A Scholarship for Double Bass Players and Other Strings is
made possible through the generosity of former student Catherine Pyke
Bush was born September 17, 1919, in Ogden, Utah, to Samuel Edward Bush and Edith Elizabeth Wanless Bush. Audrey began playing the piano and trombone as a child, and when she was 11, switched to playing the bass. She attended the University of Utah, and received a bachelor’s degree in music. At about the same time, the Utah Symphony was organized under Hans Henriot, and Bush began performing with them. When a guest conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham, came to Salt Lake to conduct the orchestra, he offered Bush a contract to play with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. She was there for three years, and became principal bassist during her third season. Bush left Seattle for New York, where she studied for 18 months with Anselme Fortier, the principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic. During the next eight years, she returned to New York annually during the summer months to study with him. In 1948, Maurice Abravanel, who had become the conductor of the Utah Symphony in 1947, brought Bush back to that orchestra as principal bassist, a position she held for 35 years. During her career, she also performed with other orchestras across the country and under the batons of renowned conductors such as Pierre Monteux, Arthur Fiedler, and Aaron Copland.
Bush was an adjunct professor of music at the University of Utah from 1948 to 1984 and taught private lessons to hundreds of young students from Salt Lake to Ogden. She wrote several books for the bass to help students perfect their technique and music theory. “My big love is working with and teaching children,” she said in a 1992 newspaper interview. “It’s a feeling like no other. When you put a violin, or any instrument, in children’s hands and they begin, it is a privilege and joy to watch their love of music unfold.” After retiring from the Utah Symphony, she moved to St. George, where she helped found the Washington County String Orchestra and the Color Country Youth Symphony. The St. George mayor in 1984 declared “Audrey Bush” week in honor of her accomplishments in music. In 1998, when the Las Vegas Philharmonic was formed, she became its principal bassist. She also taught bass students at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the Nevada School of the Arts, and the Las Vegas Academy. In 1999, she was named Educator of the Year by the American String Teachers Association. She retired in 2002 and returned to St. George.
Bush passed away on July 31, 2012 at the age of 92 and is survived by her daughter, Denise Jones of St. George, and sons Eric Bush and Lance Bush, both of Anchorage, Alaska, as well as 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A current High School Senior enrolled in a school orchestra located in Southern Nevada.
Students must plan to continue musical studies in college. (not necessarily majoring in music, however).
Open to all String Players. Preference given to string bass performers.
Scholarship & Application
A one time $2,000 scholarship will be awarded by August 1st. This scholarship will be open to applicants starting March 1, 2020. The deadline for completed applications is June 1, 2020. This scholarship will open on an annual basis each spring.
Students will need to include their HS Transcripts, Letter(s) of recommendation from school and private teachers, an essay regarding the proposed use of the award, and a statement of financial need.
A video of his/her performance not to exceed 5 minutes.