Brandon Rumsey

I have been intrigued by the bassoon since sixth grade band, even though I had chosen the saxophone because of it's reputation as an instrument that cool cats play. Thanks to my inspiring teachers Steve Vacchi, Kristin Wolfe Jensen, and Jeffrey Lyman, this intrigue grew into a love, and playing the bassoon has become a joyful part of making music with others.

Because I am a composer-performer, much of the music I have performed was written by living composers and many pieces were world premieres. I have found that there is something gratifying and beautiful to be discovered in works of any time period, but I particularly love Vivaldi's bassoon music and am enamored by music from the early- to mid- 20th century. I love playing music that has harmonic depth, contrasting musical textures, and lyrical phrases. What bassoonist doesn't love a good, lyrical melodic line?! There is such a wide range of diverse musical styles of being created by today's living composers, and I am thrilled to be able to navigate the vibrant world of new music with Emblems.

What excites me as a composer and performer has a profound impact on my teaching. I enjoy helping students think critically about what their priorities are as artists, then to use goal-oriented approach to growing as musicians. I believe it is also important to always pursue the fun and thrilling aspects of being a musician—after all, we are truly fortunate to have music-making at the center of our efforts! 

Brandon is a composer, bassoonist, and teacher based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition to his work with Emblems, he is currently on the music theory faculty of Madonna University, is a composition teaching artist with the Trade Winds Ensemble, and works as an editorial assistant and copyist at the Gershwin Initiative. His compositions emphasize harmony, rhythm, texture and orchestrational color and frequently explore themes of love, nature, and conversation.

All Content ©2018 EMBLEMS Quintet
Photography by Chris O'Brien and Luis Escareño