Principal double bassist Raymond Irving has performed with the Apollo Orchestra since the very first concert.He received his early training in his hometown of Chicago, and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. His first professional orchestral experience was with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, where he spent three seasons. Mr. Irving came to Washington as a member of The United States Army Field Band, the U.S. Army's premier touring ensemble. During his military career he traveled extensively, proudly representing the United States with the "Musical Ambassadors of the Army". Ray's major teachers were Harold Siegel, Harold Robinson, Robert Barney, and William Vaughan. Ray is an active teacher and free-lance musician. In addition to Apollo, Ray serves as Principal Bassist with the Prince George's Philharmonic. He has performed with the Detroit, Maryland, and Annapolis symphony orchestras, as well as many other orchestras in the Mid-Atlantic region. He is also an active chamber musician (he adores chamber music!) In his "spare" time, Ray enjoys running (fantastic for body AND mind), and baking and cooking (give me an apron, a sharp knife, and a big cutting board, and I'm a happy guy!). Ray's favorite bass is a modern English instrument made in 2006 by Peter Hamilton-Box (from VERY old wood). The bass is definitely a girl, and her name is Boadicia (named for the ancient queen of Britain).