Richard Desgrange graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in instrumental music education. This is his 36th year with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, now as principal bass. He was principal bass of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra for nine years, and freelances throughout the state on double bass and electric bass.
Orchestral bass music is not all he likes. Desgrange played electric bass with a nine-piece Latin band in Ybor City, Tampa. He has played with many small jazz groups in the Brevard County area, including a 14-piece swing band where he was both leader and bassist (acoustic and electric bass).
He began studio teaching in 1974, and also joined the adjunct faculty at Eastern Florida State College. His students consistently receive superior ratings at district and state Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Of his teaching philosophy, Desgrange writes, "I want my students to think of the double bass as a musical instrument in its own right, not just as an accompanying instrument. Because of the large size of the instrument, good posture and proper playing position are essential. I use scales, exercises and etudes to establish a strong technical foundation which I then apply to the orchestral and solo repertoire."
Desgrange is also a luthier. He specializes in cellos and basses and his work has received national recognition.