Meet the Studio
Meet the Studio
The UNCSA Double Bass studio is led by Paul Sharpe.
Payton Baysinger is a bassist who has lived in a variety of places in the USA. He began playing the bass at 10 years old in fourth grade at his elementary school in Southington, Connecticut. He has played for the All-State Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut many times, including other regional orchestras like the Hartford Youth Symphony. After moving to North Carolina, Payton’s musical exploration and ability expanded greatly. He served as principal bassist for his middle school and high school, played in many musicals and performed as a member of the Eastern Regional and All-State Orchestra as well. As a first year high school senior of UNCSA, he is a member of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra, the UNCSA Wind Ensemble, chamber groups and is the principal bassist for the Winston Salem Youth Symphony. He came to UNCSA hoping to challenge himself to the extent of his abilities, and hopes to earn a great reputation as a bassist and a person wherever he goes.
Victor Stahoviak is an undergraduate double bassist from Durham, North Carolina. He first began to play the bass in middle school, however he did not begin his formal training until attending UNCSA under the instruction of Paul Sharpe. While studying with Paul Sharpe, Victor has developed as a bassist at an extraordinary rate - from learning the basics to becoming a member of the Winston-Salem Symphony in merely three years. He has played in the jazz ensemble and several chamber ensembles at UNCSA and he particularly enjoys opera, having performed in productions of "Florencia en el Amazonas," "Ariadne auf Naxos" and "La Cenerentola." Victor attended Eastern Music Festival in 2016, Texas Music Festival in 2017, and his most recent summer took him to Saint-Irénée, Quebec, for the festival Domaine Forgét where he studied with the renowned double bass soloist François Rabbath and pedagogue Paul Ellison. This journey helped him to realize his yearning to travel, and he hopes that his career will take him all around the world.
John Park is a double-bassist from Fayetteville, N.C. He started playing bass when he was fourteen years old, and began his study with Paul Sharpe the following year. John has been very active as a soloist as well as an orchestra player. Prior to coming to UNCSA, he played in the Fayetteville International Youth Symphony, Fayetteville Chamber Orchestra and the Berean Baptist Academy Orchestra. He has received second place in the Strings Solo Competition for North Carolina Christian School Association (NCCSA), 2nd place in MTNA statewide competition and a Grand Prize winner at Kiwanis Youth Talent Search Competition. Service and volunteerism have always been prominent parts of his life. He has served in the UNCSA High School Student Government, is the current president of Artists Reaching Out club and plays regularly in his church’s worship praise band. John hopes to pursue music as his career in the future.
Hanna Wilson Smith
Hanna Wilson-Smith is a resident of Raleigh, N.C. She began to play the double bass in the eighth grade after two years on the cello and a growth spurt. Deemed the smallest person in the studio, Hanna plays a ⅝ size bass and perches herself off the ground with three yoga blocks (aka her yoga palace). Before UNCSA, Hanna participated in many ensembles around the triangle including Triangle Youth Symphony, Honors Eastern Regional Orchestra, North Carolina Chamber Music Institute and school orchestra. She also performed as a soloist for nursing home communities, an accompanist for choirs and a pit orchestra musician for her school’s performance of The Addams Family The Musical. Hanna participated in North Carolina Governor’s School for instrumental music in the summer of 2017 where she developed a greater appreciation for modern music and the recognition of female composers. In 2018, she performed alongside seven brilliant student double bassists and an incredibly talented community of musicians for the Brevard Summer Music Festival and concluded the season with Holst’s “The Planets” -- her self-declared best concert experience ever. She studies with Paul Sharpe as a senior in high school and looks forward to a busy year in preparation for college auditions. To de-stress, Hanna loves to cook and bake, make collages and play with her small cockapoo, Cocoa.
