Composer. Teacher. Performer.

What motivates me most as a composer is making music with students. My priority is to provide compelling musical content that inspires students to perform expressively and connect with their audience.

As a teacher, I am intimately familiar with the pedagogical and technical challenges that teachers and students face and strategically incorporate technical and musical teaching points into my works.

As a performer (and a bass player) I understand the power of being entrusted with important thematic material in a piece. I endeavor to offer every section of the orchestra appropriate challenges that give them opportunities to showcase their skills and grow as musicians.

Tim playing the upright/string bass in a bandshell


Timothy J. Isham is an educator, double bassist, and composer residing in Webster, NY.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Musical Studies/Composition from the Crane School of Music and dual Masters degrees in Composition and Double Bass Performance from Bowling Green State University.

He has performed with the Orchestra of Northern New York, the Toledo Symphony, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Orchestra.

While pursuing his performing career, he also maintained a private bass studio, was a frequent visiting artist and sectional coach with local schools and youth orchestras, and worked in the administrative offices of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival as a grant proposal writer.

After working in music performance and arts administration for a number of years, Mr. Isham shifted the focus of his career more toward education.  He went back to the Crane School to earn a teaching certificate, working as a supervisor at Crane’s chapter of the National String Project.

Mr. Isham has been teaching string orchestras in the Webster Central School District for 17 years, including experience with beginning orchestras up through 8th grade as well as advanced level extracurricular ensembles.  Mr. Isham is well-known in his community and nationally for composing and arranging new string orchestra works as well as collaborating with other string teachers to write music for their ensembles.

On a personal note…

I love playing bass and would rather do that than just about anything. Since my “retirement” from professional orchestra playing I have found a number of other ways to keep going with it.

I play upright bass live and in the studio with Rochester’s premiere alt-country Americana band, Stella Hill. I also occasionally play with a folk/acoustic quartet called Tapestry. If you have an idea for a jazz gig let’s get together.

Sometimes I get calls to do some freelance work such as in pit orchestras for musicals. I have a little side hustle selling stock music which is fun and most of the stuff I sell is surf rock, which isn’t even my thing really but I was just messing around one day and now it’s out there.

You may also find me tending my little vegetable garden (solely for the tomatoes,) on the water kayaking with my wife and two sons, or driving my kids to their violin lessons.


Tim playing the upright/string bass in a bandshell

Available to Connect With Orchestras

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I'm always looking to connect

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