Definitely Where I Want To Be

7 months ago 1403

Bassist Daniel Carson, who grew up in Golf, became a member of the roster of Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians in September.

A musician who grew up in Golf, the village of about 300 tucked off Golf and Waukegan roads next to Glenview, has returned home after performing with symphonies across the United States, securing a position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last month.

Bassist Daniel Carson became a member of the roster of Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians on Monday, Sept. 19 as the CSO began its 2022-2023 season. 

He said one of his most thrilling moments was recently performing “Pictures From An Exhibition” by Mussorgsky, and hearing the brass in the last movement of the piece.

“It never sounded like that before, and I’ve never heard applause like that before,” said Carson, a 2010 graduate of Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, where he was involved in music as a member of vocal and symphonic groups and won numerous accolades. At Springman Middle School in Glenview, Carson even started his own vocal group.  

“My experience in the CSO has been absolutely amazing,” Carson told the Journal. “I grew up living in Golf and used to take the Metra to see the CSO in high school.”

He noted the CSO has a rich history dating back to the 1890s. “People (in the CSO) are so unified, I had to get on board. It’s amazing to be part of something way bigger than yourself.”

Daniel Carson, who grew up in Golf, tunes up on stage at Chicago’s Symphony Center. (Photo courtesy CSO)

Carson’s love of music and performing goes back to middle school. 

“I was really blessed to have such great teachers,” Carson said. “I was so lucky to have such good music programs at schools on the North Shore.” 

He recalled two such teachers who helped him in both middle school and high school. Dava Kondiles was a choir teacher at Springman. Carson said he and some friends at Springman, who he is still in contact with, asked Kondiles if they could start an afterschool choir singing songs like “Duke of Earl” and from groups like the Temptations and the Spinners.

At Glenbrook South, he said Orchestra Director Carl Meyer took him aside one day, giving him sheet music for some of Beethoven’s lesser well-known works, including the second, fourth, and eighth symphonies. “These are the ones you should know,” Carson remembers Meyer telling him. 

“He fostered an interest beyond just learning the notes; teachers paying attention and doing the little things, it is appreciated,” Carson said.

Carson was a member of the Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra, Glenbrook Sinfonietta, Variety Show, Musical Pit Orchestra, Master Singers, and the a capella group Nine. In 2009 he was named Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra concerto competition soloist and in 2010, Outstanding Senior in GSO.

Carson returns to the Chicago area this year after performing as principal bass at the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for three years and with many other American orchestras, including those in Atlanta, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Kansas City. 

Carson studied under David Allen Moore of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and earned his master’s degree from the University of Southern California. 

“I’ve wanted to return to Chicago ever since I left,” Carson said. “I love southern food from living in Birmingham. Los Angeles didn’t get seasons. This is definitely where I want to be.”

He added, “My mom is really proud.” Carson said his parents have attended two CSO concerts in the last three weeks since the start of the season and said he expects they will attend many more.

Bassist Daniel Carson (middle row, second from left) performing with the bass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center last month. (Photo courtesy CSO)

Carson is looking forward to the CSO’s upcoming tour, which will take it to Toronto, Canada, where he also has extended family.

Carson is now living in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood with his brother Neil, who is a jazz musician and freelance composer.