latest news

SEPTEMBER 2015: Greetings from Jülich! After a long pause as we settled in to our new home overseas, I have a few updates to share. I'll be performing with the local Collegium Musicum orchestra here in Jülich next February 13th at the iconic Zitadelle in the center of town.

Rushes Ensemble performs on October 23rd at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC (info) and again next April 22-23 for Duke Performances (info) at the Durham Fruit & Produce Company. We're thrilled to appear with Mantra Percussion to present Michael Gordon's Rushes and Timber, heard for the first time together in the US.

JANUARY 2015: Happy New Year! Bonne Année! Frohes neues Jahr!This is a particularly exciting time for me as our family prepares to move to Germany for my husband's post doctoral work. I am keen to learn more of the German language and to meet new friends and musicians! Watch for dispatches from Jülich in the near future. Best wishes to all for a peaceful and happy year ahead.

NOVEMBER 2014: Rushes Ensemble spent a delightful weekend in Vancouver to perform at Vancouver New Music. Thanks to Jim, Giorgio and everyone who made our stay such a spectacular experience.

OCTOBER 2014:I'm honored to perform Mozart's Bassoon Concerto with the DSO on Oct. 1st! It's a rare treat to perform in Baldwin Auditorium, and a pleasure to work with Maestro Harry Davidson and the Duke students!

Heliand Consort in NC and VT
Our clarinet, bassoon & piano trio performs music of Beethoven, Bruch, Schumann, Padma Newsome & others. Concerts: Oct 15-19 in North Carolina and Oct 24-26 in Vermont.
> info

SEPTEMBER 2014: Duke Gala Concert on Sept. 13 features Duke faculty and students performing music of Bartok, Mozart (piano concerto featuring Olivier Cavé) and Stravinksy (Dumbarton Oaks)

Rushes Ensemble attends IDRS 43rd annual convention in New York City - see you there!

Heliand Consort's 4th Annual Tour took place July 5-11th in VT and NH
Thanks to VPR, our 2014 Tour Media Sponsor

Nobel prize winner Thomas Südof's insightful words on the value of arts, from the recent IDRS journal interview:
> read the interview

Dark in the Song held a recording retreat in West Virginia to record a bassoon duo and quartet by Chiel Meijering, aka the Dutch Michael Daugherty...wonderful music, with a few screws loose!

Rushes Ensemble tours Michael Gordon's "Rushes" for seven bassoons

3/26/2014 - Tufts University, Medford, MA
3/28/2014 - The Icebox at Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA
3/29/2014 - Peak Performances, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

> More about Rushes Ensemble


Rushes CD release Tuesday, 3/25
Cantaloupe Music

"Composed for seven bassoons, Rushes takes its place alongside Michael Gordon's Timber for expanding the boundaries of a single instrument's repertoire into hitherto unknown (and at times, otherworldly) spaces."
> read more

With Eyes Cast Down airs Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 on Q2 Music's Hammered show from 10-11 am EST. This week is devoted to new music by Australian composers, hosted by Lisa Moore.

New video posted! Live performance of Michael Gordon's "Rushes" for seven bassoons at the University of Michigan from November 2013.

JANUARY 2014: On Saturday, January 18th, I presented a workshop exploring creativity and bassoon playing for the University of New Hampshire's annual Double Reed Day.
> details on my Projects page
> UNH's Double Reed Day page

NOVEMBER 2013: Dark in the Song performs John Fitz Rogers' Come Closer on the Southern Exposure series in Columbia, SC on Monday, 11/11.

Rushes Ensemble performs Michael Gordon's Rushes in Stamps Auditorium at the University of Michigan on Monday, 11/25.
> details

OCTOBER 2013: Heliand Consort returns to NC for two performances, with music of Telemann, Glinka, Schmitt, Newsome and Engebretson:
 • Sat, Oct. 26 in Chapel Hill
 • Sun, Oct. 27 at Duke in Durham

Our concerts continue in VT in November:
 • Fri, Nov. 1 in Burlington
 • Sun, Nov. 3 in St. Johnsbury
 • Tue, Nov. 5 in Shelburne

SEPTEMBER 2013: Members of the Duke faculty perform Copland's Appalachian Spring on the Gala Inaugural Concert to celebrate Baldwin Auditorium's reopening on 9/14.
> Read the article in The Herald-Sun 

MAY 2013: Heliand Consort's 2nd Annual Tour of Vermont takes place from May 8-11th. Tune in to our live performance on VPR Classical with Walter Parker on Wednesday, May 8th for a preview of the tour.

APRIL 2013: The Bassoon Band performed live on WUNC's The State of Things with Frank Stasio on 4/16. Check out the show at

Our season finale took place on 4/21 as part of the Mallarmé Chamber Players "How Low Can You Go?" all-bassoon extravaganza at Casbah in Durham. Here's a photo of Dark in the Song performing for the standing-room-only crowd (!), taken by Dave Brook:

> Bassoon Band details

Earlier this month: The Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble performed 2 concerts featuring beautiful new music by Michael Close, Lydia Busler-Blais, Erik Nielsen, and others.