Jahliah Brown is an undergraduate double bassist from Columbia, South Carolina. She first began to play the bass at the age of ten, when she was in sixth grade at the Blythewood Middle School. Jahliah has played in eight different orchestras, chamber groups and bands in her hometown, where she also enjoyed being the principal bassist for the Columbia Community Orchestra and chair of University of South Carolina Youth Philharmonic. This is Jahliah’s first year studying as a full-time student with Paul Sharpe. During the summer of 2018, Jahliah attended the Fairbanks Summer Music Festival and Anchorage Chamber Music Festival in Alaska. She enjoys plyaing the double bass and bass guitar and listening to different genres of music.
Coming from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Nicholas Smentkowski received his bachelor's degree in bass performance from Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO). In his time at SEMO, Nicholas studied double-bass under Dr. Sara Edgerton, received chamber music coaching from Dr. Brandon Christensen and Dr. Sophia Han and acted as the principal double-bassist for the Southeast Symphony Orchestra for seven years. Performance highlights from this time include performing Shostakovich’s first string quartet, Beethoven’s fifth and ninth symphonies, and the operas "Don Giovanni" and "Die Verkaufte Braut." With a burning passion for performance, Nicholas has brought his music to audiences far and wide. He has performed from Missouri to Italy, having participated in the chamber music festival "Suoni d’Abruzzo" for four years with his most recent appearance seeing him hired as the assistant music librarian. Currently, Nicholas is studying under Paul Sharpe at UNCSA in the pursuit of a master's degree in bass performance.
Solomon Caldwell is currently a third year undergraduate student at UNCSA. He entered the studio of Paul Sharpe as a high school senior. In his double bass playing, Solomon has a passion for both orchestral and chamber music work. Before attending UNCSA, he formed a chamber music collective in his hometown of Greensboro called Sonitus playing at different festivals around town in order to bring classical music to a broader audience. In the summer of 2016, his musical interests brought him to study orchestral and chamber at both the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and Anchorage Chamber Music Festival at which he gained invaluable experience playing alongside professional musicians. This past summer he attended Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro where he honed his orchestral playing performing challenging repertoire every week. In tandem with his classical playing, Solomon is equally comfortable playing jazz as a member of the UNCSA Jazz Ensemble. In addition to bass playing, Solomon is also passionate about conducting and hopes to enter the profession after grad school.
Isaac Present was born in Winston Salem, N.C., and began his career in double bass at the age of twelve in the Paisley Middle School Orchestra. During his time at Paisley, he attended the All-County and Western Regional orchestras and performed as the principal bassist of the Winston Salem Youth Symphony. To further his studies in bass, he is currently a student at UNCSA studying full time with Professor Paul Sharpe, from whom he had previously taken private lessons. He has attended summer programs at UNCSA, the Fairbanks Summer Music Festival and last summer at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, where he served as principal bass for a concert. He won the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony Concerto Competition last year, and performed three movements of Frank Proto’s "A Carmen Fantasy" with the orchestra in May 2017. At UNCSA, Isaac has performed in the UNCSA Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Bass Quartet and in a double bass duo.
Nate Goldsmith has enjoyed a varied career as a double bassist in the Triad area since moving to Greensboro in 2011. He can frequently be heard performing with orchestras across the state of North Carolina, as well as with Greensboro Opera, the Bel Canto Company and as a substitute in the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra. Nate also had the chance to accompany violin virtuoso Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg in 2015 as a member of the Gate City Camerata. He is currently studying with Paul Sharpe at UNCSA, in pursuit of a master’s degree in bass performance.
Zane Hollomon is a senior in the UNCSA high school program and has studied the bass for seven years. Hailing from Ohio, he is currently based in Winston-Salem along with his school, and has studied with Professor Paul Sharpe for two years. Though he is studying classical bass performance, his range of artistic interests far exceed the double bass. He enjoys songwriting, filmmaking, spoken word poetry, composition, music production, playwriting, creating scripts for comics and video games, and cryptology. Zane has participated in several summer festivals, including Anchorage Chamber Music Festival and Eastern Music Festival. He also has a rock band.