SRU bassoonists, special guest, offer Feb. 23 concert

student bassoon players

(From left): Clint Bleil, a music major from Pittsburgh,
Devon Lybarger, a music education major from Bedford,
and Jasmine Medina, a music major from Hamilton,
New Jersey, will perform Feb. 23 as the SRU Bassoon Choir.

Feb. 19, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The bassoon, often called the "human voice" of instruments because of its distinctive sound, will be in the spotlight when the Slippery Rock University Bassoon Choir presents "A Concert of All Things Bassoon" at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23, in Swope Music Hall.

Jim Rodgers, principal contrabassoonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, is the guest artist for the concert of classical music featuring only bassoon musicians. Rodgers will teach a master class for woodwind musicians earlier in the day.

The Bassoon Choir will present "Beethoven Trio OP.87," "Thunder and Blazes" by Julius Fucik and "Heart Beats Waltz" by Walter Miles.

"This is a rare opportunity for students, faculty and staff - the whole University community - to hear a bassoon concert," said Amy Baker, instructor of music who teaches bassoon and will perform with the group.

The Bassoon Choir includes Devon Lybarger, a music education major from Bedford, Jasmine Medina, a music major from Hamilton, New Jersey, and Clint Bleil, a music major from Pittsburgh.

Lybarger said he fell on love with the "unique sound of the instrument" and orchestra music when he heard the bassoon solo in Disney's "Fantasia."

"I'm so excited to play with Jim Rodgers because he's such an accomplished musician and is continually innovating the bassoon," Lybarger said. "He plays both bassoon and contrabassoon, and I know he has used what I call 'electric' bassoon. He plays into a microphone and adds an effects pedal to augment the sound, and he can loop effects to play by himself."

Medina said, "I was originally a cello player. But when I started high school, they didn't have a strings program, so I picked up the bassoon and fell in love with it."

Baker said the bassoon is called the Vox humana - Latin for human voice - because it sounds like a cross between a saxophone and cello.

"It's a beautiful and very versatile instrument," she said.

Rodgers has been the principal contrabassoonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2001. He is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Reed Trio and has performed and worked with symphonies across the country.

SRU's concert is free. Contributions for music scholarships will be accepted.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 | gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu