The Sooner Bassooners
The Sooner Bassooners, under the direction of Rodney Ackmann, is an integral part of the bassoon studio curriculum at the University of Oklahoma. This ensemble, encompassing both undergraduate and graduate students was founded in 1994 by Carl Rath and includes music majors and non-majors. The “Bassooners” perform a wide array of styles from renaissance to 21st century, which range from four to twelve parts.
In 2000, the Sooner Bassooners performed at the 29th Annual Conference of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) in Buenos Aires. They were later heard in a pre-concert performance of the Dallas Symphony at the Meyerson Symphony Center. In 2017, they performed a highly acclaimed concert at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, accompanying trumpeter, John Hagstrom of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition to their always popular recitals at the OU School of Music, the “Bassooners” have performed educational and community outreach programs throughout the state. They were featured at the 2013 and 2017 Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OkMEA) Conferences. They have also performed for the Norman Rotary Club, the Oklahoma City Zoo and a Centennial Celebration in Ardmore, OK. More recently, they performed the National Anthem at center court of the Chesapeake Energy Arena, in front of 18,000 fans, for the National Basketball Association’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
Members in the ensemble have been featured on National Public Radio’s “From The Top” and won numerous state-wide and regional awards in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Midwest Double Reed Society (MDRS), Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA) Oklahoma City Ladies Music Club Young Artists Competition. Several of the bassoonists have been chosen to perform in the annual Oklahoma All-Collegiate Band at the OkMEA Conference in Tulsa. Recent graduates of the ensemble have gone on to successful positions in Music Education, Arts Management and other distinguished career paths.