The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: An amateur Baroque bassoon player wants to make music. Who can help make that happen? | December 13, 2015

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear thinks of it as a kind of holiday gift request.

He received an inquiry from a really nice person who, as an amateur musician, is looking to connect with other people so that he can make music.

So he asked the sender if it is all right to post the request, and the sender agreed. Here it is -– with the wish that anyone who can help or who knows someone else who can help will answer and pass along a suggestion.

The Ear — who is a fierce advocate of amateur music-making — has already passed along some names. But he is sure that some readers will have even better suggestions.

Dear Ear,

You don’t know me, but I figured if anyone knows the answer to my question, you do.

Do you know how an amateur player of early music can best find opportunities to play around Madison?

The Baroque bassoon (A=415 pitch) and dulcians (A=440) are my main instruments.

Occasionally I play (on bassoon) duets with a cellist friend, but that’s about it. For years, I played dulcians and other Renaissance wind instruments with a group called the Milwaukee Renaissance Band, but it’s sadly defunct now.

ken hammel baroque bassoon

Surely there are players around. Some of them attend the Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF), which I’ve also done before. But where do they play the rest of the year?

I’ve looked at your interesting blog and at the MEMF Facebook page. So far, no success.

It would be great if there were some kind of online discussion group where players could find each other, but I haven’t found one. (NOTE: At bottom is a YouTube video of a sonata for bassoon, recorder and basso continuo by the Baroque Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi.)

If you have any ideas, I’d sure be glad to hear them!


Ken Hammel

2622 Van Hise Ave

Madison, WI 53705

(608) 233-1355

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