2022 NewBassoon Workshop

Announcing the next NewBassoon Workshop, June 4-11, 2022 in Chestertown, MD, held in conjunction with the National Music Festival. The 2022 Workshop features special guest Rebekah Heller, soloist and member of the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Faculty and Participants of the 2019 NewBassoon Workshop


Each summer, leading American bassoon artists and teachers, Michael Harley, Lynn Hileman, Saxton Rose, and Rachael Elliott, all members of the pioneering bassoon collective Dark in the Song, present a week-long workshop on contemporary bassoon literature, performance techniques, and pedagogy. Designed for college students and beyond, participants work closely with the faculty and a new guest each year in a variety of settings, including master classes, private lessons, and ensemble coachings. Highlights include: faculty and student performances, experiential workshops, and alternating bi-annual Performance and Composition competitions. Read about the 2019 Workshop.


  • Performance master classes and private lessons by Michael Harley, Lynn Hileman, Rachael Elliott, Saxton Rose and guest artist Rebekah Heller
  • Final Round of the 2022 Dark in the Song Bassoon Performance Competition
  • Faculty recital of solo and chamber works, including the world premiere of J.P. Dreblow’s “Les Blindes, or ‘The Armored Ones’” for two bassoons, winner of the 2020 Dark in the Song Composition Prize, as well as the premiere of other winning entries
  • Solo recital by Rebekah Heller
  • Performance opportunities include a Fellows Concert and community concerts in Chestertown & nearby towns
  • Group performance of Brad Balliett’s “Arboretum” at the pristine Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Maryland
  • Workshops on contemporary bassoon literature and the pedagogy of extended techniques with strategies for circular breathing, multiphonics, flutter tonguing, and microtones
  • Get Out of Your Head and Into Flow workshop
  • Pedalboard Playground, a live looping lab with delay and effects pedals to create amplified bassoon soundscapes
  • Large ensemble showcase: “Rushes” by Michael Gordon
  • 4th Annual Bassoon Rebellion, a combined performance with Jeffrey Keesecker and National Music Festival bassoon fellows


Our 2022 guest artist is the stellar bassoonist-curator-entrepreneur, Rebekah Heller. Rebekah is a bassoon soloist, collaborative artist, educator, and advocate for new music. As bassoonist and Co-Artistic Director Emeritus of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Ms. Heller has premiered hundreds of new works. Her two solo albums, 100 names and METAFAGOTE, exclusively feature World Premiere recordings of pieces written for and with her by a diverse group of contemporary composers.


Tuition for the entire workshop is $800, which includes all activities, concert admission, and private lessons. Registration also includes a $25 processing fee (waived for Dark in the Song Performance Competition participants). Housing is free, provided by the National Music Festival. Transportation to and from Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) is provided if participants arrive the evening of June 3 or morning of June 4 and depart the morning of June 12.


Applicants should email a resume and short statement of interest to Michael Harley, NewBassoon Workshop Director, mharley@mozart.sc.edu, on or before May 1, 2022. Accepted Workshop Fellows will be sent registration and payment information.


“So, I went to the 2018 Dark in the Song New Bassoon Music Workshop hoping to increase my exposure to new bassoon music and perhaps pick up some skills to use on gigs. I also wanted to hear some samples of current bassoon music, as I felt quite a bit out of touch. I was fully expecting to soldier through (no matter what I heard) and just try to at least learn something new. What actually happened was a transformation in me, from skeptic to fan. The faculty of players/teachers planned very informative and interactive sessions that drew me in and kept me. Their individual and collective knowledge of new bassoon music and their playing artistry were fully world-class. I was inspired at every performance I attended to become the very best bassoonist I could imagine so that I, myself, might acquire the skills needed to play as well as they. Notably, I now believe in the expressive power of properly mastered extended techniques, which is for me an endless invitation to discovery. I very much recommend attending the workshop. Chestertown, MD, is charming and lovely, and the community fully supports the workshop with warmth and generous service.”
-Tia Wortham, Principal bassoon, US Navy Band

“The NewBassoon workshop was one of the highlights of my summer! The opportunity to work with such skilled artists who have a specialty in contemporary music is something you really can’t find anywhere else, particularly for bassoon! The skill and talent of each faculty member helped make the experience wonderful and the sense of community engagement was also very unique, I highly recommend it.”
– Dan Wolfe, DMA candidate, University of Houston

“The New Bassoon workshop is a wonderful environment to explore new ideas, make friends, and experience the amazing support of the local community of Chestertown. The faculty are excellent: innovative, accomplished, and diverse, equipped to tackle challenges in new music and meet you where your interests are.”
– Rachel Leeper

The entire workshop takes place in historic Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern shore.