ProMusica Sessions: Double the Bass

John Pellegrino, bass
Jena Huebner, bass


John Pellegrino is Principal Bass of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and the Peninsula Music Festival, Assistant Principal Bass of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as well as a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival. John has performed, toured and recorded with many of this country’s leading orchestras and is on the faculty of Capital University. As a chamber musician, John has collaborated with such artists as Joseph Kalichstein, Ronald Leonard, and James Dunham, as well as the Miami String Quartet, Miller-Porfiris Duo, and the Apple Hill String Quartet. Other chamber music performances have included concerts at the Roycroft, Sarasota, Aspen, Waterloo, Grand Teton festivals as well as The Ohio State University’s Contemporary Music Festival, the Sunday at Central recital series in Columbus, OH and at the OWU•//•NOW contemporary music festival in Delaware, OH. In 2007 John was named Artistic Director of Music on the Hill, a chamber music festival located in the Ocean State.

Before moving to Columbus to become a member of the CSO in 1989, John was a section member of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the NOSO John earned degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School. Mr. Pellegrino has served on the faculties of Ohio Wesleyan University, the Eastern Music Festival (NC), the Warwick Music Festival (RI), Kinhaven Music Camp (VT) and the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, Ohio.

In 2008, John was the recipient of the Ohio Private/Studio Teacher of the Year award given by the Ohio String Teacher’s Association. His students have won competitions held by the International Society of Bassists, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Ohio String Teachers Association, Interlochen Arts Camp and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

John was born and raised in Warwick, Rhode Island and owes much to his family of music educators/performers, private teachers, the public-school music program in Warwick and to the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra program under the direction of Nedo Pandolfi.

Jena Huebner began playing the bass at the age of 11 in her hometown, Jacksonville, Florida. But it was her 3 summers at Eastern Music Camp in Greensboro, NC that opened her eyes to richness and joy that could be found playing the orchestral works of the great masters. Jena moved to Bloomington Indiana to study under the renowned pedagogue Lawrence Hurst. While earning her Bachelors degree in Double Bass there at Indiana University she was pleased to be able to keep up her second love by minoring in ballet. And while there she discovered a new passion for Early Music by playing in Stanley Ritchie’s Baroque Orchestra and every possible chamber group she could fit into her schedule. She earned her Masters degree at the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Harold Robinson, principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She continued her studies of early music there with Ann Marie Morgan, on Viola da Gamba as well as Baroque Bass, culminating in a performance at the Smithsonian Institution. While in Baltimore she had the privilege of playing with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Chamber Players, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

At the completion of her degree she joined the Knoxville Chamber and Symphony Orchestras in Tennessee serving as assistant principal bassist for three years. After relocating to Louisville, KY she performed regularly with the Louisville Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, and the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra, as well as making appearances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and in her hometown with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

In the autumn of 2000 Jena joined the bass section of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Since moving to Columbus she has been lucky to have been able to perform with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Sunday’s at Central series, and at the First Community Church. She has given a solo recital at Otterbein and been a featured soloist with the Otterbein University Orchestra.  As a teacher, Jena was honored to be a guest instructor at the Interlochen Arts Camp and Otterbein University as well as coaching for the Youth Philharmonic of Central Ohio and the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras.

Jena has two sons which has provided opportunity for her to have an additional involvement in the arts community in central Ohio. She has been an active parent at Suzuki Music of Columbus and the Columbus Dance Theater.

Outside of her musical pursuits Jena enjoys her pets, practicing yoga, vegetarian cooking, home renovation, exploring Columbus’s ever widening local food and libation offerings, and the wide array of activities involved in parenting her sons.