Student Recital: Zach Bush and Drew Miller

Double-bass player
Double-bass player (Photo credit: echiner1)

It’s not uncommon to meet someone who has taken piano lessons, owns a guitar or fancies themselves a singer. It is markedly less likely to bump into a string bass player, which makes Zach Bush and Drew Miller a little more interesting than your average Joe.



Bush and Miller dedicated considerable time and energy to becoming skilled on a string bass, also known as the stand-up or double bass. They will be showing off these skills in their student recital from 6 -7 p.m. this Saturday at the University Center for the Arts.


Both Bush and Miller have been playing string bass for years now, but even they took some time to find the instrument. Bush started honing his musical talent at the young age of five with piano and violin lessons. Bass didn’t come into the picture until his pre-teen years.


“In middle school, I learned how to play string bass and really enjoyed the sound and technical challenges,” Bush said. “I played violin, bass and piano all through high school, but ultimately chose bass for my primary instrument in college.”


As Bush was discovering the string bass, Miller was also in middle school making some of his first forays into music on the cello and bass guitar. He was a bit quicker than Bush, however, in discovering his love for the string bass.


“I soon switched from cello to string bass in orchestra because I loved the low notes it produced,” Miller said. “That’s when I really began devoting my time to music. I steadily increased my musical involvement in high school, playing in pretty much any ensemble I could in school and an additional five bands outside of school.”



Miller now plays in several bands in addition to his involvement in the CSU music program and Bush recently used his bass skills to win an audition with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra.


They will be sharing their skill and enthusiasm for the string bass in their recital with everything from Baroque to modern solo bass music. Bush described the recital as a good chance to hear “a rarely heard, but beautiful instrument.”


Both Bush and Miller pointed out that the very concept of having a recital centered around the string bass is a bit unconventional.


“Bass is very rarely used as a solo instrument, so it’s a unique opportunity to see the capabilities of the instrument,” Miller said.


Interestingly enough, the posters advertising their recital don’t show Bush and Miller wielding hefty string basses. Instead, they have banjos casually rested on their knees. The pair are letting the exact reasoning behind this remain a bit of a mystery.


“We were holding banjos as a ‘hook’ to get people’s attention,” Bush said. “And since the banjos were on our posters, there may or may not be some banjo playing…”


Collegian Entertainment Reporter Katie Salka can be reached at