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Conner is a dedicated musician teaching private in-home double bass, bass guitar, cello and piano lessons in the Dallas area.
University of North Texas
Composition and Double Bass Performance
Conner Simmons
Double Bass, Bass Guitar, Cello, Piano

Conner Simmons graduated from the University of North Texas in the spring of 2022 with degrees in Composition and Double Bass Performance, having studied with a number of notable faculty. He is a double bassist, composer, and media artist currently living and working in Denton, Texas as a passionate advocate for the study, performance, and pedagogy of new and experimental music. Conner has worked in various musical settings, including experimental performance art, composition for film/television, orchestral performances alongside the San Antonio Symphony, and a collaborative installation exhibited in Bologna, Italy.

As a teacher, Conner has written and given lessons on both traditional and contemporary performance practices and techniques for both double bass and piano, as well as topics in music composition and music theory. Teaching for Conner is a uniquely engaging and creative endeavor, as it offers an opportunity for a collaborative relationship between student and teacher that can become musically rewarding for each individual. Music education can serve as a unique form of self-exploration and self-realization, and for this reason he believes it is a particularly enriching and personal pursuit. In Conner's lessons, the student's own interests and goals are central to the structure of their study, and the building of lessons around each student's varied objectives instills his pedagogy with a personal and individualized focus that he is very proud of.

As a performer of contemporary music, Conner has commissioned and premiered dozens of new works for the double bass in both solo and chamber contexts by composers including J. Andrew Smith, Rachel Whelan, Chris Poovey, Kory Reeder, Garrison Gerard, and many others, and possesses experience working closely with these composers in the development and premiere of new works for the double bass. Conner has performed works by such noted contemporary composers as György Ligeti, Christian Wolff, John Cage, and Arvo Pärt, among many others as a part of NOVA, the premiere contemporary music ensemble at the University of North Texas. This experience in the performance of new music has also seeped into his interest as a teacher of the double bass; he has written on the importance and logistics of teaching extended techniques and contemporary performance practices to young double bass students, and often incorporates topics in new music in his lessons, especially with newer and developing students.

Conner's interest in the visual arts has led to various collaborations and intermedia performances centered around or involving the double bass as a musical as well as theatrical instrument. These collaborative endeavors include the creation and performance of multiple intermedia works alongside visual artist Diana Rojas, including a work for double bass, theremin, and live, audio-reactive projection entitled "Genesis." "The Always Girls and Forever Boys" (2021, dir. Sean Lopez), an intermedia opera premiered in 2021, was a second collaborative endeavor in which Conner was featured as both a composer and improvising performer, performing alongside many DFW artists including Daniel Ryan and Reece McClean, Colton James White, Kory Reeder, and Sean Lopez.

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