Senior Spotlight: Samantha Burr, Bassoon

Samantha Burr, music education major

Samantha Burr, music education major

By Casey Ottaway, Arts and Entertainment Editor
What is your major?
“I’m majoring in music education and I’m minoring in English as well as Peace and Justice Studies.”
What is your instrument?

“Bassoon.”

When did you first fall in love with music, and when did you realize you wanted to be a music educator? 

“I have always loved music; it has always been a huge part of my life and my family’s life. I realized I wanted it to be life and career when I began using it to cope with some tough things that were happening in my life. My teachers helped me use music to express myself, they gave me safe space to express my emotions. I knew I wanted to give other students that same safe space I had. I also enjoyed performing in different venues as I got older like the [New Jersey Performing Arts Center] theater.”

What has been the most important or impactful part of your conservatory experience?

“I learned so much from my professors, I met so many great people with so many different backgrounds and experiences. By working with all of these talented musicians, I grew as a person, musician, and future educator.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“I am planning on moving to South Carolina and teaching music, I am not sure what grade level I will teach or what section I will teach (choir, band, orchestra, or general music).”

Tell me about your recital. 

“I performed Récit, Sicilienne et Rondo by Eugene Bozza, Concerto Per Faggotto en mi minore, RV 484 by Antonio Vivaldi, Bassoon Concerto in F Major, Op. 75 by Carl Maria von Weber. All these pieces show off the full range of the bassoon, its timbre, and all of its capabilities.”

Which piece on your recital is your favorite to perform, and which one do you feel has been most rewarding? 

“All these pieces are iconic bassoon repertoire. I love performing the first movement of the Bozza  . It is very cadenza-like and shows off the lowest and highest range of the bassoon. The performer is able make musical decisions that they cannot in other pieces. I also loved performing the Weber. The second movement contrasts the third in so many ways. The second movement showed that the bassoon can be beautiful and almost like it’s singing. The third movement shows the full range while also showing the capabilities of the player. It is a very fast and technical movement which once learned is very fun to play.”

What is your advice for future conservatory students?

“Explore every interest you have and take advantage of every opportunity the conservatory has to offer. You have the power to make an impact with the music you perform and the things that you learn, take advantage of that.”
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Author: Casey Ottaway

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