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1993 North Sea Festival, Milt ''Judge'' Hinton admiring Stafford's Viennese Bow.

I would work from 06h00 - 14h00. I started to study at Marymount College and at the Mannes College of Music. I studied acoustics as well as studying the contrabass with Mr. Julius Levine. Studying with Julius Levine gave me another insight into how, for example, I began to approach the music with much more emphasis on my stroke and tone. My concentration, in repertoire, was Vivaldi Sonatas, Bach, Handel and of course Orchestral works.
I discovered the American contrabassist Gary Karr in this period. In particular, I liked his version of Maurice Ravel's "Piece en forme de Habanera". I still admire Gary Karr's tremolo.
He has great control.
One must remember that in this period, to buy
a set of strings was an experience in itself because "steel" strings were just beginning to come into vogue. A contrabass player had to buy his strings by "gage."
I played "gut" strings on the D and G strings
and "rapped" strings on the E and A. Therefore one had to really pay attention to each register of the instrument and Julius Levine helped me immensely in this regard. The problem was that the "gut" strings became harder and harder to find so I finally had to make the switch to steel.

 

I enjoyed the original Mannes very much. It was a Georgean House on East 74th Street between Lexington and Third Avenue. It was painted white and had beautiful pillars. I also studied percussion and dictation with Norman Grossman at Mannes as well as played
in the school orchestra.