Hampton Childress

Associate Principal Bass

One of very few BSO musicians born in Baltimore, Associate Principal Bass Hampton Childress grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. Therefore, he is not only a native son of the BSO in Baltimore but also of the BSO at Strathmore.

After graduating from Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school, Mr. Childress spent a semester at Montgomery College before accepting a rock and roll touring engagement as bass guitarist with the Woods Brothers Band. A year later he returned to his musical education at the University of Montana where he grappled with his future direction – to opt for the richly varied expression of the symphony orchestra or the driving rhythm and defining sentiment of big band jazz. After completing his studies with Frank Diliberto, he was awarded the Bachelor of Music degree in Performance.

Immediately after graduation, Mr. Childress’ symphonic career began as the Principal Bass with the New Jersey Symphony. In 1981, he was invited to join the Kansas City Philharmonic, again as Principal Bass. The following year he stumbled onto an opening in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for which the audition day coincided with a visit to his parents in Washington. Two months later, in August 1982, he gave his first BSO performance; not for a subscription audience but for the men and women whose hands and backs and minds had built the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. It is a day he will never forget.

Hampton’s varied interests include photography, analog electronics, UNIX networked computing and, most importantly, his three grandchildren. He and his wife Paula, a BSO cellist, make their home in Towson, Maryland.