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Ohio State bassoons to host benefit concert, support Mid-Ohio Foodbank

Courtesy of Kerry Haberkern

Members of the Ohio State bassoon studio are taking charge to help the Mid-Ohio Foodbank by putting on a benefit performance, collecting canned food items and donations for the organization. 

The performance is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday in the Hughes Hall Auditorium. 

“This is the first year for this performance,” said Kerry Haberkern, a graduate student in music and member of the ensemble. “We have had studio recitals in past years, but this is the first year we have an outreach component to it, and I think it’s important to incorporate that.” 

Haberkern said she thinks it is important to add a service component to the program because during economic hardship, people have less “play money,” and that hurts the arts.

“We are probably the first line that people can cut, and so when you add some public value or civic value, a community appreciates it and appreciates you,” Haberkern said.

The showcase is set to feature a mixture of solos, duets, ensembles and solos accompanied with piano. 

“I didn’t program it per se. I asked what people wanted to play, what they were working on and what they liked,” Haberkern said. This allowed the performance to be primarily student-built, she said.

The range of music is wide and includes “The Muppet Show” theme song and a performance of Mozart’s “Bassoon Concerto.”

“If you have never heard the “Muppet” theme done by five bassoons, then you really have never heard it,” Haberkern said.

The show will also feature more classical music, such as a piece by Théodore Dubois that two graduate students will perform. 

“(The music is) really going to stretch people’s ears,” Haberkern

Haberkern will be playing in two pieces in the show. 

The group consists of 11 bassoonists and two pianists. Haberkern said the studio is mostly made up of graduate and doctoral students but includes five first-year students and a third-year this year.

Some of the first-year students said they are excited to be involved and showcase their skills. 

Ashley Rohm, a first-year in music education and bassoon performance, will be performing in two pieces – the opening “Muppet” piece and a duet with another first-year student. 

“The thing that makes me excited about it is we are doing this thing with the (Mid-)Ohio Foodbank,” Rohm said. 

Rohm said that while it is uncommon for first-year students to be a part of such an ensemble, she finds working with the graduate students to be a very encouraging experience. She said she finds it comforting that the upperclassmen were once in her shoes and likes knowing that she is on her way to becoming a better bassoonist.

Evan Copeland, a first-year in bassoon performance, agreed that working with older students is motivating.

“Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, because their level of skill is just so far above an incoming freshman,” Copeland said. “However, after a short amount of time it becomes very inspiring and you can see just how far you could go.”

Copeland said he is excited to perform in the show. 

“It gives us a chance to share a very special experience, a very deep emotional musical experience, and also at the same time we get to help out the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and help out those who are in need,” said Copeland, who will also participate in two performances. 

Admission to the show will be one canned food item or a nonperishable item to be collected at the door and donated to the food bank. However, no one will be turned away for not bringing an item. 

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