A collective of leading American bassoonists dedicated to the creation and performance of new works for the instrument announces the first Dark in the Song Performance Competition.

July 6-9, 2016 – Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY in Hatch Hall

The three finalists of the first Dark in the Song Performance Competition are Allen Hamrick, Ben Roidl-Ward and Graham Logen. They will compete in a live final round during the New Bassoon Workshop. Congratulations to everyone who entered!


  • First place winner will receive a $350 US cash prize and a new Püchner bocal. First place winner will also have the opportunity to perform Rushes by Michael Gordon with Dark in the Song during the inaugural NewBassoon Workshop, July 6-9, 2016 at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
  • Second place winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to Midwest Musical Imports. Both winners will have the opportunity to perform as part of a participant recital during the workshop.
  • All finalists will receive a $250 discount on the 2016 NewBassoon Workshop tuition.


Bassoonists of all nationalities born after January 1, 1985 are eligible to compete.


  1. All entrants must submit an online application and application fee of $25 US payable by credit card. Entrants must upload a recording file of the preliminary round repertoire selections from the choices listed below. The deadline for submission of all material is May 1, 2016.
  2. Three finalists will be chosen based on the preliminary round recordings and invited to compete live at the NewBassoon Workshop, July 6-9, 2016. If selected as a finalist, entrants must agree to travel to Rochester, NY for the competition.


Required work: John Steinmetz Sonata for bassoon and piano.

Additionally, choose one of the following solo works:

  • Isang Yun: Monolog (1983)
  • Phillipe Hersant: Niggun (1993)
  • Marc Vallon: Cantus (2001)
  • Kirk O’Riordan: Temptation (1994)
  • Samuel Adler: Canto XII (1989)
  • David Lang: Press Release (1992)
  • Dai Fujikura: Calling (2011)
  • Choji Kaneta: Ambivalence IV (1991)
  • Olav Berg: Vertigo (1992)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen: In Freundschaft (1977)


The final round will consist of the John Steinmetz Sonata for bassoon and piano (an accompanist will be provided), the chosen work from the preliminary round, and a piece of the applicant’s choice. This must be a solo work composed in the last 50 years. Arrangements and works with electronics or soundtrack are permitted.


The jury is comprised of members of Dark in the Song: Rachael Elliott, Michael Harley, Lynn Hileman, Peter Kolkay, and Saxton Rose, as well as Eastman School of Music Bassoon Professor John Hunt.


Step 1: Submit your $25 application fee with a credit card via paypal using the following link: paypal.me/bassoon.

Step 2: Submit the application below.


Called a “bassoon supergroup” by the American Music Center, Dark in the Song is: Rachael Elliott (Clogs), Michael Harley (Alarm Will Sound, University of South Carolina), Lynn Hileman (Tuple, West Virginia University), Peter Kolkay (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Vanderbilt University), and Saxton Rose (Zéphyros Winds, University of North Carolina School of the Arts). Members are also part of the Rushes Ensemble, formed to play composer Michael Gordon’s pioneering concert-length work for seven bassoons, Rushes.

Dark in the Song announces the first NewBassoon Workshop, a four-day event July 6-9, 2016 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.


Four leading American bassoon artists and teachers, Michael Harley, Lynn Hileman, Peter Kolkay and Saxton Rose, all members of the pioneering bassoon collective Dark in the Song, present a four-day workshop on contemporary bassoon literature, performance techniques, and pedagogy. This session is designed for college students and above. Participants will work closely with the faculty in a variety of settings, including lessons, master classes, and ensembles. The event also includes faculty and student performances, exhibits, a performance competition, and a composition prize.
Register now at the Summer at Eastman website.

The entire workshop takes place at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY


  • Performance master classes and private lessons by Michael Harley, Lynn Hileman, Peter Kolkay, and Saxton Rose
  • Performance of Michael Gordon’s Rushes, an hour-long work for seven bassoons
  • Faculty recital of solo and chamber works for bassoon by Dark in the Song including the premiere of the 2016 Composition Prize winning piece Escape by Elliott Grabill as well as the second place work by Brad Balliett.
  • Special guest John Hunt, Professor of Bassoon, Eastman School of Music
  • Discussion / demonstration on new trends in chamber music
  • Workshop on multiphonics led by guest Jamie Leigh Sampson, author of Contemporary Techniques for the Bassoon: Multiphonics
  • Workshops on contemporary bassoon literature and techniques, including circular breathing
  • Panel discussion on grant writing, commissioning, and entrepreneurial activities for performers
  • Presentation on the Pedagogy of Extended Techniques
  • Performance / demonstration on performing with various electronic systems including live looping
  • The Dark in the Song Performance Competition Final Round


  • Wednesday, July 6 at 12pm: Welcome and Introductions, Hatch Recital Hall
  • Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30pm: Faculty recital, Hatch Recital Hall
  • Thursday, July 7 at 9:00am: Final Round of the Performance Competition, Hatch Recital Hall
  • Friday, July 8 at 8:00pm: Performance of Michael Gordon’s Rushes
  • Saturday, July 9 at 7:30pm: Participants and competition winners recital, Hatch Recital Hall


Tuition for the four-day workshop, including all activities and concerts is $550. You can register now at the Summer at Eastman website.

Housing at the Eastman Student Living Center is available. Information about housing and local hotels.