Read Amy Lilly's feature article on Vermont female composers in the 3/27-4/3 edition of Seven Days.

Heliand Consort performed 3 FREE midday shows: a concert & workshops at VYOA Woodwind Day on 4/6 followed by concerts at the Williston Garden Center on 4/8 and Music at Noon on 4/9 at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
> Details

MARCH 2013: Clogs performed at the 2013 Adelaide Festival in Australia on March 7. Curated by Bryce Dessner, with the Adelaide Art Orchestra. This engagement was supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

FEBRUARY 2013: On Feb. 5, Clogs released The Sundown Song EP and appeared at the Ecstatic Music Festival on Feb. 6 in NYC. Thanks to Shara Worden, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Orchestra for the Next Century for a fabulous evening! 

JANUARY 2013: Clogs spent a glorious and frigid week in Vermont recording new songs and choral/instrumental music by Padma Newsome. Thanks to vocalist Susanne Peck & company, and guitarist James Moore for a terrific week! More on Clogs...

NOVEMBER 2012: Rushes Ensemble performed 5 shows in the Netherlands and Belgium. We gave the European premiere of Michael Gordon's Rushes on Nov. 8 at November Music Festival followed by performances at GLOW Festival in Eindhoven, Surround Festival at the Concertgebouw in Brugge, Ostadetheater in Amsterdam and the Korzo Theater in the Hague.

> Rushes Ensemble website

Rushes premiere at EMPAC


SEPTEMBER 2012: Dark in the Song spent a week in residence at EMPAC in Troy, NY. Led by bassoonist, Dana Jessen, we recorded Michael Gordon's Rushes for seven bassoons and gave the world premiere performance on September 15th at EMPAC. The Daily Gazette offers a preview of the piece.

Visit Dark in the Song's website for audio and video.

SUMMER 2012: Clogs embarks on a flyover summer tour, presenting new songs by Padma Newsome. We begin at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, followed by the Halifax Jazz Festival (Nova Scotia), Moncton (New Brunswick), New Haven and Brooklyn. Thanks to Shara Worden, Ben Cassorla, Paper Beat Scissors, The Olympic Symphonium, Lorne Watson and Loop 243 for contributing along the way.

clogs summer tour

> Summer Tour Details:
> Article at

In May 2012, Dark in the Song spent a week in Morelia, Mexico working with bassoonists and composers. Thanks to Rodrigo Sigal, Wendy Holdoway, Felipe Perez Santiago, and the staff and participants at the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras for an inspiring residency. Here's one of the new pieces for 5 bassoons and electronics which we premiered during our recent residency at CMMAS:

Iftira, by Felipe Pérez Santiago

dark in the song at cmmas








Rhapsody for Bassoon and Winds
Thank you to Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant and the Duke University Wind Symphony for a great performance on April 12th. It was an honor to perform with you, and to work with Jukka-Pekka Lehto on his Rhapsody for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble

Padma Newsome's 21 Variations
An archival recording of Padma's 21 Variations on a Friend for solo bassoon, percussion and chamber orchestra premiered in 2003 in New Haven. The music is sensual, beautiful, romantic...enjoy.

Excerpt, 21 Variations on a Friend
Performers: Rachael Elliott, bassoon
Tim Feeney & Thom Kozumplik, percussion
Eduard Espinel, conductor
Group 435 Chamber Orchestra
> Padma's tunes on Shady Gully page

Polka the Elk on Performance Today
Fred Child gave a nice shout-out to Padma Newsome on American Public Media's Performance Today on Friday, Jan. 6th. Two movements from Newsome's With Eyes Cast Down were featured. Drop in at Hour Two, 12 minutes in to listen...

WQXR | Q2 Music: The New Canon
Listen to the recent live chat with WQXR host Olivia Giovetti, composer Padma Newsome and bassoonist Rachael Elliott, discussing their new album, Polka the Elk. Aired live on Friday, 10/28 on WQXR's The New Canon.

Bassoon Project

next concerts

Schubert, Mendelssohn, Lee & Newsome


First Congregational Church
Lyndonville, VT
Rochester Chamber Music Society
Federated Church
Rochester, VT

Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Tschaikowski
with soloist Vasco Dantas, piano

SAT, FEB 13 @ 8 PM
Gymnasium Zitadelle, Jülich, GERMANY

Rushes Ensemble and Mantra Percussion perform Michael Gordon's major works for bassoon and percussion ensembles. Heard for the first time together in the US

FRI, APR 22 @ 8 PM
Durham Fruit & Produce Company
SAT, APR 23 @ 8 PM
Durham Fruit & Produce Company
Durham, NC
Presented by Duke Performances
Tickets & info

> Recent concerts on Performances page