Meet Waco Symphony’s double-bassist, aka personnel manager and program-note writer

Posted on: July 15, 2016

“As a double bass player in the Waco Symphony Orchestra, Mark Whitney has a distinctive vantage point on concert nights,” writes Carl Hoover in Thursday’s (7/14) Waco Tribune-Herald (Texas). “Offstage, he has other vantage points. As the orchestra’s personnel manager, he handles … behind-the-scenes logistics…. As author of each concert’s program notes and speaker at the pre-performance ‘Opening Notes,’ he provides programming background and context for WSO audiences…. As personnel manager, Whitney makes sure many of the agreement details are observed—he’s the clock keeper who calls timed breaks in rehearsals, for instance—and the one who secures players to cover any concert openings caused by scheduling conflicts, sickness, programming requirements and the like.… Since 1994, the veteran WSO bass player also has written the program notes for each concert…. ‘To me, what’s interesting is the music’s historical and cultural context,’ he said…. In recent years, Whitney has provided that context in person, delivering the ‘Opening Notes’ pre-concert talks. Though Whitney has played double bass for the WSO for more than 30 years, his first instrument as a student in Shelbyville, Tennessee, was the flute…. ‘Being in the orchestra, that was the greatest thing ever,’ he said.”

Posted July 15, 2016