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Hodgson School professor shares richness of the bassoon in class, on stage

Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 11:09am
Alan Flurry

Associate professor Amy Pollard picked up a bassoon in middle school after playing the flute for a few years, intrigued with the instrument that developed into a passion she now instills with students and audiences alike:

According to Pollard, the instrument truly is diverse—able to blend with woodwinds, play alongside percussion parts or stand on its own as a solo instrument. 

“I think it has a really fascinating sound,” said Pollard. “The bassoon can create a lot of different tonal colors and a lot of the octaves sound very different. When we play in orchestra, we most often play parts with the other woodwinds, but we also get to play with the strings and the brass sections. Usually with each piece, we have a role within all of those areas, and we get to collaborate with a variety of sections in a way that other instruments don’t.”

Much like the instrument, Pollard serves diverse and varied roles as a faculty member at the School of Music. As the bassoon professor, she teaches students in hourlong individual weekly sessions, but also teaches bassoon studio class, a reed making seminar and a First-Year Odyssey course on managing performance anxiety; coaches a woodwind quintet; and teaches graduate pedagogy and literature courses. 

Beyond teaching, she also plays bassoon in a host of solo, chamber and large orchestral performances each year—at UGA, with professional orchestras and as a visiting performer to other universities. She’s even the principal bassoonist for the Atlanta Ballet.

An amazing teacher, performer and mentor, Pollard brings great artistry to exquisite works produced by Ravel, Debussy, Saint Seans, Berlioz and many others. Truly one of our best, see Pollard perform a solo faculty concert featuring all French music Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Ramsey Recital Hall, followed a few weeks later by a Halloween performance with her studio class students Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Ramsey Hall. Both performances are open free to the public and not to be missed.

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