6. Oberlin Conservatory of Music – Oberlin, OH
Notable Faculty: George Sakakeeny
In demand as both a teacher and clinician, Professor George Sakakeeny, professor of bassoon at the Oberlin College-Conservatory, has had students go on to prolific careers in chamber ensembles, professorial positions, and in orchestras throughout the US, South America, and North America. Situated amongst an impressive department of woodwind instructors and musicians, pursuing Professor Sakakeeny and the Oberlin College-Conservatory is an excellent choice for the dedicated bassoonist, especially if the student wishes to have the best of a conservatory education while being attached to a fine liberal arts college.
Listen to the Faculty: Check Out George Sakakeeny on the 25th Anniversary International Double Reed Society CD.
5. Bard College-Conservatory of Music – Annandale-On-Hudson, NY
Notable Faculty: Marc Goldberg, Patricia Rogers
Marc Goldberg, professor at Bard, is one of the most pre-eminent bassoon teachers working in the music industry today. Besides being the bassoonist for the New York Woodwind Quintet, one of the most well-respected and in-demand woodwind ensembles in the world, he also teaches at not just Bard, but also at Columbia, the Aaron Copland School of Music, and other New York and Connecticut area music colleges, giving him an unusually large influence in the world of bassoon pedagogy today.
Patricia Rogers, of both Bard and Juilliard, is the principal bassoonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and one of the most sought-after bassoon teachers today. Like her peer Marc, she also is an active and in-demand teacher at many of the top music schools in the country, including the Hartt School, the Manhattan School of Music, and others. Many of her students are now active teachers throughout New York City as well as prominent chamber and orchestral musicians worldwide.
I had to give the nod to Bard here over many other incredible schools that Marc and Patricia teach at because of Bard’s incredible scholarship opportunity for bassonists, called the American Symphony Orchestra Bassoon Scholarship. Bassoonists at Bard who win this merit scholarship receive the opportunity to study with musicians in the American Symphony Orchestra, one of the foremost orchestras not just in the country, but in the entire world. I really don’t know of any other scholarship opportunity like this available for musicians anywhere. Bard is also excellent when it comes to merit scholarships in general; given the unusually high cost of attending college today, choosing a school with excellent scholarship opportunity is a must for many families.
4. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor, MI
Notable Faculty: Jeffrey Lyman
Jeffrey Lyman regularly attracts talented students who come from prestigious high school institutions dedicated to boarding musicians, such as the Interlochen Arts Academy. An author, his specialist texts have appeared in a number of important journals, including those issued by the International Double Reed Society. Students of Jeffrey Lyman regularly advance to top graduate programs, fellowships, and positions in chamber ensembles worldwide.
Here is an interesting article by Professor Jeffrey Lyman from his University of Michigan bassoon studio website in which he discusses whether the famous bassoon note in Stravinsky is a D or a Db.