Jon Ford, Principal Bass - Biography coming soon!
Jon Ford, Principal Bass - For Jonathan Ford, music has always been a “side hustle”, despite it being one of his passions. He received his musical training in California, where he learned to play double bass, baritone horn, euphonium and tuba. He marched with his high school band in Nixon’s 1968 inaugural parade in Washington D.C. He has played in ensembles conducted by Alberto Bolet, Mehli Mehta and Frederick Fennell. On double bass, he credits Francois Rabbath, Barry Green, Paul Erhard, Jeff Braditich, Jim Sowards and Brian Bromberg as major influences. He has played many full seasons with the Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras (MASO) ensembles throughout the state of Montana. He has been principal double bass for The Bozeman Symphony, the Montana Ballet Company and the Intermountain Opera for nearly 40 years. He was adjunct professor of double bass in the Montana State University School of Music for around fifteen years. He is now nine years retired from his primary work as a Managing Director of a large section (over 100 employees represented by nine unions) of MSU’s Facilities Services, which included Landscape and Grounds (including maintenance of the football stadium field), Custodial Services (including the operation and maintenance of two public pools), Solid Waste Collection and Campus Recycling, Campus Mail Services, the Facilities Safety Program, and the Facilities Mechanic Shop and Toolroom. Since retirement, he has continued with the musical activity uninterrupted, including teaching private lessons on double bass, but no longer plays for the other MASO Symphonies or teaches at the university.
Dr. Julia Slovarp is the Cello Professor at Montana State University. An active musician, she frequently presents chamber programs and performs with the Intermountain Opera Company, Montana Ballet Company, Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, and Big Sky Classical Music Festival Orchestra. She has performed concert tours in Spain, Morocco, Ireland, the United States, and most recently, a piano trio tour of China with violinist Angella Ahn, pianist Julie Gosswiller, and conductor Dr. Tobin Stewart. In 2016, a Faculty Excellence Grant took her to France to research original Baroque manuscripts. Slovarp has been featured on the Emmy Award winning series 11th and Grant with Eric Funk. She is an active member of ASTA, NAfME, and the Suzuki Association. Dr. Slovarp earned Bachelor and Masters degrees from Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, and has completed Suzuki and Mark O’Conner Teacher Training. She has studied with cellists including Emilio Colón, Joshua Gindele, Janos Starker, Bion Tsang, and Tsuyosi Tsutsumi.