Band Director at Mason.
300: The number of American and Canadian band conductors and composers who have been elected into the American Bandmasters Association; Bass is one of the ABA members.
350: The approximate number of MHS marching band members this year.

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