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  • Writer's pictureThe Mick Schafer Band

The Standup Bass Comes Home

Joanne Heiser was supporting the band by taking photos and offering her house for practice. During this time, she recovered a magnificent standup bass from the Portland Youth Philharmonic…60 years after losing it. Her parents took the instrument away and donated it because they feared Joanne would become “barefoot and pregnant” if allowed to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. By the way, she was a true prodigy; had been offered a full scholarship and this 3/4 standup bass had been made specifically for her.

When friends finally heard the story of the lost bass they encouraged her to see if the instrument was still there at the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Joanne got the courage to make the inquiry; knew she could identify it by markings, and hell yes, it was still there after 60 years!!! The Portland Youth Philharmonic generously gave her a lifetime free rental.

One of my favorite moments of “Lullaby of Love” was watching Joanne Heiser crying and playing her custom, 3/4 standup bass at a practice years ago. There in her living room, in front of us, she began to play again with profound emotion. Joanne loved the song “Lullaby of Love” and played beautifully with it.


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