About the Richard Davis Conference

The Richard Davis Foundation’s bass conference is held every year, in Madison, WI on the weekend before Easter.

Conference Synopsis

Every year, the exact structure of classes and content of classes changes based on the interests, skills, and previous knowledge of the participants; the expertise areas of the clinicians;

and other factors like number of total students or space available etc., but the weekend is always generally has the same overall structure, and undoubtably the same high level of high energy music making. The two day conference can broadly be outlined by a series of events to train young bassists and their families on what it is to be a bass player while networking with experienced professionals. 

Activites Include:

Family Focus

One important aspect of the bass conference is it’s focus on families. The bass conference is not just for youths who play the bass, it is also a very important weekend for families too. Events are designed to be enjoyable and enlightening to teach these young bassists biggest fans. Siblings and parents are involved in the weekend through Q&A sessions, workshops, and performance events of their own.


The third annual conference was held in April 1996 near Madison, Wisconsin and was attended by 85 students from the Midwest and beyond plus their parents. The students range in age from 3 to 18 years of age. Clinicians and bass masters from the United States and Europe were on hand to provide training and encouragement to the students. The first conferences were funded largely by Mr. Davis himself, as well as through contributions from various attendees and other fund raising efforts.

The conference has been located at in Mr. Davis’s house, the Catholic Community Center of Madison, The Edgewood College, at the University of Wisconsin School of Music and is currently at the Pyle Center (part of UW Extension). The conference has welcomed as many as 87 young bassists and their families per year.

Past Board Of Directors