WHO ARE WE?
The bassoon studio at the University of Northern Iowa is comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in the School of Music and many other colleges and departments across the university. Each student studies privately with Dr. Cayla Bellamy and is an active performer in the highly regarded and internationally touring Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, or Symphonic Band. Many bassoonists also participate in the rapidly growing woodwind chamber music program, which presents standard chamber recitals as well as sends students to community venues and schools throughout the Cedar Valley. Dr. Bellamy and her students hold positions with wcfsymphony, as well as the Metropolitan Chorale orchestra and the municipal bands of Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Waverly, Mason City, and Cedar Rapids.
Dr. Cayla Bellamy is Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music, where she performs with the resident Kairos Trio and teaches courses in applied bassoon, woodwind chamber music, woodwind literature, and instrumental techniques. As a bassoonist, she has been a frequently invited performer with orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and is currently the contrabassoonist for the local wcfsymphony.
Bellamy believes wholeheartedly in the community building power of music, which led her to co-found the touring bassoon duo Double or Nothing in 2014 and the Bloomington (IN) chapter of the chamber music collective Classical Revolution in 2012. Her passion for education has also resulted in positions with the Georgia public school system, Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Camp, and Indiana University Student Academic Center. She now spends her summers as Associate Conductor and Chamber Music Coordinator for the New York Summer School of the Arts.
Bellamy's research focus is beginning bassoon pedagogy and literature, and her instructional method book “Just for Bassoonists: A Companion Method for Beginning Classroom Curriculum” is in review for hopeful e-publication in 2018. She holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University and Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Georgia, where she was distinguished as a National Presser Scholar. Her bassoon mentors have included William Ludwig, Kathleen McLean, Nancy Goeres, Amy Pollard, and William Davis, and she is an active member of the International and Midwest Double Reed Societies, the National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, and Pi Kappa Lambda. You can find her online at www.caylabellamy.com.
Abigail Hunt is a first year undergraduate at the University of Northern Iowa studying for a music performance degree. Her goal for the future is to perform professionally in chamber, orchestral, and symphonic ensembles. She has been playing bassoon since 2011 and currently performs in the UNI Wind Ensemble and has performed in the Iowa All-State Band. When not playing bassoon, Abigail enjoys reading, watching TV shows and movies, and making bassoon reeds that don’t work...yet.
Anya Shorey is a second year undergraduate student at the University of Northern Iowa. Currently studying music education, Anya hopes to teach middle school band upon graduation and maintain a double reed studio. When she is home in Sioux City, IA, Anya enjoys teaching seventh and eighth grade students bassoon fundamentals and preparing them for honor ensemble auditions. At UNI, Anya regularly performs with the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Panther Marching Band (baritone), and has played in numerous chamber ensembles. In her free time, Anya enjoys spending time in the sun, attempting to cook new recipes, and browsing pictures of baby animals on the internet.
Aaron Unash is a junior music education major attending the University of Northern Iowa. He is very interested in instrument repair and hopes to go to a repair school in the future. Aaron has had around 9 years of bassoon training. He is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and attended Kennedy high school from 2011 to 2015. After graduation, Aaron attended Kirkwood Community College for 2 years, continuing bassoon, and playing saxophone on the side, which came very naturally to him. Aaron is not the best when it comes to remember practicing, but his sightreading skill is very refined. When he isn't playing bassoon, Aaron usually plays video games, watches TV, and learning 3d animation.
Erica Knudson (junior) is a transfer student from Iowa Central Community College as a history education major. She has been playing bassoon since she first picked up in the instrument in 2008. Through out the years, she has played in numerous honor bands and has competed at state solo ensemble competitions. Her plans are to help spread the joy of music through her teachings and playing. She is excited to share her experiences and enthusiasm for music with the next generation to come in the next fours her at UNI.
Jarod Kral (junior) is an performing arts management major from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jarod has spent a lot of his band career switching between instruments before finally settling on bassoon. He has been playing bassoon since 2010 and is looking forward to continuing with his musical passions while in college. He doesn't know what is in his future but he knows that music will stay with him through whatever path that future holds.
Maddie Roach (junior) is a bassoonist at UNI studying chemistry from Algona, Iowa. She has been playing bassoon since 2009 and participated in various honor bands, including the UNI Northern Festival of Bands, for all four years of high school. She loves playing at UNI and is planning on continuing learning how to bassoon all through college. She is excited to pass on what she learns in the next four years to the next generation of small town bassoonists.
Joanna Eyanson (senior) was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, and is currently a bassoonist at UNI. She is majoring in English, but plans to continue playing bassoon all through and (hopefully) after college. She started bassoon in the 5th grade, and fell in love with music shortly after quitting the piano. She has played in one ensemble or another since then, and has dabbled in pit orchestras and solo contests. She also taught lessons to younger bassoonists, and is proud to say that it was her favorite part about bassoonery. Except maybe making up words related to bassoon.
Katie Plotzke is a senior Biochemistry major with aspirations to attend medical school in the near future. She has been playing bassoon since 2008 and has been a part of the Mason City Municipal Band since 2011. She is currently a member of the UNI Symphonic Band and aims to continue playing with municipal bands after college. In her free time she enjoys biking the many trails of Cedar Falls.
Laura Sabotta (graduate) is a music education masters student and artist diploma candidate at UNI. She has been playing bassoon since 2005 and participated in local honor bands and ensembles in North Carolina, Missouri and Iowa. She received her A.A. in Liberal Arts at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and is the recipient of the West Music & West Family Music Education Endowed Scholarship. This last summer, Laura also performed with the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band. Laura received her B.M. in Music Education from UNI and loves to being in the area playing bassoon and establishing her own studio!
Studio biographies coming soon from:
Riley Andreasen (freshman)
Allison Warming (freshman)