This year, Hunter Gordon ’14, psychology and bassoon performance double degree student, entered Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, aiming for a master’s of music in bassoon performance.
Gordon says he dreams of being an orchestral bassoonist and chose Rice’s program because of the bassoon professor, Benjamin Kamins, many of whose students have gone on to win orchestral positions. “Additionally, Rice has a great orchestra, and playing with this group has greatly helped my ensemble skills,” Gordon says.
According to Gordon, his prowess on the bassoon is due largely to his professor at Oberlin, George Sakakeeny. “Hearing him play bassoon and listening to his advice consistently inspired me to pursue a career in classical music. Without his guidance, I would be nowhere near the level required of a professional musician,” Gordon says.
Participating in the double degree program was a huge factor in his decision to pursue a master’s degree in bassoon, says Gordon. Having a hand in each school, Gordon learned how to manage his time effectively, maintaining focus while working toward long-term goals. Exposure to both paths made Gordon that much more certain of what he wanted to do after graduation, he says.
According to Gordon, Rice does a good job of training students for professional experiences “by allowing students to work closely with high-level faculty while giving consistent performance opportunities.” Gordon plans to use the skills he has gained at Rice, both professionally and musically, to audition for orchestras, expand his musical network, and start his career as a professional bassoon player.