Ethan Hemsley is currently studying commercial music at Brigham Young University.
In 2012 Hemsley was part of the Prague Conservatory Project.
This project was funded in part by the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts
. Ten double bass students from BYU and their professor, Eric Hansen
, had the opportunity to attend the Prague Conservatory for a week. Students spent time in and around the Rudolfinum (home of the Czech Philharmonic) and had a special library tour to see original signed manuscripts of scores by Dvorak, Smetana, and others. The BYU bassists also had a chance to meet with, play for, and be critiqued by Professor Jiri Valenta of the Czech Philharmonic. Valenta, who has taught at the conservatory since 1995 and been the head of the double bass department for the last three years, took the time to listen as each BYU bassist played for him. He gave each of them his personal time and feedback, which was a priceless experience for them.
Students were also allowed to sit in on a rehearsal of the conservatory's Chamber Orchestra and experience the caliber of musicianship at the school and throughout the country. The students from the two schools had the opportunity, as a conclusion to the week, to present a joint recital, followed by a formal joint recital featuring the two professors.
Through this project students who live halfway across the world from each other were able to form strong bonds through music. While the scholars were mingling BYU students were able to expand their world vision and also to shine the light of the example of both BYU and the LDS Church. Many of the students commented that they began to see just how special music is and that the whole experience was truly life-changing.