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 music education. 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.
Jessica Carlson is a first year Music Education major from Malden, Illinois. She has been playing the bassoon since 2015. Her goal for the future is to teach high school or middle school band. Jessica currently performs with the UNI Symphonic Band, Marching Band (Alto Sax), and Pep Band (Alto Sax). In her free time, Jessica enjoys watching movies, making crafts, and in the summer she enjoys playing bassoon with her local community band, and showing cattle at fair with her family.
Abigail Hunt is a junior in the General Music Studies degree program at the University of Northern Iowa. She is also pursuing a minor in creative writing. Abigail enjoys listening to and playing in chamber music ensembles as well as writing short stories and poetry. Her current favorite solo piece for bassoon is the William Hurlstone Sonata. Abigail's goal for her future in bassoon is to be playing in a local symphony or orchestra after graduation.
Jarod Kral (senior) 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.
Sophia Patchin is a first year undergraduate student from Des Moines, Iowa. She is majoring in instrumental music education, bassoon. Sophia plans to begin teaching junior high/high school band after graduation while also maintaining a private lesson studio. Her goals also include attending graduate school to eventually teach at the collegiate level. At UNI, she regularly performs with the UNI Wind Ensemble (bassoon), Panther Marching Band (tenor saxophone), and other small chamber ensembles. In addition, Sophia is a student teacher with the UNI Community School of Music and loves helping others accomplish their goals while enjoying all that music offers each of us. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, volunteering within the community, spending time with friends, and playing with her family dog and cats.
Cailin Prunchak is a freshman at UNI. She is from Davenport, Iowa and went to Davenport West from 2015 to 2019. She has been playing bassoon since 2015. Cailin is currently majoring in music education. In the future, she would like to teach middle school or high school band. In her free time, she enjoys watching TV, listening to music, and playing with her animals when she visits home.
Makayla Rasmussen is from Waterloo, Iowa and is a first year undergraduate student at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in music education on the bassoon, but is also studying jazz piano as a secondary instrument. Makayla hopes to teach at a high school level after graduation, and will hopefully attend graduate school to obtain a higher degree. At UNI, she regularly performs with the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra and the Panther Marching Band (on alto saxophone). In her free time, Makayla enjoys baking yummy desserts and taking her dog, Paxton, on outdoor adventures.
Anya Shorey (senior) is a double major in music and psychology from Sioux City, IA. She has played the bassoon since sixth grade and fell in love with its diverse personalities and playing in orchestras. She is preparing for graduate study in experimental psychology with a research focus in how people experience music, especially social influences on creative performances. Anya plans to continue playing bassoon in community bands or orchestras and at church in the future. Her favorite bassoon quote is "The bassoon in the orchestra plays the same role as Gorgonzola among cheeses - a figure of fun. Actually, the bassoon can be the most romantic and passionate of instruments, and Gorgonzola can be the finest of cheeses, but they must both be treated properly." -Cecil Gray
Aaron Unash is a senior general music 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.
Studio biographies coming soon from:
Riley Andreasen (junior)
Nathan Joy (sophomore)
Ariana Luna (freshman)